The Saints Peter and Paul Parish Choir is the principal vocal ensemble at Ss. Peter and Paul. Some music experience in vocal or instrumental music is expected for membership. There is an audition for placement in this choir. Please call the Office of Sacred Music to schedule a meeting.
The choir is the regular vocal ensemble for at 9:30 am Solemn Mass and for Solemnities and other special occasions. The choir rehearses Thursday evening at 7:00 pm, in the Holy Family Chapel, and Sunday morning warm-up at 8:45 am. As well as providing leadership at liturgies and sacraments, the Saints Peter and Paul Parish Choir also performs several major works per year with orchestra, and makes biennial performance tours – domestically and abroad.
The choir draws from a rich repertoire of music from plainsong chant to present day music including spirituals and gospel music. Regular composers include Tallis, Byrd, Vittoria, Faure, Mozart, Franck, Bach, Handel, Durufle, Poulenc to the modern Tavener, Rutter, Nestor and Proulx. For a current listing of the seasons choral repertoire please see our Choral Music Schedule.
Enjoyment is the key to success of the Parish Choir. The members who sing do it because they have fun singing together. It is a great opportunity to make new friends and grow in your spiritual life as well.
Schola Cantorum and Choral Scholars
The resident professional Schola Cantorum sings with the Saints Peter and Paul Parish Choir at the 9:30 am Solemn Mass, Solemnities and various Feasts and Celebrations throughout the Church year. This group is an advanced choral group and requires a deep commitment to the ensemble. The music is selected from many genres from the 9th century to music of the present day.
Membership in this ensemble is by audition only. Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years choral experience and have significant sight reading skills. Please call the Office of Sacred Music for more information.
Boys and Girls Choirs
Singing in a good choir is an exceptional educational opportunity, and is an essential part of a child’s learning and development. Here at Ss. Peter and Paul, choristers are introduced to the world of great music: from Traditional Hymnody and Gregorian Chant, to Renaissance motets in Latin, Bach in German, and great English cathedral music. The Choir of Men and Boys and the Girls’ Choir sing throughout the year at the 11:00 am Sunday Mass in the Church and for Holy Day Masses as they arise.
These talented young singers learn and participate in the great musical and liturgical heritage of the Roman Catholic Church. Their participation provides a clearer understanding of the traditions of their Catholic faith, while giving them the opportunity to share the Gospel message through the medium of music.
The Choirs are affiliated with Pueri Cantores, the official organization of children and youth choristers in the Roman Catholic Church.
For membership information please contact the Music Office at 630-718-2114.
General Audition Information for the Boys Choir and the Girls Choir
Are the Boys and Girls Choirs actually one group, or two?
The Saints Peter and Paul Choir of Boys and Men and Girls Choir rehearse and sing as distinct groups. Each choir sings on select Sundays throughout the liturgical year and also provides music for Holy Days of Obligation (including Christmas and Easter). The Choir season ends in June, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, unless a tour is planned for the end of the season, and resumes with Choir Camp in August.
On Sundays, and at other choir appearances, the Boys Choir and the Girls Choir function as the soprano and alto part of a full SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) group. The Men serve as role models, singing tenor and bass, this allows a wider variety of music to be performed, and is a positive musical influence on the younger singers.
Both the Boys and Girls choirs also function as groups that sing without the adult singers. This is often true if the choirs are “on the road” (at events outside of the Sunday Mass or special liturgies/concerts).
Who is eligible for an audition?
Boys and girls do not have to be members of Saints Peter and Paul Church, nor of any particular faith, to audition for the choirs. However, preference is given to students enrolled at the Saints Peter and Paul School and in our Religious Education program.
We are looking for young people who have a natural voice and a musical “ear”, that is, those who can clearly sort differences in notes that they hear. Previous musical training or singing experience is NOT required for audition or membership.
We also look for families that will strongly support the membership of their child, by assuring the child’s regular attendance at choir rehearsals, services and concerts, and by being active members of the parents organization that supports the choir of which their child is a member.
We generally audition boys who will be entering grade 4 as of the Fall term (or grade 3 for those more mature for their age) and girls who will be entering grade 4 as of the Fall term.
Exceptions are indeed made on a case-by-case basis, but priority is given to these age groups, and most auditions are done with children in those age groups.
What preparation is required for an audition?
No prepared music is necessary for the audition, which consists of singing voice patterns, ear tests such as matching pitches given on the piano, and finding pitches in a given chord. No music reading is required, but often a short word reading sample is given to test reading ability, self assuredness and general word perception. Any previous musical experience is, of course, a plus, but not a prerequisite.
How are auditions arranged?
Auditions are arranged by calling the Administrative Assistant in the Sacred Music Office at 630.718.2119.
How is auditioning done?
Auditioning is a two-part process. In the first or “screening” audition, the child sings a few simple note patterns or scales, and is asked to sing Happy Birthday, a song known to all!
The whole process only takes a few minutes, with time for questions afterward. If the Director of Sacred Music feels that the child cannot be considered for the second and final round of auditions (see below), he will be honest with the children and/or parents at that time, as there will only be a small number of boys and girls he can invite for the final round of auditions.
Every effort is made to communicate this clearly with each child, to prevent undue disappointment or misunderstanding.
What happens if the singer is invited back for a second audition?
A second and final round of auditions is held sometime later in the season, at a time set by the Director of Sacred Music. Singers that have shown the most promise in the first screening audition are invited back for this second audition (there are a total of 24 spots in each chorus). At these auditions, the singers are heard in small groups, while the parents meet with veteran choir parents to hear a presentation on the choir, and to have a chance to ask questions. Shortly after this final round, invitations are issued to as many singers for whom there are spots open.
Both Choirs participate as members of the American Federation of Pueri Cantores and participate in local, national and international celebrations of the Organization.
What is the general schedule of the choirs?
The Boys Choir rehearses on Monday from 4:00 – 5:30 pm.
The Girls Choir rehearses on Tuesday 5:30 – 6:45 pm.
Matthew S. Sprinkle
Director, Sacred Music Department
Phone: 630.718.2114 Fax:630.355.1179
Administrative Assistant: 630.718.2119