Following an English musical tradition going back generations, a young people’s Chorister Program, designed with musical skills training and teamwork in mind, is making beautiful music and filling a special space for anyone who participates or listens.
By Holly Kennedy
Following an English musical tradition going back generations, a young people’s Chorister Program, designed with musical skills training and teamwork in mind, is making beautiful music and filling a special space for anyone who participates or listens. The program, offered at Christ’s Church and led by Ruaraidh (Rury) Sutherland, Director of Music, is designed to provide professional musical education and voice training to ages 8 through 13. In addition to music theory, sight reading, and vocal technique, students learn Episcopal Church history.
Sutherland, British-born and trained, is extremely charming, funny, and full of energy. He literally could not sit still when given the opportunity to talk about his love of music and of engaging children with his passion. “It’s quite fun, and also opens a window into other worlds,” he said. “Appreciating, understanding, and performing music is a skill set worth developing, and leads to many paths in college and adult life. It’s also been scientifically proven that exposure to music helps with levels of concentration, math skills, discipline, and self-confidence.”
He added, “As kids are exposed to sports and competition and different subjects in school, music is another place to be on a team and build skills and have fun while learning. In every child’s life it’s good to be part of a team, part of a tradition. Together, we enter a 1,000-year tradition of making music.”
The Chorister Program is free and open to all Rye boys and girls. The commitment is to participate for a full school year. Rehearsals are held Thursday afternoons throughout the school year, and performances are scheduled twice a month on Sunday mornings until mid-June. Young people who love it and stick with it to complete the three-year program will earn a deep and abiding love for music.
This spring and again in 2014, the Choristers are recording a professional CD. In 2015, they will be going on tour throughout the United Kingdom. For more information, contact Mr. Sutherland at 967-1749, ext. 229, or firstname.lastname@example.org.