JUNIOR DIVISION

The Junior Division of the National Children’s Chorus consists of the Prelude Level, the Minuet Level, the Sonata Level, and the Concerto Level. In the Junior Division, students with beginning or intermediate musical experience build their skills and gain confidence in encouraging and creative rehearsal environments and performances. The Junior Division performs in two showcase concerts each year at Schoenberg Hall and Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, The Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York, and the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C.
 

PRELUDE LEVEL (AGES 5-6, NO EXPERIENCE)

Members of the Prelude Level are introduced to the thrilling world of music in a fun and interactive class designed to open up the ear and explore the possibilities of musical expression through listening and moving. Basic vowel formation, proper posture, and the beginnings of breathing technique are taught, while the foundation of the Kodály Method is set. Prelude Level students will have the privilege of working weekly with the following esteemed personnel:

Christopher Yraola, conductor (Los Angeles)
Kelly Adams, Kodály musicianship instructor (Los Angeles)

Marianne Ciasulli, conductor (New York)
Dmitry Glivinskiy, associate pianist (New York)
Sarah Meadows and Kaitlin Simonson, Kodály musicianship instructors (New York)

Jennifer Chmiel, conductor and Kodály musicianship instructor (Washington D.C.)
 

MINUET LEVEL (AGES 7-8, NO EXPERIENCE)

Members of the Minuet Level are introduced to the formal structure of a choral ensemble—seating, rehearsal protocol, choral tone and blend. Musical terms are taught and used freely in an environment where students are encouraged to be curious, ask questions, and seek answers. Vocal technique, vowel formation, breathing, diction and phrasing are emphasized in order to create a beautiful and professional sound, while sight-singing intervals and rhythms will be practiced in Kodály training. Minuet Level students will have the privilege of working weekly with the following esteemed personnel:

Lisa Fenderson, conductor & Kodály instructor (Los Angeles)
Dr. Hsin-Yi Chang, associate pianist (Los Angeles)
Kelly Adams, Arie Moriguchi, and Lavone Seetal, Kodály musicianship instructors (Los Angeles)

Sarah Childers, conductor (New York)
Dmitry Glivinskiy, associate pianist (New York)
Sara Meadows and Ana Quintana, Kodály musicianship instructors (New York)
 

SONATA LEVEL (AGES 8-10, SOME EXPERIENCE TO MUCH EXPERIENCE)

Members of the Sonata Level are trained to be well-versed in the areas of tone, vowel formation, diction, breathing, and musicianship. From here, students are taught the beginnings of advanced choral and vocal technique, including singing in 2-part harmony within the context of more sophisticated repertoire that will include texts in foreign languages. The beginnings of advanced Kodály methodology will also be employed as part of the curriculum. Sonata Level students will have the privilege of working weekly with the following esteemed personnel:

Christopher Yraola, conductor (Los Angeles)
Dr. Hiroyo Hatsuyama, associate pianist (Los Angeles)
Lisa Fenderson, Kelly Adams, Arie Moriguchi, and Lavone Seetal, Kodály musicianship instructors (Los Angeles)

Marianne Ciasulli, conductor (New York)
Saffron Chung, associate pianist (New York)
Sara Meadows and Ana Quintana, Kodály musicianship instructors (New York)

Dr. Benjamin Hutchens, conductor (Washington, D.C.)
Kathy Detwiler, associate pianist (Washington, D.C.)
Jennifer Chmiel, Kodály musicianship instructor (Washington, D.C.)
 

CONCERTO LEVEL (AGES 10-12, SOME EXPERIENCE TO MUCH EXPERIENCE)

Members of the Concerto Level are expected to possess intermediate skills and knowledge in the areas of tone, vowel formation, diction, breathing and musicianship, as well as be comfortable singing in harmony. Rehearsal speed and intensity are augmented here, as students prepare themselves for advancement into the Senior Division ranks. Private vocal study is introduced at this level, where students regularly meet with an instructor for ten minute intervals, enhancing work on head tone development. Sight singing in the Kodály Method will also be employed as part of the curriculum, with students getting greater opportunity to utilize their growing knowledge of rhythms and pitches. Concerto Level students will have the privilege of working weekly with the following esteemed personnel:

Dr. Pamela Blackstone, conductor (Los Angeles)
Dr. Hiroyo Hatsuyama, associate pianist (Los Angeles)
Lisa Fenderson, Kelly Adams, Arie Moriguchi, and Lavone Seetal, Kodály musicianship instructors (Los Angeles)
Griffith Frank, private vocal instructor (Los Angeles)

Kaitlin Simonson, conductor (New York)
David Štech, principal pianist (New York)
Sara Meadows and Ana Quintana, Kodály musicianship instructors (New York)
Adrian Rosas, private voice instructor (New York)