At Palmer we strongly encourage and highly value children singing and leading worship. We offer excellent choral music instruction at no cost, and without regard for the religious affiliation of students’ families. As an affiliated member of the Royal School of Church Music in America, Palmer’s choristers grow in their understanding of Anglican liturgy and music, and deepen their Christian faith. Singing in choir promotes self-confidence, focus, team work, self-discipline, and most importantly the joy of music making with others. Music reading ability is achieved through the implementation of a Kodály-inspired singing curriculum. The Kodály method is based on the teachings and principles of the 20th century Hungarian musician, ethnomusicologist, and pedagogue Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967). It is a highly sequential, singing based approach to music literacy that centers on a child’s development, and is used around the world, including many of the finest Cathedral choirs in the USA and the UK. . Tools of the Kodály method include rhythm duration syllables, solfège utilizing moveable Do, and hand signs that physically reinforce tonal memory. Through choir children and youth grow in their musicianship by aurally, visually, and kinesthetically experiencing music through signing, instruments, singing games, and folk dances. In addition to participation in worship the children’s choirs enjoy fellowship opportunities outside of Palmer, such as trips to the Houston zoo, the museum of natural science, movies, pool, laser tag, outreach projects (i.e. singing for assisted living facilties) and travel.
Cherub Choir (Pre-K-K)
Our smallest choristers focus on finding their “in-tune singing voice”, securing the ability to match pitch, as well as keeping a steady beat. Cherubs are gradually introduced to the skill of singing confidently in front of a large congregation by periodically singing short introits during the 9:00 am Rite II Eucharist. Inducting the youngest members of our parish into our choral cultural early on is an excellent way to teach children the importance of their place within the liturgy and that all are welcome and able to contribute to the whole community.
St. Nicholas Choir (Gr. 1-2)
Singers in St. Nicholas Choir are entrusted with the leadership responsibility of modeling for our Cherub singers how to effectively participate in their addition to worship. St. Nicholas choir and Cherub choir sing combined introits periodically throughout the academic year including the major feast days of the liturgical calendar. In St. Nicholas, the choristers are first introduced to the mechanics of music through the study of hymnody, as well as seeing their repertoire in staff notation. They are also exposed to age appropriate level anthem repertoire.
St. Gregory Choir (Gr. 3-6)
St. Gregory choristers prepare and present an expanded and more challenging sacred repertoire, and begin an in depth study of service music, hymnody, and psalmody. The basics of choral decorum and the logistics of liturgies are taught. By singing periodically with the adult choir, as well as helping to lead special services throughout the academic year, they are given a greater responsibility in worship. In keeping with the philosophy of granting these choristers more responsibility, they are entrusted with their own hymnals, octavos, and binders. As an affiliate member of the Royal School of Church Music, the St. Gregory choristers work on the basics of music theory within the RSCM training scheme, which helps the choristers to develop their musical understanding.
St. Cecilia Choir (Girls Gr. 7-12)
This choir is composed of trebles in grades 7-12 and are highly integrated with the adult choir, singing often in worship. Because of their involvement with the adult choir, they are held to the same high standards. By this point in their musical development these choristers have mastered proper vocal technique and production, employ correct diction in various languages using the International Phonetic Alphabet, have developed excellent sight reading abilities, and sing with refined musicianship. These youth serve as leaders and models for St. Gregory choristers and even adopt a younger chorister to mentor. Special liturgies such as Choral Evensong and Choral Matins are led by the St. Cecilia Choir.
To learn more about the Children and Youth Choirs at Palmer, please contact Brady Knapp.