The Saint Gregory Choral Award -- Matthew Bechtel
The Curley Choral Program’s purpose is threefold:
Our program is geared to train students with no prior singing experience. Indeed, only rarely does the Curley Choir encounter new members who have enjoyed any prior appreciable choral experiences. New members, therefore, should not be dissuaded by a lack of singing experience. WE WILL TRAIN YOU!!!
The 2018 Curley Choir sings the "Alleluia" from Mozart's Exultate, Jubilate
The Archbishop Curley Choir was founded in 1996. As a result of the talent and dedication of the choir’s charter members, the Choir has, in its initial seasons of existence, earned a place alongside Curley’s other performing ensembles. The Choir has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. The Choir continues to grow in scope and membership, and we are proud to offer incoming students an opportunity to become part of this vital organization.
The choral music program at Archbishop Curley High School is represented by the following four performing organizations:
As mentioned above, incoming members of the Curley Choral Program need not have had any prior singing experience. What is required, however, is a willingness to learn and a commitment to faithfully attend all rehearsals and performances. Commitment in this regard is essential because:
As noted in the school’s course catalog, one (1) academic credit per school year is awarded to students who successfully complete the Curley Choir course. Inasmuch as the Curley Choir is an academic class just as any other subject in the school’s curriculum, all requirements that attach to an academic course at Archbishop Curley High School also attach to the Choir. Grades will be assessed each quarter based upon the student’s work in the Choir class. Choristers who are invited to join the Archbishop Curley Schola are accorded Franciscan Scholar Level credit.
Freshmen choristers should note that membership in the Curley Choir satisfies the school’s freshman Fine Arts requirement, provided that the chorister receives a passing grade for his work in the Choir. Freshmen choristers are free, of course, to take other Fine Arts electives available to freshmen, such as Frosh Instrument (band), Art Seminar or Music Appreciation. If a freshman chorister elects to take one of these additional Fine Arts electives, he will receive extra credit and his GPA and QPA will be computed accordingly. Freshmen who elect to take Curley Choir and who do not take an additional freshman Fine Arts elective will receive two (2) extra study halls per six day schedule cycle.
The choral music program boasts a series of awards and honors that are bestowed to recognize distinguished achievement and to provide incentives for choristers.
The Saint Gregory Choral Award is awarded by the Choirmaster to a graduating senior who has shown consistent musical excellence and dedication. The award is presented at the Baccalaureate Mass.
The National School Choral Award is bestowed upon the graduating senior who, by vote of all choristers, subject to the Choirmaster’s approval, has made the most significant contributions to the Curley Choir. The award is presented at the Performing Ensembles Award Ceremony.
The Most Distinguished Junior, Most Distinguished Sophomore and Most Distinguished Freshman awards are bestowed upon the member of each class who, by vote of all choristers, subject to the Choirmaster’s approval, has made the most significant contributions to the Curley Choir of any member in his class. These awards are presented at the Performing Ensembles Award Ceremony.
Levels of membership awards are granted to choristers who successfully pass tests evidencing levels of music achievement associated with each level of membership. These levels of membership are symbolized by the color of the ribbon on which a chorister’s choir medal is hung and worn as part of the chorister’s “run-out”, formal and liturgical uniforms. The levels of membership and the ribbon colors associated with each, in ascending order, are as follows:
These awards are acknowledged at the annual Performing Ensembles Awards Ceremony.
The Choirmaster is always keen to hear from prospective members and their families. If you would like any additional information or have any questions regarding the Archbishop Curley Choral Music Program, please contact the Choirmaster, Michael Gaffney. The Choirmaster’s email address is as follows: email@example.com.
As part of its academic curriculum, the Curley choral program offers to all choristers a masterclass, usually held in the spring of each academic year. The masterclass brings a world-class choral conductor to the Curley campus to spend two days intensive work with our choirs. Traditionally, a mini-concert is presented for the masterclass clinician to assess, and this assessment is followed by sessions stressing choral pedagogy and musical interpretation. Exposing our young choristers to the tutelage of world-renowned musicians is an experience our choristers will remember for the rest of their lives. Past MasterClass clinicians have included Mr. Stephen Cleobury, Dr. Gerre Hancock and Dr. Leo C. Nestor.
The guest choirmaster for MasterClass 2013 was Dr. Stephen Cleobury. Probably, at present, the world's most famous choral conductor, Dr. Cleobury has, since 1982, been director of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, England. This choir, founded in 1641, has sung continuously since that time and is among the most well-known choral organizations in the world. Dr. Cleobury and the choir have numerous recordings to their credit, all on the world's most respected record labels. Dr. Cleobury, prior to accepting his appointment at King's College, served as sub-organist at London's Westminster Abbey and, later, as Director of Music at the Roman Catholic cathedral in London, Westminster Cathedral. He also served for many years as the conductor of the BBC Singers, one of Europe's premiere professional vocal ensembles. He continues to serve as conductor laureate of the BBC Singers and is the conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society.
Under Dr. Cleobury the Curley choristers learned vocal technique and focused, in their repertoire, on interpretive nuances. All of the music that was featured during MasterClass 2013 will be performed during the Curley Choir's Spring Concert on Saturday, May 11, 2013 in the Curley Auditorium.
A fine, cohesive performing ensemble can only be forged by hard work, dedication and practice, practice, practice. These are the reasons why the choirs rehearse frequently, why they perform so regularly and why their members are required to participate in a program of academic musicianship. Our choircamp programs, which include Fall Mini-Choircamp, Spring Mini-Choircamp and Summer Choircamp, are designed to provide opportunities for practice, performance and musical study. In addition, the experience of living together also fosters a sense of teamsmanship and fellowship among members of the choirs that immeasurably enhances the group’s musical cohesion and sense of music purpose. The Choirmaster reserves the right to refuse permission to participate in the choircamp program to any chorister who, in the Choirmaster’s sole discretion, is unfit due to a demonstrated lack of maturity. Successful participation in these camps will positively affect the Curley Choir choristers’ grades.
Through the dedication of parent and alumni volunteers, the prices of these programs are kept to a bare minimum, making participation in these programs a possibility for every member.