UNITED CHOIR SCHOOL

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Levels

United Choir School offers 14 levels of instruction from beginner to advanced. Each level is designed to enable choristers to learn and grow in an environment that is both challenging and fun.


United Girls’ Choir – Core Program (1 rehearsal per week)

The four levels of the United Girls’ Choir’s “Core Program” provide an ideal sequence of instruction for most students, and they comprise the backbone of the organization. Each level of ensemble is offered in a number of locations. All choristers begin their training in one of these ensembles, and most continue in the Core Program throughout their UGC careers, progressing from one level to the next when the necessary skills have been mastered. The four levels of the Core Program are as follows:

Cantata (ages 6-11) is an introductory ensemble focused on the development of proper vocal technique, diction, and rudimentary music theory and sight singing skills, with an emphasis on unison and two-part singing.

Allegra (ages 10-13) offers an opportunity for choristers with more experience to continue developing their musicianship skills and to perform repertoire that is more challenging than that of Cantata.

Chamber Singers (ages 12-16) is an advanced, regional chamber ensemble that fosters musical growth, independence, and maturity through the performance of three-part and four-part repertoire.

Consort (ages 15-18) is a select ensemble of highly experienced choristers, most of whom have spent several years developing their leadership skills in the Chamber Singers division.


UGC Leadership Academy (2 rehearsals per week)

The Leadership Academy division of the United Girls’ Choir is a highly selective regional magnet program for exceptionally talented choristers from all around the state. The Leadership Academy is open by invitation to choristers who have completed at least one year in the United Girls’ Choir and who have demonstrated outstanding musicianship, citizenship, and commitment. Each chorister in this division attends two rehearsals per week, one with an ensemble of the Leadership Academy (which is held at a central venue) and a second with a weekly UGC ensemble at a chosen location for which she serves as a peer leader.  Choristers in the Leadership Academy are frequently invited to participate in special projects including weekend tours and performances of choral-orchestral masterworks, and are sometimes invited to perform as guests of the Elm City Girls’ Choir. There are four levels within the Leadership Academy:

Leadership Academy Level 1 (ages 6-11) is a rigorous introductory ensemble for young choristers of outstanding talent. Each chorister in this level attends one weekly rehearsal in New Haven as well as a second weekly rehearsal with a Cantata ensemble in a chosen location, for which she serves as a peer leader.

Leadership Academy Level 2 (ages 10-13) is a challenging ensemble for exceptional choristers at an intermediate level.  Each chorister in this level attends one weekly rehearsal in New Haven as well as a second weekly rehearsal with an Allegra ensemble in a chosen location, for which she serves as a peer leader.

Leadership Academy Level 3 (ages 12-16) is an advanced ensemble for highly skilled and experienced choristers.  Each chorister in this level attends one weekly rehearsal in New Haven as well as a second weekly rehearsal with a Chamber Singers ensemble in a chosen location, for which she serves as a peer leader.

Leadership Academy Level 4 (ages 15-18) is the most advanced ensemble within the UGC Leadership Academy.  Each chorister in this level attends one weekly rehearsal in New Haven as well as a second weekly rehearsal with a Consort chapter in a chosen location, for which she serves as a peer leader.


UGC Leadership Academy Mentor Program (3 rehearsals per week)

The Mentor Program of the United Girls’ Choir Leadership Academy provides conservatory-level training to a select few choristers of all ages who have achieved extraordinary levels of professionalism and musicianship. Each chorister attends two weekly rehearsals in New Haven plus one or more rehearsals with UGC ensembles for which she serves a section leader. This division is open by invitation to choristers who have completed at least one year in the UGC Leadership Academy and who are ready to be challenged at an even higher level. In addition to serving as section leaders for ensembles of both the Leadership Academy and Core Program, the choristers in this division are frequently invited to join forces with the Collegium and Camerata divisions of the Elm City Girls’ Choir in major performances and tours. Some choristers are also  invited to serve as teaching assistants and apprentice conductors.

LA Mentor Program Level 1 (ages 6-11) is an ensemble for profoundly gifted young students who demonstrate tremendous musical potential. Each chorister attends two weekly rehearsals in New Haven plus a third weekly rehearsal with a Cantata ensemble in a chosen location, for which she serves as a section leader.

LA Mentor Program Level 2 (ages 10-13) is a challenging ensemble for exceptional choristers of intermediate experience. Each chorister in this level attends two weekly rehearsals in New Haven as well as a third weekly rehearsal with an Allegra ensemble in a chosen location, for which she serves as a section leader.

LA Mentor Program Level 3 (ages 12-16) is an advanced ensemble for highly skilled and experienced choristers. Each chorister in Level 3 attends two weekly rehearsals in New Haven plus a third weekly rehearsal with a Chamber Singers ensemble in a chosen location, for which she serves as a section leader.

LA Mentor Program Level 4 (ages 15-18) provides a continuation of the advanced training offered in Level 3, and its members are among the most talented and experienced choristers in the United Choir School. Each chorister in this level attends two weekly rehearsals in New Haven as well as a third weekly rehearsal with a Consort ensemble in a chosen location, for which she serves as a section leader.


Elm City Girls’ Choir – Premier Ensembles (3 or more rehearsals per week)

The Camerata and Collegium Musicum divisions of the Elm City Girls’ Choir are the most advanced ensembles of the United Choir School. All choristers in these divisions serve as teaching assistants and ear training instructors for other UGC ensembles, and many also serve as student conductors. The choristers of Camerata and Collegium collaborate closely with the members of the UGC faculty and play essential leadership roles in the organization. Each member of ECGC attends two weekly rehearsals in New Haven plus one or more rehearsals with UGC ensembles for which she serves as a teaching assistant or student conductor. The Collegium and Camerata divisions are open by invitation to choristers of prodigious talent who have completed at least one year in the Leadership Academy Mentor Program and have been exemplary citizens throughout their UGC careers. ECGC has earned a reputation as one of America’s finest youth choirs and has performed at many prestigious venues throughout the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Walt Disney World.  The group has collaborated with professional orchestras including the New Haven Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, and Moscow State Orchestra, has taken tours to Italy, England, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, and has appeared on national television with Diana Ross.

Collegium Musicum is an extremely selective ensemble composed of highly experienced choristers who have achieved extraordinary levels of professionalism, musicianship, and commitment.  Choristers in this division provide leadership for many other ECGC and UGC ensembles and often perform and tour in collaboration with members of the Camerata division.

Camerata is an elite chamber ensemble of approximately 16 singers and is the most advanced division of ECGC.  Choristers in this ensemble have distinguished themselves by demonstrating the highest levels of musicianship, citizenship, and leadership.  Many members of Camerata are invited to serve as Student Conductors and are called upon to play other essential leadership roles within the organization.

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