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Auditioning FAQs

“We search for the most talented boys in the region. No talented boy is ever left behind due to financial constraints.”
Jeff Smith, Artistic Director & Conductor

How does the audition work?

Auditions are held during the summer. The Music Director auditions each boy, and the process generally takes less than fifteen minutes. Prepared music is not required for auditions. Please visit http://meetme.so/PBCC to schedule a summer audition. If there are no appointment slots available, please email info@phillyboyschoir.org to request an audition time.  

Is there an age limit?

We audition boys from ages 7 to 12. Most boys start in our training groups, the Beginning and Advanced Cadets.

Why aren’t girls allowed in the choir?

Boys’ voices create a different timbre (color of sound) than girls’ voices. Composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Britten and Bernstein have all written music specifically for boys’ voices. Girls who want to sing and perform may join our sister group Philadelphia Girls Choir.

Is prior music or voice training necessary?

No. Although prior music experience is helpful, boys will have lessons in music theory and receive vocal training.

Will my child receive voice training?

The Cadet program prepares boys for performing by teaching them basic music theory, sight singing, correct breathing, etc.  In addition, we also offer Philadelphia Vocal Conservatory to provide additional private training.

What if my son or music student doesn’t think he’s good enough?

If he has a sincere interest, encourage him to audition anyway. Some of our most gifted boys were reluctant to audition because they were afraid they weren’t good enough.

When are rehearsals?

The Beginning and Advanced Cadets rehearse from 4:30–5:45 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Performing Choir rehearses Wednesdays from 4:30–5:45 pm and Saturdays from 8:50 am to noon with the Chorale. The Chorale also rehearses Tuesdays from 7:30–9 pm.

Does my son have to give up the school or church choir or his other activities?

Absolutely not!  Boys are encouraged to stay actively involved in their other activities including choirs, sports and clubs.  We try to be flexible with scheduling and attendance.  That being said, there is a commitment required for purposes of sound quality.  If your son cannot make a large number of rehearsals, this may not be the right activity for him.  We need to be able to work with the boys continuously.

What is the cost to be in the program?

Tuition is $1,800 for the year (subject to change).

Are there scholarships available?

We have a generous scholarship program. There are full and partial need-based scholarships available to all who qualify.

When does my son get his signature red blazer?

The Choir’s signature red Blazer will be awarded upon acceptance into the Performing Choir.  In addition, to complete the uniform, parents will need to buy a white dress shirt, white pants, black belt, black socks, and black dress shoes.

What are the performance and travelling opportunities?

Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale performs regularly across the Greater Philadelphia region. The Choir has also performed at many national and international venues. These include Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Good Morning America, and Saturday Night Live. Every year, we have the chance to perform in the Nutcracker with the Pennsylvania Ballet and in concert with the Philly POPS. PBCC also embarks on an annual tour in the summer. In the past, we’ve gone to Russia, Australia, China, Argentina, Egypt, South Africa, Spain, and many other countries!

If you have any other questions, feel free to call the Choir office at 215.222.3500, or email info@phillyboyschoir.org


The Choir

Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale provides a unique and distinguished  environment for personal growth while experiencing the finest musical education for young men in the Philadelphia region. The Choir consists of three ensembles:

Cadets

  • Many of the boys in Philadelphia Boys Choir begin as members of the Cadet program.
  • The boys learn the essentials of choral musicianship. This includes correct breathing, reading music, sight singing, and music theory. Each Cadet program lasts one year.
  • Beginning and Advanced Cadets perform at our annual Holiday and Spring concerts, as well as other opportunities.
  • After completing Advanced Cadets or at the discretion of the Music Director, boys are invited to become candidates for the Philadelphia Boys Choir (performing choir).

Performing Choir

  • Candidates for the Performing Choir need to memorize twelve songs from the standard repertoire and show proper singing technique. If he succeeds, he earns his Blazer, the Choir’s signature red jacket, and becomes a full-fledged member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale.
  • The Choir sings at many private and community functions throughout the year, which may include: annual holiday & spring concerts, concerts with the Philly POPS, The Nutcracker with the Pennsylvania Ballet, and others.
  • The Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale embarks on a concert tour abroad each year.

Chorale

  • The Chorale was formed in the 1970s, to add mature voices on tenor and bass parts, allowing for a significantly greater variety in repertoire.
  • The Music Director evaluates each Choir member twice every year for musical progress and to check if his voice has changed and should be moved into the Chorale. The majority of the members in the Chorale are PBCC Alumni or fathers of Choir members.
  • PBCC requires a criminal and child abuse background check of all adult Chorale participants.
Great Wall

Great Wall

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in an airport singing
Chinese Restaurant

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