The Australian Boys Choir’s annual Summer School is HUGE! Attended by over 100 of our boys aged from 8 to 16, it is an integral part of our training program. Boys stay for 3, 5 or 7 nights, according to their training group level. As well as gaining music skills that go well beyond what it is possible to achieve in the normal classroom environment, the boys gain invaluable skills that will prepare them not only for the rigours of touring internationally, but for life. But most of all, it is about making friends and having FUN!! Indeed, many of our Old Boys forged lifelong friendships at Summer School.
The packed daily itinerary revolves around meal times and lessons, and starts and ends with ‘Singalong’ which is, without doubt, a highlight of the camp for everyone. Our tutors each take turns leading Singalong sessions of 10-15 minutes. Commencing with just a starting note, the tutor will use Kodaly hand signs to teach the tune silently, then ask the boys to sing the tune back to them using solfa. Within 10 minutes, the tutor will have the group of 100 singing a composition they may never have heard before in a complex 4 part round. With the experienced singers assisting the newer members of the choir, Singalong is where the magic happens!
The boys also attend regular tutoring sessions in small groups with one or two other boys. Progression through the ranks of the Australian Boys Choir is achieved on merit. Each training level has a core set of musical skills that they must pass before progressing to the next level. The boys attending Summer School for the full week receive the equivalent of a full term of tuition!
In terms of musical skills passed, Summer School 2019 was a tremendous success:
And we also celebrated 2 birthdays – one of our Tyros celebrated turning 10 with a special cake and a beautiful 100 voice choir singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him in perfect harmony! Mr Christie, one of our talented tutors, was also on hand to share his stories of celebrating his birthday at Summer School each year as a member of the choir, and later in the week celebrated his first birthday on Summer School as a tutor!
But it wasn’t all about singing. We were very fortunate to be able to offer the boys water sports and bush walks amongst spectacular scenery and wildlife during the daily recreation time. And then there was Movie Night and Skit Night… the list goes on!
Special thanks to our amazing music staff and our volunteer parent carers who did such an outstanding job making Summer School so productive and enjoyable for the boys.
Excellence is… a summer well spent!