Schola Cantorum & Kantorei is a training group that provides girls in second-fifth grades a grounding in the basics of choral singing, rhythm, sight-singing, and general musicianship. This group performs at the Young Singers Sharing as well as the PG winter and spring concerts. Schola Cantorum & Kantorei offer two rehearsal times: Monday afternoons from 4:30-5:45 pm OR Monday evenings from 6:15-7:30 pm. Additionally, they rehearse the third Saturday of each month from 10:15-11:30 am. Singers in Schola & Kantorei remain in the group for one to three years.
Troubadors is open to girls primarily in fifth through seventh grades, with most singers remaining in Troubadors for one to four years. Membership in this group requires basic vocal and musical competence. Throughout rehearsals and performances, this group will strive to develop the whole singer, including healthy use of the voice, music literacy, ear training, and musicianship, as well as leadership skills and performance etiquette. Troubadors will begin to develop a core repertoire to be performed at the seasonal concerts, as well as run-outs and short tours. These concerts and tours serve as both educational laboratories for the singers, and opportunities for community outreach. Troubadors rehearse on Monday evenings from 6:00-8:00 pm and on the first and third Saturday each month from 9:30–11:30 am.
Trouvères is open to girls in seventh through twelfth grades. Membership in this group requires proven vocal and musical competence and personal and musical maturity. Singers in the Trouvères must have a strong understanding of rhythmic and tonal sight-reading, and have a growing understanding of vocal use and technique. Singers must demonstrate a level of commitment to rehearsals and performances, and expect to participate in run-outs for the ensemble. Rehearsals include vocal and sight-singing training. Performance opportunities are expanded to include local and regional travel. Trouvères rehearse on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm and from 10:30 am–12:30 pm on the second and third Saturday of each month. NOTE: Not all Trouvères are promoted to the Motet Choir.
Motet Choir is open to girls in ninth grade and above. Rare exceptions are made for younger, very experienced girls who have had extensive musical training outside PG. Auditions for this choir include a more advanced level of sight-reading, proven vocal ability, a working knowledge of musical terms and concepts, proven ability to concentrate and remain engaged in extended rehearsals and excellent attendance history in previous PG choirs. Members of this choir are expected to prepare a fair amount of music outside the rehearsal time. It is rare for a new PG applicant to be placed directly into the Motet Choir. Membership in this group requires an extra level of commitment, and eligibility is determined on a semester-to-semester basis. The Motet Choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm and from 10:30 am–12:30 pm on the second and third Saturday of each month.
Upon acceptance to Pennsylvania Girlchoir and at the end of each season, a singer will be placed in the appropriate choir at the discretion of the Music Director. Criteria considered include a girl’s age, her level of singer-musicianship, her emotional/social maturity, her motor-skill development, and her ability to focus. Girls are advanced between choirs at the end of a season at the end-of-season assessment using the same criteria. A singer is not advanced to another choir during the semester. Advancement between semesters may occur in Schola and Kantorei but are at the discretion of the Music Director.
Here is how a typical girl might progress through the various choirs of PG if she were to begin as a 3rd grader and remain in PG until high school graduation: