Audition FAQ’s


Your teacher will give you the audition information once it has been determined.

How does the audition work?

This initial audition process is very low-key. No musical training or preparation is necessary. Each boy is asked to sing a simple song that he knows and then we teach him some intuitive singing exercises. Within two weeks after the audition, we will contact each family by e-mail to let them know if he has been called for a final audition.

Is there an age limit?

We audition boys from ages 7 to 12. Most singers start in our training groups, the Beginning and Advanced Cadets. Once accepted into the training program boys can potentially remain in the group through 12th grade.

When are rehearsals?

The Beginning and Advanced Cadets rehearse from 4:30–5:45 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Performing Choir rehearses Wednesdays from 4:30–5:45 pm and Saturdays from 8:50 am to noon with the Chorale. The Chorale also rehearses Tuesdays from 7:30–9 pm.

Why aren’t there girls in the choir?

Boys’ voices create a different timbre (color of sound) than girls’ voices. Composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Britten and Bernstein have all written music specifically for boys’ voices. Girls who want to sing and perform are encouraged to audition for the Philadelphia Girls Choir.

Is prior music or voice training necessary?

No. Although prior music experience is helpful, boys will have lessons in music theory and receive vocal training. We are looking for boys who have musical and vocal potential, not necessarily a polished performance.

Can I see some videos of the choir?

Here are some videos we’ve made over the past few years, including a variety of styles of music:
Walkin’ to School – A “virtual choir” video of a pop song. Summer 2020.
National Anthem – Live performance at an Eagles Game. Winter 2018.
Gloria from Britten’s Missa Brevis – A “virtual choir” video, from a larger video of images representing the UK. Spring 2021.
I’ll Be There – Studio recording of this Jackson 5 hit song. Spring 2014.

Will my child receive voice training?

The Cadet program prepares boys for performing by teaching them basic music theory, sight singing, correct breathing, etc.  In addition, we also offer Philadelphia Vocal Conservatory to provide additional private training.

What if my son or music student doesn’t think he’s good enough?

If he has a sincere interest, encourage him to audition anyway. Some of our most gifted boys were reluctant to audition because they were afraid they weren’t good enough.

Does my son have to give up the school or church choir or his other activities?

Absolutely not!  Boys are encouraged to stay actively involved in their other activities including choirs, sports and clubs.  We try to be flexible with scheduling and attendance.  That being said, there is a commitment required for purposes of sound quality.  If your son cannot make a large number of rehearsals, this may not be the right activity for him.  We need to be able to work with the boys continuously.

What is the cost to be in the program?

Tuition is $1,800 for the year (subject to change).

Are there scholarships available?

We have a generous scholarship program. There are full and partial need-based scholarships available to all who qualify.

When does my son get his signature red blazer?

The Choir’s signature red Blazer will be awarded upon acceptance into the Performing Choir.  In addition, to complete the uniform, parents will need to buy a white dress shirt, white pants, black belt, black socks, and black dress shoes.

What are the performance and travelling opportunities?

Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale performs regularly across the Greater Philadelphia region. The Choir has also performed at many national and international venues. These include Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Good Morning America, and Saturday Night Live. Every year, we have the chance to perform in the Nutcracker with the Philadelphia Ballet and in concert with the Philly POPS. PBCC also embarks on an annual tour in the summer. In the past, we’ve gone to Australia, China, Argentina, Egypt, South Africa, Spain, and many other countries!

If you have any other questions, feel free to call the Choir office at 215.222.3500, or email info@phillyboyschoir.org

“We search for the most talented boys in the region. No talented boy is ever left behind due to financial constraints.”
Jeff Smith, Artistic Director & Conductor

The Choir

Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale provides a unique and distinguished  environment for personal growth while experiencing the finest musical education for young men in the Philadelphia region. The Choir consists of three ensembles:


  • Many of the boys in Philadelphia Boys Choir begin as members of the Cadet program.
  • The boys learn the essentials of choral musicianship. This includes correct breathing, reading music, sight singing, and music theory. Each Cadet program lasts one year.
  • Beginning and Advanced Cadets perform at our annual Holiday and Spring concerts, as well as other opportunities.
  • After completing Advanced Cadets or at the discretion of the Music Director, boys are invited to become candidates for the Philadelphia Boys Choir (performing choir).

Performing Choir

  • Candidates for the Performing Choir need to memorize twelve songs from the standard repertoire and show proper singing technique. If he succeeds, he earns his Blazer, the Choir’s signature red jacket, and becomes a full-fledged member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale.
  • The Choir sings at many private and community functions throughout the year, which may include: annual holiday & spring concerts, concerts with the Philly POPS, The Nutcracker with the Pennsylvania Ballet, and others.
  • The Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale embarks on a concert tour abroad each year.


  • The Chorale was formed in the 1970s, to add mature voices on tenor and bass parts, allowing for a significantly greater variety in repertoire.
  • The Music Director evaluates each Choir member twice every year for musical progress and to check if his voice has changed and should be moved into the Chorale. The majority of the members in the Chorale are PBCC Alumni or fathers of Choir members.
  • PBCC requires a criminal and child abuse background check of all adult Chorale participants.
Chinese Caligraphy
Goodwill Tour To China
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Discover how to audition to become a member and wear the signature red blazer. Please visit our auditions page to learn more, or email info@phillyboyschoir.org to request an audition time.