Since 1963, Saint Paul’s Choir School has formed and educated boys in the rich music tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. The Choir School seeks to embrace the great cathedral school tradition as it unites a rigorous musical and academic curriculum with our Catholic faith and moral tradition, preparing each student to grow and flourish in a dynamic and changing world.
We hope you find our website helpful as you explore the possibility of offering your son the wonderful opportunity to discover his God-given gifts and talents through a rewarding Choir School education.
Hire the Choir!
The Choir is available for weddings, funerals, corporate Christmas parties and fundraising concerts. The Choir of St. Paul’s is one of the few specialist choirs of boys and men to be found outside New York, so booking our Choir is sure to make your liturgy or occasion a very special event. The director of music will guide you through the considerable available musical choices. You can book either the Boys (plus Director and Organist) or the full Choir of Boys and Men (plus Director and Organist). Booking of the Choir is subject to availability, and available outside of the academic year only under exceptional circumstances. Pricing upon request.
To book the Choir, please contact James Kennerley, Director of Music, at 617-868-8658 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the school
Saint Paul’s Choir School (SPCS) is private Catholic school for boys in the 3rd through 8th grades located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. The school was founded in 1963 by Dr. Theodore Marier and is part of Saint Paul’s Parish which is led by Father William Kelly, Pastor, who is an alumnus of SPCS. It is the only all-boys Catholic Choir School in the United States.
Dedicated to providing rigorous academic training and an extensive and unique education in music and liturgy, Saint Paul’s Choir School accepts musically talented and academically qualified boys ages nine through fourteen for full-time study in grades three through eight. Students commute from several communities in the greater Boston area.
The area’s best secondary schools aggressively recruit Saint Paul’s Choir School students. Many SPCS graduates have attended Roxbury Latin School, St. Sebastian’s School, Boston College High School, Xaverian Brothers High School, and Catholic Memorial. Students have also recently attended Belmont Hill School, Beaver Country Day School, Boston University Academy, Middlesex School, Deerfield Academy, Noble and Greenough, Boston Latin School, Milton Academy, Arlington Catholic and Phillips Andover Academy.
Almost every year, several eighth graders are named “Scholar of the School” at Boston College High School, an honor conferred only on those scoring in the top five percent of all candidates taking the entrance examination. In the past, Choir School students have also won “Ignatian Scholarships,” four-year, full tuition scholarships at Boston College High.
The famous choir of boys and men is at the heart of the Choir School. Through singing daily liturgical music, the boys learn how to read music fluently, and how to sing skillfully and confidently. They learn about where the music has come from historically, and how it was made. They sing music ranging from Gregorian chant (which is a key feature in any sung Mass) to contemporary commissions for the choir.
A demanding and thorough music theory course is taught using the internationally acclaimed materials of the ABRSM. Each boy takes individual piano or organ lessons, also using the ABRSM syllabus, which is very good at drawing together the various elements of the music program. As the boys continue through the school and their voices change, a ‘Choral Studies’ course teaches the boys about Conducting, Composition, and choir training. The study of the organ is also available to qualified students.
Uniquely integrated with music study, the school’s diverse academic offerings aspire to give each student a strong foundation in basic skills and to provide multiple opportunities for enrichment. The positive influence of the study of music on other academic areas is clearly evident. Classes are small and motivation is high among both students and teachers, making for a lively, energetic and creative classroom environment.
Mission and Purpose
Saint Paul’s Choir School is a school for boys in grades 3 through 8 and is a vital part of Saint Paul’s Parish in Harvard Square. Guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church, we work in partnership with committed parents and inspirational teachers to form the faith, character, and intellectual and musical abilities of our young men. Our goals are to help students pursue their highest God-given potential, prepare them for the strongest secondary schools and beyond, and equip them to become virtuous leaders who serve God and the world.
Saint Paul’s Choir School, the only Catholic boys’ choir school in the United States, identifies and accepts boys from the greater Boston area who are musically talented and academically qualified. In the context of a Catholic environment, students are offered intensive musical training, a rigorous academic program, and a solid moral, spiritual formation.
The school seeks to develop the diverse musical talents of each boy so that he may use his musical gifts for the greater glory of God, enriching the liturgical services at Saint Paul Church and serving the community at large by the performance of master works of choral literature.
Through challenging academic offerings, the school aspires to give each student a strong foundation in basic skills and provide multiple opportunities for enrichment, so that Choir School graduates may continue their formation in secondary schools recognized for their academic excellence.
Caring, dedicated teachers who model Christian values, strive in a small and personal school community to foster the moral, ethical, and spiritual growth of each student in order to define his relationship to God, encourage a genuine understanding and respect of others, and develop a strong sense of commitment and service to both individuals and communities.
Saint Paul’s Choir School was founded in 1963 by Dr. Theodore Marier, an internationally acclaimed scholar of Gregorian chant. Dr. Marier’s vision in founding the school was to revive the centuries-old boy choir tradition in service of Catholic liturgy in the United States. In so doing, he founded a school that combines the three great foundations of Catholic faith, music and education.
His successor, Mr. John Dunn, an educator, choral director, and organist, continued the tradition. Mr. Dunn became the school’s second music director when Dr. Marier retired in 1986 and, as of 1998, he combined the role with that of headmaster. For a time, the school was known as the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School.
Following his retirement in 2010, Mr. Dunn was succeeded as Music Director and Choirmaster by Mr. John Robinson. Mr. Robinson’s entire professional career has been in work with English boys’ choirs, most notably those of St. John’s College Cambridge and Canterbury Cathedral.
The school reached a significant milestone in 2013, with the celebration of its 50th anniversary led by Bishop Peter Uglietto, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Boston, and one of the first students at the Choir School. As part of the celebration of this significant anniversary, the school took the name of Saint Paul’s Choir School once again.
In 2014, the school launched its first international CD recording, Christmas in Harvard Square. In 2015, Father William Kelly, an alumnus of the school, was named the Pastor at Saint Paul Parish. The school has had a tremendous history. We believe the future is even brighter!
Catholic Faith Formation at the Choir School
An education at the Choir School is enhanced and strengthened through formation and study of the Roman Catholic faith. The desire for each student choir boy is that he grows in his knowledge and love of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – so that he may recognize both the importance of God in his life and his God-given talents so as to place those talents at the service of the Church and the community in which he lives.
In recognition of the importance of prayer in order to grow in relationship with God, Holy Mass is celebrated each school day. It is the hope that through the singing of the Mass and understanding the rich musical tradition of the Church, each choirboy will appreciate at a deeper level the power of God in his life and thus respond as faith-filled individuals.
The Choir School is dedicated to providing theological education at each grade level in keeping with the guidelines for the education of young people in the Catholic faith. The highly acclaimed Faith and Life Catechetical Series, published by Ignatius Press, guides the religion curriculum in grades four through eight. This education is complemented by additional programs that encourage the living of a virtuous life and by the integration of social outreach projects and other activities that enhance the classroom experience so as to promote faithful living at all moments of life.
Saint Paul’s Choir School is part of Saint Paul Parish in Harvard Square, which is a parish of the Archdiocese of Boston. Like all parishes, Saint Paul’s is led by a pastor, Father Bill Kelly (a graduate of SPCS!) who has ultimate responsibility to shepherd the entire community, which includes the parish, the Harvard Catholic Center, and St. Paul’s Choir School.
The SPCS President/Headmaster is delegated authority by the Pastor of St. Paul’s parish to run the school.
Assisting the Pastor in his governance responsibilities and the President/Headmaster in his leadership responsibilities, the school has an advisory board appointed by the Pastor. Members of the Advisory Board come from a variety of professions but share in the desire to advance the mission of SPCS.
Although the Advisory Board has no fiduciary responsibility or authority, it functions as a working board, taking on special projects to ensure the school’s growth and viability.
Mr. Paul Haley, Chair
Managing Director, Barclays Capital
Parent of Alumnus
Mr. Geoffrey Why, Vice-Chair
Counsel, Verrill Dana, LLP
SPCS Past Guild President
Parent of Alumni
Mrs. Susan Carr, Clerk
Logistics and Documentation Specialist, BOSTON AGREX, LLC.
SPCS Past Guild President
Parent of Alumnus
Mr. Arthur Chamian
Parent of Current Student
Dr. Mathias Ehrhardt
Parent of Current Students
Founder and Director, Autoris
Mrs. Sylvia Fernandez-del-Castillo
Parent of Alumnus & Gala Chair
Mrs. Maureen Lapus
Parent of Alumnus
Mr. Tim McGuirk
New York, NY
Mr. Sam O'Neill
Emmanuel College, President's Office
Dr. Anthony Schemmer
Mr. Scott Wahle
Mr. Steven Andaloro
SPCS Past Guild President
Parent of Alumni