frequently asked questions

What is admission to Saint Paul's Choir School based upon?

  • Admission to St. Paul’s Choir School is by audition and application. We accept academically able boys with a promising musical ear. Whether your boy has a talent for singing in the car or on stage, he is capable of being trained for choral mastery. For more information or to schedule an audition, please contact the Admissions Office at or call (617) 868-8658. The atmosphere of the audition is informal. Our musical faculty is eager to spot potential musicians, not just those already experienced in performance.​

How talented must a boy be to join Saint Paul's Choir School?

  • Boys at Saint Paul's Choir School run the gamut from those with no training to those with substantial vocal coaching. Entry into the school is based upon a simple, informal test of interest and the ability to match pitch. If your son has ever sung in the car and you've thought "Not bad," then he is welcome to audition. The number of opportunities for boys at this age to truly master something on a national and international level are limited. The school's vocal training has brought boys who had not sung formally prior to entry into the Boston Symphony Orchestra, onto two professional records, and on television and radio programs hosted by WGBH, Sirius, Fox, Good Morning America, and Catholic TV.​

Is financial aid available to all? Is it need-based or merit?

  • Financial Aid is need-based and available to all families. We seek to make the cost of attending St. Paul's Choir School affordable so that every boy that is qualified and desires to come will be able to attend. Learn more about our tuition and financial aid at the following link: Tuition & Financial Aid. Apply for financial aid at the following link: Apply for Financial Aid.

What type of education is Saint Paul's Choir School modeled on?

  • St. Paul’s Choir School choir is modeled on the European tradition of choir schools which support the famous choirs, consisting of both men and boys. Professional singers from Boston’s rich music field sing with the boys on Sundays, and as they perform a daily schedule of liturgical singing, performing in concerts, and engaging in tours and recordings.

  • Saint Paul's Choir School also borrows the best aspects of a number of pedagogic models:

    • Like Montessori education, Saint Paul's has mixed age groups. This allows for leadership opportunities in the classroom that mimic those seen within the choir.

    • The school also uses a religious education model that is common to parochial schools, including opportunities for sacrament preparation.

    • The school borrows heavily from Classical models of education, teaching Latin, music theory, rhetoric, and French.

    • Lastly, Saint Paul's Choir School uses the renowned Writer's Workshop program, in addition to social studies, language arts, science, and math, to shape boys into learners that are ready for an accomplished high school career and beyond.

What performances might I expect my son to be a part of during the school year?

  • The Choir performs during the academic year, from mid-September to mid-June, and sings at Mass daily, Tuesday-Sunday. Additionally, the Choir performs a number of concerts throughout the year at nearby parishes, at weddings and funerals, and in conjunction with other choirs who travel to the Boston area. In recent years, the Choir has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Vienna Boys Choir, and the Harvard Glee Club, and for audiences in New York, Washington, DC, and at the Vatican.

Are boys divided by age or ability?

  • The boys are divided into several groups: The Pre-Choristers (who are in training) in grades three through five, the Choristers, who make up the main Choir and who act as the public face of the Choir School, and the Chorus, which includes former Choristers whose voices are changing and must rest their developing adult voices engage in an extended musical and academic curriculum, as well as students who have always been part of the Chorus.

Is there an option for boys whose voices have changed or whose interests include non-singing commitments?

  • The Chorus Program is a less intensive musical program but with many extra academic enrichment offerings. Chorus members sing regularly throughout the week in leading responses and hymnody at the Masses. Chorus Members are also eligible to become Altar Servers, Readers at Mass and undertake many additional leadership opportunities. The Chorus pupils are not required to take part in extra rehearsals and events during the school week, so they can focus more on other activities. Participation in competitive sports outside of SPCS is also more possible for the Chorus program students. There are many benefits to this program, and once the choristers’ voices change they enjoy those benefits as well. Members of the Chorus will also receive academic enrichment that will develop key skills for boys’ high school applications and their possible careers. Assignments and projects from these courses will serve as useful portfolio builders for these students when entering area high schools. Just as the Chorister program develops a robust musical skill set, the Chorus program’s academic enrichment offerings are designed to provide students with alternative skill sets. Each year, two enrichment programs will be offered (Fall and Spring), and may include public speaking and media production.​

Saint Paul's Choir School | Harvard Square

Office: (617) 868-8658

29 Mount Auburn Street

Cambridge, MA 02138

©2020 by Saint Paul's Choir School