Pacific Boychoir Classes & CampsCommunity Subscriber
- See Also: Pacific Boychoir Academy
The Pacific Boychoir is a non-profit, GRAMMY-winning choral program offering separate after-school ensembles for boys, ages 4-18 and girls, ages 4-16. Pacific Boychoir Academy is the only secular, independent boychoir school in the US, offering boys, grades 3-8, unique and rigorous academics and up to 2.5 hours of specialized, daily music training. Class size capped at 12 boys, PBA offers an experience unlike any other school.
PBA serves over 175 choristers a season, has released 7 independent albums, tours domestically and internationally each year, and has garnered 3 GRAMMYs with the San Francisco Symphony. The New York Times hails PBA’s ability to perform music “far beyond the reach of most children's choirs."
I can't say enough about this gem of a community. Our son has been taking after school music classes at PBA since he was a preschooler. He's now in 2nd grade, and every year he grows not just in his knowledge of music theory and singing, but in his confidence in his own abilities and his desire to keep growing. The after school choir program is built on both fun and discipline -- the boys learn how to sing and read music, yes, but they also learn how to compose themselves, how to stand with confidence and poise, and how to respect their teachers and follow choristers. The faculty are wonderful -- encouraging and very knowledgeable about managing boy energy! The choirs are tiered by age/ability, so the younger boys can see the older ones perform in more advanced choirs (as well as the day school choir), and the possibility of moving to the next level gives them something to aim for. Our son is so impressed by the "big kids." I recommend going to one of the concerts to hear for yourself -- the after school choirs perform in December and May, and it's incredible to hear these boys make such gorgeous music out of thin air.
I loved Music Together classes, held throughout the East Bay and beyond, with my two sons, starting at age 1 for the older boy and in the womb for the younger boy. Lots of fun, much better music than most children's programs (IMO), and great "training" in general. At age 4 (or just before), I can recommend the Pacific Boychoir Academy's youngest boys program, based on the Kodaly method and every well taught. It's in Oakland off Piedmont Avenue (and near the Rockridge/Temescal neighborhoods too). I think it is great for boys to be with other boys (although there is also a new program for young girls at PBA as well!)), and this is a great program. Singing and fun music 'instruction' at age 4 at PBA, coupled with starting piano lessons at about age 5, will allow your son to have fun and be engaged with music, use his whole body and whole brain, and get a great start no matter what type of music he may like or want to pursue as he gets older! [My son didn't start at PBA until Age 8; he is now 15 and still going strong with them; I wish I had known about PBA even sooner!]
He would love the Day Camp at Pacific Boychoir Academy. http://www.pacificboychoir.org/ourchoirs/camps/boys-day-camp/
Its located off Piedmont Ave in Oakland.
Music and choir in the morning, field trips in the afternoon.
My son has been a chorister for 6 years in the afterschool program and loves it!
Pacific Boychoir Academy now has a girls afterschool choir.
Its on Tuesdays from 4:15-6:15 and the choir leader is wonderful.
The excellent program includes music theory training.
My son has participated for 5 years!
Also, Pacific Boychoir in Oakland has afterschool choir. My musically talented son still loves it, especially their theory instruction. A bonus is the summer tours.www.pacificboychoiracademy.org A more casual choir is Oakland Youth Choir.
Pacific Boychoir Academy has after-school choirs for many levels and abilities. They definitely sing songs and have lots of fun at the same time... Your son's loving to sing (plus an average ability to hear pitch and rhythm) will be perfect for this program and vice versa!
I recommend Pacific Boychoir Academy, their afterschool program. Nobody's voice is "average" when it comes to choir. My son's voice was called "amazing" by the director of that program, but then my son was most happy when he was able to truly "blend" with other boys who were singing the same part with him. That's what makes singing in a choir one, the experience of singing together.
Try it out, I think your son will like it! Mine graduated from PBA's day program, and is now at the Oakland School for the Arts, in their vocal program.
Hope you and your son find something he enjoys!
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Pacific Boy Choir Day Camp?
Our 7-year-old son will be attending PBA summer camp for the second year this summer, and he is already bubbling over with excitement and anticipation. It is his favorite week of the summer. The PBA staff do it right: fun, music education, a good pace and a great mix of activities. I encourage you to sign him up!
I should add that my son sings in the after-school choir during the year (Intermezzi), and if your 8-year-old boy loves to sing, you should definitely check out the after-school program. It is wonderful! Why not bring him to our Spring Serenade on Sunday, May 31? You'll get to hear all the groups, from first graders through high schoolers. He will be inspired! Call the school or check the web site for tickets. Happy Choir Mama
We attended the pacific boychoir camp last year and were very happy with the staff and experience. As I recall there were about 30 boys and they ranged in age from about 6-10. It's a rotation of day time rehearsals, music theory classes, Orff instrument play (all the percussive stuff that they can bang on!) and games, then afternoon field trips to places like nature reserves, Naval carriers, swimming, bowling, and hiking/camping in the forest. So plenty of physical activity to keep the boys moving!! They provide an expert staff and also draw on experienced high school counselors who have attended PBA camps and are in the choir. Added bonus they use their own safe busliner to drive the kids around to all the afternoon activities.
The cost of this program is very reasonable, and they do offer Financial Aid.
The campus is beautiful and safe and all just for the boys. If you are really interested I would take a look at their website because there is tons more info there that I am sure I am forgetting or missing http://www.pacificboychoir.org/camp I know we will be there again and hope to see you there too!!
Mom of many boys
RE: Choir or singing classes for a 4-year-old?
The Pacific Boys Choir Academy has an excellent class for preschoolers. The teacher is wonderful and really gets the kids excited about music. They learn the building blocks of music through songs and games. The class is designed to prepare boys for the next level, should they choose to join the actual choirs once they are in Kindergarten. However, this was a great class on its own. My husband and I are professional musicians and we were really impressed with this program. As a boys only choir, PBA also breaks down certain stereotypes that boys sometimes encounter in school. In this choir, expressing yourself and improving your skills in music is very cool. zaharako
RE: Youth Choir for Elementary-Age Boy
My 9 year old son joined the after school choir of the Pacific Boychoir Academy last fall and he absolutely loves it. He enjoys the weekly rehearsals (Wednesdays 4:15-6:15) and small groups once a month (Wednesdays 6:15-6:45, optional) where the boys work on the music theory 'cards' -- steps to learning music and rhythm in sophisticated but do-able chunks. Since joining, my son sings all the time (much to the annoyance of his older brother, but I adore it!). For the younger groups (Minstrels, Intermezzi), there are two main concerts a year (December, June), with some performances at, e.g., Fairyland and a few other venues, plus an overnight retreat and even an opportunity when they are ready for it to sing at concerts on an overnight 'tour' in Monterey/Carmel. The older boys go to even more exotic places... You can find out more about the after school choirs (as well as the day school for grades 4-8) at the website http://www.pacificboychoir.org/. The musicianship the staff teach the boys is outstanding, they are indeed professionals in every sense, and the boys all seem to have a lot of fun. I am thrilled our family discovered the Pacific Boychoir and we feel lucky to have this amazing resource in the East Bay! Pacific Boychoir mom
RE: My 6-year-old wants to learn to sing opera
I would highly recommend the Pacificboychoir Academy located in St. Augustine Church at 400 Alcatraz at Colby in Oakland/Berkeley. They accept boys as young as 5 yrs. of age and my son has had unique opportunities to sing for the SF Symphony, Oakland A.s, SF Opera and other orchestras and touring around the world for 6.5 yrs. the teachers for the younger boys are very gentle and nurturing and also have sectionals focusing on vocal technique and music theory so their sight reading can be applied towards other instruments. They also have a choir school which includes academics as well as the music and concentrated singing. They sing folk, spirituals, international and classical music, in various languages which has been a great unique opportunity that my son would not otherwise have. They will have a recital June 3 at St. Augustine at 3PM so you can have a taste of the different levels and expertise of the singers. Check out the website pacificboychoiracademy.org or call them at 510 652-4722 for auditions and further details renee
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