We assess each student’s musical ability, experience and maturity before finding them a home among our divisions: Preparatory, Pre-Teen, Teen, and Advanced Performing Ensembles. While prior singing experience is not required, it may influence division placement.
All of our students get the chance to perform: beginners at our self-produced concerts; the advanced at professional concerts and contracted engagements. At each level, our students progress in their musical skills, from the most rudimentary introduced in the Preparatory Division, to the more complex required for professional-level performances of sophisticated and challenging choral music.
Students new to our program have a first introduction to the art of choral singing and the study of music notation. They explore differences between their speaking and singing voices, learn basic vocal technique, begin sight-reading with tonic solfege, learn to follow a printed score and sing at least one song per semester in a foreign language. As students progress, repertoire moves from unison and two-part singing to three or more voice parts, more complex rhythmic and melodic material and additional foreign languages.
Our advanced singers join the Junior or Concert Ensembles, or the Men’s Ensemble for boys with changed voices. Advanced singers study and perform a wide range of diverse choral music in three to six voice parts and in many languages, including choral masterworks with orchestra. With more rehearsal time and a vigorous training program, these choristers reach the highest standards of vocal performance. They also enjoy increased opportunities for contracted performance engagements, concert tours and professional recording sessions.
Brooklyn Youth Chorus divisions are organized by age first, to support healthy vocal development at different stages of growth and maturity. Within these age-based divisions, students class assignments reflect their current level of skill and experience. Our most advanced students are invited to join one of the three performing ensembles. All students are assessed annually to determine placement for the following program year.