History and Description
Beginning in 2007, St. Martin’s began offering its annual Residency Program to local high schools. Advanced singing and choral techniques are taught, so the programs usually involve the advanced/ chamber choirs of the schools selected. Schools involved have been as follows:
2007 – 2008 :: Arvada West High School (Jefferson County School District)
2008 – 2009 :: East High School (Denver Public Schools)
2010 – 2011 :: Green Mountain High School (Jefferson County School District)
2011 – 2012 :: Arvada West High School (Jefferson County School District)
2012 – 2013 :: Bear Creek High School (Jefferson County School District)
The program spans a semester or a school year, and includes two half-day workshops. In each workshop, an octet of St. Martin’s singers joins the participating high school choir and its director under the direction of St. Martin’s Artistic Director, Tim Krueger. While the two choirs may perform informally for each other, the majority of the time is focused on sight-reading advanced choral repertoire, proper tone production, adding expression and achieving ideal blend. The students also come away with the realization that the choral experience can extend long after high school or even college.
The culmination of the Residency Program occurs when the school choir collaborates with St. Martin’s in a regular St. Martin’s concert. The school choir not only performs a piece or two of its own, but also sings with the St. Martin’s singers. This provides a singular and memorable experience not only for the high school students, but for the St. Martin’s singers and their audience!
Quotations from participating high school choir directors
- “My students were able to sing with professional singers, good quality music, with a very knowledgeable and skillful choral director. We also loved being a part of the performance!”
- “[The students] received a different director’s point of view that reinforced what I teach. They were challenged with difficult literature.”
- “The students really loved the concert and singing with such great singers. They were proud of being chosen for the residency and honored to join St. Martin’s for a song on the concert.”
- “My students and I enjoyed the opportunity to successfully sight-read music a cappella. This difficult task became possible with the expertise of the St. Martin’s singers amongst the high school students.”
St. Martin’s Chamber Choir continues to offer the high school Residency Program to selected high schools. The high schools invited to participate are chosen by the Artistic Director, Tim Kreuger. Due to the high level of choral skills presented, the schools most advanced choir is preferred, and the school’s choral music program should be already well-established. While the criteria are high, the program is offered free of charge to the high school selected.
If you are a high school choir director and feel that your choir meets these criteria, please feel free to contact St. Martin’s to discuss a possible future Residency Program with your students.