Cathedral Choir School


Welcome to the Cathedral Choir School of Metropolitan Detroit

The Cathedral Choir School of Metropolitan Detroit is committed to providing the finest musical education in the context of the liturgical life of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul, and to nurture the best examples of citizenship. The Choir School is a community that, while focused on music, is a systematic, long-term investment in young people. Children emerge from this experience with a deep love of fine arts, enhanced self-confidence, and an ability to work collaboratively. In a time when the fine arts are not a high priority in most schools, the Cathedral continues to be fully committed to providing children with an opportunity for musical growth. The program is tuition-free.

Eleven Fast Facts

  • The Choir School is an extra-curricular, tuition-free opportunity for children with an interest in music and singing.
  • No previous musical or voice training is required or expected.
  • Children need not be Episcopalian.  The Choir is open to children of all  faiths and backgrounds.
  • Boys and Girls form the treble (soprano) section of the famed Cathedral  Choir, involving consistent application of their developing musical skills, while singing the finest in choral music from all periods and in a variety of languages.
  • Children gain a thorough grounding in basic musicianship, music reading, and vocal technique through the centuries-old tradition of choral singing.
  •  A brief, informal try-out assesses a child’s readiness for the program.
  •  Located in the heart of Detroit’s cultural center, boys and girls emerge from the program with a deep love of, and appreciation for the fine arts.
  • The Cathedral Choir and Choir School are affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music.
  • Children showing a strong commitment to the Choir are eligible for reduced-tuition piano lessons and summer camps.
  • One of Detroit’s treasures, the Cathedral Choir has sung widely in the  United States and Canada, and made a tour of England in July, 2014.
  • The Choir’s debut CD, Nowell Sing We was released in 2014, and a second recording, Evensong for All Saints Day is in production.


About the Choir School

The Choir School is affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music in America, an organization started in England early in the 20th century, which adheres to the principle that children are capable of learning to sing the finest in choral music from all composers, of all periods, and in a variety of languages. The RSCM model is used by many of the finest choral establishments and conductors in the USA and abroad. This curriculum is structured as a system of goals. Setting and attaining achievable goals is intended to encourage a chorister to develop his or her musical ability to the highest level. Parents will find that this system encourages self-discipline and goal setting.

The boy and girl choristers form the treble (soprano) section of the famed Cathedral Choir, involving consistent application of their developing music skills, while singing the finest in choral music from all periods and in a variety of languages.

Our choristers are not merely taught how to sing. Rather, they gain a solid basic music education through the art of choral music:

  • Music Theory Skills
  • Ear Training
  • Vocal Technique
  • Music Notation Reading

 Rehearsal Schedule

Boys and Girls must elect at least one of the following sectional rehearsals:

Sundays-1-2:30 p.m.

Tuesdays-6:15-7:45 p.m.

In addition, all boys and girls must be present for the Thursday rehearsal with the full choir from 6:15-7:45 p.m.

A make-up time for sectional rehearsal is available on Wednesdays from 6:15-7:45 p.m.

Singing Schedule

The choristers sing sing the morning choral service in the Cathedral on the first and third Sundays of the month, and sing Choral Evensong (an afternoon service) on the fourth Sunday of the month.  In addition and in the course of an academic year, they sing the following services and events:

–The Advent Procession

–Noel Night (a holiday tradition in Detroit’d Midtown on the first Saturday in December)

–Nine Lessons and Carols (the traditional Christmas Carol Service in the style of Kings College Cambridge)

–Christmas Eve

–A midwinter concert (usually in February)

–Palm Sunday

–Maundy Thursday

–Easter Day

–Spring Concert (usually in May)

Pictures from the Choir’s England tour, 2014

Concerts and Choir Tours

The Cathedral choirs perform in a few local concerts each season, both at the Cathedral and other churches or performance venues. Each June, the choirs make a tour, singing concerts and services in churches around the country. Past trips have included performances in Washington, DC, Toronto, and Chicago, and most recently the choir was in residence at Chichester Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral in England, and sang a concert in Canterbury Cathedral.

Choir Camp

Each summer, the choristers have a four-day camp in August. New choristers beginning in the fall are highly encouraged to attend. The camp experience enables new choristers to meet the returning singers, and for all to get to know one another.

The choristers begin working on music for the upcoming program year, spend time with the Choir School faculty, and begin setting time with the Choir School faculty, and begin setting the tone for the music education that continues in the fall.

Most of our choristers count Choir Camp as the highlight of their summer!

The Choir School Commitment

The growth and development of each chorister is realized by a commitment to excellence that is shared by Cathedral and the Choir School’s participating families. Success in the Choir School program depends on the commitment of the child and the parents.

Choir parents:

  • Encourage the choristers
  • Cooperate with one another
  • Support the faculty
  • Arrange carpools
  • Aid in recruitment efforts
  • Attend Choir School Parent Meetings

Piano study and music scholarship program

All choristers who show commitment to the program are eligible for reduced-tuition piano study as part of their musical curriculum. These lessons are taught by one of the choir school faculty members.

Although there are no fees involved in our program, the Cathedral does offer scholarship assistance for choristers in the program who are also engaged in private study (by an outside teacher) of an instrument other than the piano. Once a chorister has been in the program for five months, he or she is eligible to apply for this renewable scholarship assistance. Scholarships are announced each February.

This activity is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs & the Detroit Recreation Department.



Boys and Girls who wish to be considered candidates for the choir go through an informal audition process to gain admittance. This is nothing to worry about. We assume that your child has not had previous musical training. The try-out is merely a method by which we gauge a child’s potential for success in the program. It involves a few pitch matching exercises as well as other ear exercises. We want the child to feel as comfortable about the process as possible.

When you have had a chance to review this information and you have decided to have you son or daughter try out, simply call the Cathedral Music Office to set up an appointment. There are no mass auditions. Our Music Staff likes to take each and every audition individually.

The choir program here at the Cathedral is a unique musical opportunity for children. We hope you will consider becoming a part of it.