Repertoire Boys Choir Standards

Boychoirs R&S Standards

Boychoirs R&S Area Standards

There are standards within the choral art that unify choral directors and choirs. In the boychoir tradition, these standards can be represented by the areas listed below. This is not a comprehensive list, as some of these elements may not apply to all choirs. However, many of these standards are often present in fine boychoir programs.

  1. Performance standards
    1. Attention to the healthy development of each boy's singing voice throughout the period of his voice maturation
    2. Development of a choral tone that is pure, natural, and unforced
    3. Awareness of choral balance and blend
    4. Attention to pitch (intonation), rhythm, and articulation
    5. Sensitivity to dynamics, phrasing, and text shaping
    6. Sensitivity to era and genre specific performance practice
    7. Awareness of performance etiquette and concert decorum
    8. Respect for the composer/arranger's intent as demonstrated by score comments, performance markings, etc.
    9. Development of communication between the conductor and the choir, and a sensitivity to communicating with the audience
  2. Repertoire standards
    1. Selection of quality choral literature that is appropriate for the age, experience, and vocal development of boy singers
    2. Selection of music and texts that challenge, instruct, and inspire the singers
    3. Selection of literature that brings out the musician inherent within each child
    4. Awareness of choral music that represents different musical eras, styles, languages, in both sacred and secular contexts
    5. Willingness to explore folk and world music to give the choristers opportunity to learn about different cultures, customs, and traditions
  3. Professional standards for conductors
    1. Demonstrate knowledge and application of pedagogically sound musicianship including vocal training, theory, sight singing, ear training, music history, etc.
    2. Offer opportunities for musical and personal growth and development of each boy
    3. Provide a safe learning environment for the choristers and respect them as individuals, while encouraging the chorus to develop as a unified team
    4. Demonstrate the ability to lead and mentor each choir member by example, and behave ethically and responsibly while interacting with choristers, parents, board of directors, staff, other professional musicians, and the public at large
    5. Abide by international copyright laws
    6. Actively pursue opportunities for professional development by attending master classes, workshops, choral conventions, etc.
    7. Train boys to be servant leaders with gentlemanly behavioral skills through the study and performance of choral music
    8. Keep boys engaged with appropriately paced activities in a structured environment
    9. Maintain group management with boys setting expectations high so they can achieve success
    10. Foster confidence, positive self image and encourage emotional literacy for boy choristers
    11. Nurture and maintain a supportive environment among other boychoir directors, both in the U.S. and abroad, to foster growth and explore ways to increase participation in the boychoir tradition
  4. Standards and expectations for the singers
    1. Develop self-discipline and respect for other singers, music director, staff, chaperones, etc.
    2. Learn to follow musical directions in both concert and rehearsal settings
    3. Cultivate habits to maintain vocal health
    4. Increase awareness of how the individual voice fits into the context of the entire chorus
    5. Develop leadership skills, teamwork skills, and a cooperative attitude
    6. Commit fully to the choir knowing that what the choir accomplishes as an ensemble would be impossible to achieve alone