Chorister Academy

Unlocking the musical potential of children and youth

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The Chorister Academy of Saint Peter’s Church provides outstanding after-school music education to children and youth ages 6-17 in Philadelphia. Students receive professional choral and music theory training under the direction of Artistic Director Dr. Darryl Roland, as well as performance opportunities, choir camp, leadership development, and piano lessons. This prestigious program has been part of Saint Peter’s Church since 1868 and has established a reputation for excellence in music education.

We believe that every child who loves to sing should be given the opportunity to realize his or her full potential. Singing in a choir provides children with one of the best foundations for musical training and can foster a lifelong love of music making. All students who are accepted into the Chorister Academy receive merit scholarships to cover their tuition, as well as a stipend for rehearsals and performances.

The Chorister Academy values a diverse student body and strives to maintain a balanced enrollment of boys and girls. Families of all faith traditions are encouraged to participate.

Professional Training

Students in the Chorister Academy sing music that spans six centuries with broad-based classical repertoire, spirituals, and world music. The choristers sing in a variety of languages including English, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swahili, and Zulu.

An affiliate of the Royal School of Church Music, the Chorister Academy is one of the few programs in our region that prepares children and youth to sing on a professional level with men and women. The origins of intergenerational choirs can be traced to the Middle Ages, and this venerable tradition continues today as boys and girls from the Chorister Academy join the adult singers in the Saint Peter’s Choir for Sunday church services, concerts, and choir tours.

Rehearsal Schedule

Choristers in first grade through eighth grade rehearse twice during the week after school and sing regularly on Sunday mornings during the choir season (September through June). Transportation from local elementary schools to Saint Peter’s Church is available. Choristers in high school rehearse once during the week, in addition to Sundays. A detailed calendar of rehearsals and performances is given to each family at the beginning of the choir season.

Camps and Tours

Each August, the boys and girls of the Chorister Academy are invited to attend a week-long overnight camp in Cape May, New Jersey. Many choristers consider Cape May Choir Camp the highlight of their year! It is an opportunity to learn new repertoire and improve music literary while building friendships.

The choir also participates in choir tours nationally and internationally. Dr. Roland has taken choirs on tour to New York City, Washington, D.C., and southwest England. We are in the midst of preparing for a week-long residency at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London from August 7-13, 2017.

Schedule an Audition

To schedule an audition or to learn more about the Chorister Academy, families may contact Dr. Roland using this online form or at [email protected] or 215-925-5968 ext. 103. During the audition, Dr. Roland will guide the student through simple vocal warm-ups and melodies. There is no need to prepare anything in advance. Previous musical training is not required, only an eagerness to learn and the ability to match pitch!