Founded in 1985, the Masterworks Children’s Choruses are based on the premise that all children possess the capacity for artistic expression if provided an opportunity for its nurturing. To achieve its artistic goals, the Children’s Choruses are directed by respected artist/teachers who believe in the importance of challenging young people to pursue excellence.
In its 25 year history, the Choruses have performed with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Bach Society of Saint Louis, and at the Missouri Botanical Garden for the St. Louis Children’s Art Festival, the Salute to the Masters Art Festival, Art on the Square, and St. Clair County Teachers’ Institute. They have performed on tour in St. Louis, Chicago, Peoria, Kansas City and Indianapolis. Every year the Children’s Choruses perform with orchestra at the Masterworks Christmas concert, present their own full-length spring and fall concerts, and participate in the annual “Give My Regards to Broadway” concert. They also make selected appearances at local community events.
Click below to listen to a recent MCC Concert
Curriculum: Sequential learning opportunities are designed to carry the child from beginning to advanced stages of musicianship and vocal development. Training includes vocal study, musicianship training, and development of sight-singing skills, with particular emphasis on healthy vocal technique and good intonation. Repertoire will focus on selections suitable for young voices, ranging from folk-songs to jazz, and from classics to Broadway, with lyrics in a variety of modern and classical languages.
The Masterworks Children’s Choruses are ideal for young people who have a love for music and singing, and seek a quality, challenging musical experience. Singers are placed in either of two choruses, depending on age, ability, and experience.
Children’s Chorus: This chorus is open to beginning and less experienced singers, boys and girls in grades 3 to 8. [Second graders of exceptional maturity and musicality may also be considered for membership.] Concentration is on the rudiments of singing, pitch and rhythmic accuracy, ear training, and elementary musicianship—all with the object of cultivating a love of singing. Most essential for this age group is the development of a beautiful, tuneful, and vibrant unison sound, although some age-appropriate part-singing (harmony) will be taught as well.
The Children’s Chorus emphasizes this formation of basic musical skills through quality performance experiences, and participates in four public concerts each year. Students are admitted through an elementary audition process. Prior experience is not required, but students are expected to demonstrate a rudimentary grasp of singing skills, and an appropriate level of maturity.
Audition requirements: Prospective singers are given a ten-minute audition. Candidates may prepare a simple song, such as a standard patriotic selection. Pop and Broadway selections are not appropriate. Candidates will also be given simple musical exercises to demonstrate vocal range and elementary melodic and rhythmic understanding.
Youth Chorale: This chorus is a select ensemble open to talented students in grades 5 through 12. (As MCC is a treble choir, a boy whose voice changes will be retained until the end of the year if the falsetto voice can be maintained.) The Youth Chorale prepares and performs music of intermediate or advanced difficulty, often in two- and three-part harmony.
The chorus performs at four public concerts each year, and aims for a high level of musicianship and artistic achievement. Admission is by audition only. Prior experience is preferred, but not required; older beginners may be accepted at the discretion of the conductor. Students are expected to demonstrate vocal and musical ability, an appropriate level of maturity, and a genuine desire to work toward artistic goals.
Audition requirements: Prospective singers are given a ten-minute audition. Candidates should prepare an audition piece, either from the standard repertoire of art songs, or from previous choral study and experience. Pop and Broadway selections are not appropriate. Candidates will also be expected to demonstrate vocal range and music reading skills.
The ensembles rehearse at:
Saint Paul United Church of Christ
115 West “B” Street
Belleville, Illinois 62220
The Children’s Chorus rehearses from 4:30-6:00 p.m.
The Youth Chorale rehearses from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Each performance also requires participation in a dress rehearsal at an additional time at the concert venue. Please refer to the performance and rehearsal schedule provided at registration.