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About The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School

The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School are a group of boys, between fourth- and eighth-graders, who sing soprano in the choir of the Church of St. Paul in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, outside Boston. Despite the Vatican's Instruction on Sacred Music and Sacred Liturgy, De musica sacra (1958), which declared that every effort should be made that city center churches have their own boys' choir school, the school is currently the only one in the U.S. associated with the Catholic church. The school was founded in 1963, in response to the Vatican instruction, with 25 choristers chosen from around the Boston archdiocese. Under director Theodore Marier they made rapid musical progress, and within several years of their founding the boys were performing with top Boston ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra (at the Tanglewood Music Festival as well as in Boston itself), the Handel and Haydn Society, and the Boston Pops, in whose annual Nutcracker ballet performance they appeared in the wordless chorus in the Waltz of the Snowflakes, fulfilling Tchaikovsky's suggestion that the part should be taken by boys if possible.

Shortly after Marier became director, the school was renamed the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School. John Dunn became director in 1986, and he was succeeded in 2010 by John Robinson, formerly Assistant Organist at England's Canterbury Cathedral. Robinson has expanded the choir's liturgical repertoire and added professional male adult singers to the ensemble. In 2013, its 50th anniversary year, the choir reverted to its original name. Choristers, numbering about 55 as of the mid-2010s, take a general curriculum as well as singing and other music classes. They pay part of their tuition by performing at area weddings and funerals. The profile of the Boys of St. Paul Choir School has been raised by the release of their debut album, Christmas in Harvard Square (2014), and especially by their signing to the large Sony Classical label. Their Sony debut, Ave Maria, appeared in 2017. ~ James Manheim

Cambridge, MA

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