Embodied by Children’s Festival Chorus, CFC is school-year long curriculum open to all children 8 to 16+ years of age residing throughout southwestern Pennsylvania (and adjoining counties in Ohio and West Virginia).
The Chorus consists of three choirs – Troubadour, Talisman and Bel Canto – offering a progression of increasingly demanding repertoires and vocal styles.
Children are invited to join Children’s Festival Chorus based on competitive auditions held in the spring, late summer and (for the first time this year) in the winter. Choristers are instructed in vocal production, ear training, sight reading, construction and theory, rhythm and movement, and advanced repertoire. The children perform choral selections encompassing classical, folk, traditional and popular. Over the years, CFC’s choristers have mastered challenging selections and arrangements, sung from memory and in over 25 languages.
The program encompasses approximately 40 weekly rehearsals plus typically 8 or more live performances. Attendance is mandatory at all rehearsals, and depending on the choir level, most performances.
The program is tuition-based with chorus tuition ranging from $675.00 - $825.00. Choristers in the Talisman and Bel Canto choirs also are required to attend a week-long Summer Residency Camp, the cost of which is currently $495.00. CFC students receive over eighty hours of quality instruction each year, making the program an incredible bargain when compared to private lessons costing two to three times more per hour.
CFC provides a needs-based Tuition Assistance Program as well as various payment options to allow children from all circumstances to participate.
Ensemble style singing for children from the grades 3 and above.
The Troubadours are comprised of elementary school children from grade 3 and above. These young singers focus on basic vocal production and music reading, utilizing solfege and rudimentary rhythmic training.
The repertoire of high artistic value is predominantly unison and simple two-part arrangements in English, with texts suitable to this age group. Initial study of at least one foreign language is begun at this level. Singers are introduced to the concept of "ensemble" as opposed to solo singing. Over the year, Troubadours will perform in CFC’s two seasonal concerts and may also participate in special community events.
Additional performances for members from grades 5 and above.
The Talisman Choir is the intermediate chorus in CFC’s three-tiered structure with members usually in grade 5 or above. Skills acquired during the Troubadours experience become the cornerstone for a higher order of musical and vocal development and independence. Students learn more difficult music composed of more sophisticated musical structures, texts, voicing and languages.
During a student's tenure in this group, he/she is expected to assume more responsibility for practice outside of rehearsal time, and demonstrate availability for additional performances. Commitment to consistent attendance, professional behavior and high performance standards are stressed to prepare those children who wish to progress to the highest level of the Chorus, the Bel Canto Singers.
Choristers in the Talisman Choir can expect to perform upwards of six times including our schedule of seasonal concerts and community events. On occasion, individual students may also be called upon to perform in major orchestral, operatic and choral productions.
More complex music and concepts for members from grade 6 and above.
The Bel Canto Singers are the most advanced choristers in the CFC. While continuing their musical education, performance is now at a professional level and takes on much more significance. Over the year, students in the “Bels” typically perform in fifteen or more distinct productions including the Pittsburgh Opera and the Pittsburgh Symphony.
This group sings the most complex music, often in several foreign languages on the same program, representing numerous styles and cultures. Members range from grade 6 and above.
Personal characteristics such as a strong commitment to the chorus, a willingness to learn music independently, and ability to travel (and raise funds), leadership qualities and exemplary behavior are equally as important as musical talent for a Bel Canto Singer.
Qualified members may be recommended to audition for positions in national honors choir. The entire chorus has traveled nationally and has created an outstanding reputation for CFC in musical and educational circles.
Children are invited to join Children’s Festival Chorus based on auditions held in the spring, late summer and in the winter.
Auditions for the 2013-2014 Season for the Troubadour Choir will be held on May 13, 2013 by appointment.