Cathedral Choir School

The Cathedral Choir School is a unique and advanced level vocal music education program for students in 3rd-8th grades.  Students within the Cathedral Choir School are members of the Cathedral Children's Choir or the Novice Choristers.  In this program, students receive a thorough training in the fundamentals of music theory, sight-reading, and vocal production. Choristers also participate in a small, select group of peers who are committed to the same goal. They sing great works of art and receive opportunities for tours, retreats, concerts, and recordings. The skills that choristers develop last a lifetime and foster growth in other areas of life at a young age: leadership; commitment; focus; attention to detail; patience; teamwork; and love of service.

To learn more about each ensemble's schedule, please visit THE CHORAL PROGRAM on this website.


Novice Course
The Novice Course comprises the first year of the Chorister Training Program where students learn the basics of music theory, vocal production and sight-reading. It gives choristers the skills they need to contribute to the choir and gives newcomers a structure through which they can learn about life in the full choir. Novices are not full members of the choir until they are formally inducted by the Cathedral Rector upon successfully completion of the Novice Course. The Novice Course is presented in two successive terms, beginning in the fall. At the completion of each term, the Choirmaster and the chorister’s family discuss his/her progress and determine if the chorister will advance to the next stage of the program. Novices receive special instruction from the music staff in small groups and private lessons, and are taught all the skills they will need to become full choristers.

Term 1             September – Christ the King
Term 2             January - Easter

Junior Choristers
Junior Choristers are typically choristers in grades 4-6 who have completed their Novice year and have been installed as members of the Cathedral Children's Choir.  They participate fully in rehearsals and in leading the liturgy at the Cathedral. Junior Choristers not only rapidly build their experience by singing Cathedral services but they also continue to strengthen and integrate their knowledge of advanced music theory through regular instruction. 

Senior Choristers
Senior Choristers are typically choristers in grades 6-8 who have completed the music theory component of the Chorister Training Program. Senior boy and girl choristers combine for major concerts and special services, as well as for special tours.   



The VOICE FOR LIFE curriculum is designed by the Royal School of Church Music and is utilized by choirs throughout the world.  This program is specifically designed for youth choirs who service within a liturgical capacity.  As an all-inclusive vocal music education program, the VOICE FOR LIFE curriculum has five levels.  The Cathedral Choir School utilizes a combination of three levels.  Within each level are four distinct learning modules which include: Module A: Learning the Voice Well, Module B: Musical Skills and Understanding, Module C: Repertoire and Module D: Belonging to the Choir.  Each module contains learning targets.  Here are a few examples of the learning targets within each module:


Module A:
Using the Voice Well

Module B:
Musical Skills & Understanding

Module C: Repertoire

Module D: Belonging to the Choir










Novice Choristers


  • Understanding the need for regular practice
  • Following the conductor
  • Breath Management / Singing with Even Tone
  • Singing octave: ascending & descending
  • Diction
  • Group Vocal Technique
  • Sing with clear diction, projection, even tone, and continuity between the notes of a phrase


  • Identification of their part in a score
  • Identification of bar lines
  • Understanding common music symbols
  • Match pitch of not played on piano
  • Sing ascending and descending a major and minor scale on solfege
  • Identification of which two notes is higher or lower in pitch
  • Sing back a simple one-bar melody with a five-note range
  • Clap in time to a familiar song
  • Pitch Names
  • Basic note/rest values
  • Concept of scales & pattern of diatonic scale
  • Accidentals
  • Key signatures C, F, & G Major
  • Concept of measures & simple time signatures
  • Basic dynamic markings
  • Melodic and Rhythmic Memory
  • Meter Identification
  • Sight-read simple rhythm
  • Sight-read a simple melody
  • Identification of composer
  • Basic Text Analysis
  • Make simple observations about the mood of the piece
  • Make simple observations about the meaning of the text
  • Attend rehearsals regularly and punctually
  • Make a positive contribution to the choir
  • Meet all disciplinary targets assigned by choir trainer.
  • Being Focused and cooperative during rehearsals and concerts
  • Understand that Choir is a team








Junior Choristers

  • All Novice Chorister Level
  • Control Dynamics
  • Appropriateness of where to breath in music
  • Singing with Resonance
  • Clear diction and vowels
  • Sing short song, a cappella while maintaining good intonation
  • All Novice Chorister Level
  • Sixteenth Notes & Dotted Notes
  • Minor Scales: Natural, Harmonic, and Melodic
  • Concept of Relative Minor key
  • Key Signatures Up to 3 Sharps / Flats
  • Characteristics/Names of Basic Intervals: Unison, octave, major/minor 3rds, perfect 4ths and 5ths.
  • Performance Directions
  • Identification of Triad as Major or Minor
  • Looking at two bars of music: Name Key, pitch of first note, after hearing first chord- sing first note.
  • Identify rhythmic pulse
  • Sight-read rhythm
  • Sight-read a melody with dotted values and leaps of 3rds, 4ths, 5ths.
  • All Novice Chorister Level
  • Explain mean of text
  • Undertake simple musical analysis
  • Find biographical information on composer
  • Describe context of piece
  • All Novice Chorister Level
  • Assist less experience singers in choir.
  • Meet all disciplinary targets assigned by the choir trainer.








Senior Choristers

  • All Junior Chorister Level
  • Mechanics of Breathing including stagger breathing practice & concept
  • Advanced mechanics of sound production
  • Accessing different vocal registers
  • Vowel Modification
  • Further develop range and resonance
  • Sing accurately and musical a short prepared solo
  • All Junior Chorister Level
  • Identify pitch names of treble and bass clefs and ledger lines
  • Time values of notes/rests
  • Key signatures up to five sharps/flats, major and minor
  • Compound meter
  • Characteristics/Names of major/minor/perfect intervals up to one octave & sing them.
  • Basic analysis of music composition.
  • Sight-sing a simple song demonstrating dynamics, phrasing, expression, pitch and rhythmic accuracy. 



  • All Junior Chorister Level
  • Identify author and dates of text
  • Source of Text
  • Discuss relationship between music/text/mood using musical analysis
  • Identify why the piece was composed.
  • All Junior Chorister Level
  • Lead others by example with attendance, singing, behavior.
  • Understand difference between solo and choral singing
  • Meet all disciplinary targets assigned by the choir trainer.
  • Understand appropriate forms of communication, table manners, and appropriate manners
  • Respect for all student leaders
  • Successfully accomplish all job tasks assigned by head choristers.












Welcoming, Mission, & Schedule

The Choral Program

Cathedral Choir School

Choral Scholars
& Lay Clerks


Music for Weddings
and Funerals

Music Ministry Leaders

Cathedral Music Staff

Dr. Richard Siegel
Associate Organist

Heather Moreno
Music Ministry Associate
Sunday 7:00 PM Mass Cantor  & Guitarist
Phone: 708.539.8371


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