2020-21 AWARDS & PARTICIPANTS
The Saint Gregory Choral Award — Dominic M. Bechtel
National School Choral Award — David Krysiak and Nicholas Wynn
The Curley Choral Program’s purpose is threefold:
- To provide students training in the ancient art of choral singing;
- To develop musicianship and provide musical experiences through participation in a performing organization;
- To serve the Curley community by sharing the gift of choral music in concert performances and in conjunction with other school functions.
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
A SHORT HISTORY
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:
- The Archbishop Curley High School Choir (Curley Choir)
This Choir is comprised of current Curley students in grades nine through twelve. The Choir performs mainstream choral literature and consists of approximately eighty (80) students.
- The Archbishop Curley Schola
The Schola is comprised of current Curley students who are invited to become members based on music acuity and demonstrated dedication. The Schola rehearses after school two days each week. The Schola specializes in the performance of a capella music and consists of approximately fourteen (14) students. Days and dates of Schola rehearsals are listed in the Choral Program Directory following the Schedule of Performances and Special Rehearsals.
- The Luminare Choir
The Luminare Choir is comprised of invited current Curley students and invited Curley Choir alumni who possess a high degree of skill in the craft of choral singing. All members are required to be fluent sight readers. The Luminare Choir performs intricate choral music in a variety of venues, particularly liturgical settings. Days and dates of Luminare Choir rehearsals are listed in the Choral Program Directory following the Schedule of Performances and Special Rehearsals.
- The Archbishop Curley Ringers
The Ringers are a handbell choir which trains students in the art of handbell ringing. Membership is open to all current students enrolled in the choral music program at Curley. The Ringers perform at the Christmas and Spring choral concerts and at various other times throughout the season.
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:
- The choirs are performing organizations and, in order to function properly, require the regular attendance of their members at rehearsals and performances. This is absolutely essential, because each chorister needs to learn the skills and the music taught in each rehearsal. Obviously, each member also needs to be present for each performance in order for the choir to perform up to standard. Please remember, there is simply no way to replace a missing singer at either a rehearsal or a performance.
- The choirs are teams, just as surely as any athletic team. In order for the team to do its best, each member has a responsibility to contribute to his team and to the school the team represents. In the context of the choirs, this can only be accomplished by attending all rehearsals and performances.
- Responsibility is a key lesson taught by membership in the any of the Curley choirs. Each member is expected to “pull his own weight”. This lesson will help the student’s outlook and performance in his school, in his family and in the workplace.
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 Honors 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.
HONORS & AWARDS
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 formal and liturgical uniforms. The levels of membership and the ribbon colors associated with each, in ascending order, are as follows:
- Junior Singer (light blue ribbon)
- Senior Singer (dark blue ribbon)
- Full Chorister (red ribbon)
- Distinguished Chorister (yellow ribbon)
- Choirmaster’s Chorister (green ribbon)
These awards are acknowledged at the annual Performing Ensembles Awards Ceremony.
QUESTIONS OR FURTHER INFORMATION
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE MASTERCLASS PROGRAM
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 Dr. Stephen Cleobury, Dr. Gerre Hancock and Dr. Leo C. Nestor.
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 teamwork and fellowship among members of the choirs that immeasurably enhance 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.
WATCH AND LISTEN TO SELECTIONS FROM THE CHRISTMAS CONCERT 2019
The full Curley Choir sings “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” Click HERE
The Curley Schola sings “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella.” Click HERE
The Luminare Choir sings Biebl’s “Ave Maria.” Click HERE
The Curley Ringers Handbell Choir plays “The Carol of the Bells.” Click HERE
The full Curley Choir sings “Lo! How A Rose.” Click HERE