The community of St. Paul’s highly regards music and the arts as integral elements of its worship heritage. The church enjoys a rich tradition of excellence in choral singing in its multiple choirs as well as its congregation. Opportunities to participate in choral music are available for young children through adults. Those for children are described below.
(Ages 3 through Kindergarten)
A children’s worship time primarily focusing on learning and singing children’s worship songs, Joyful Noise lays the foundation for learning to sing in a choir.
At 9:45 am in J-008, Joyful Noise begins the Sunday School hour for these children. They also travel to Sunday School classes throughout the year and sing a prelude in church in May.
(Grades 1 and 2)
Wesley Singers are introduced to the concepts of singing in an ensemble and how to read and understand music, with emphasis placed on music in worship. They meet Sunday mornings during the school year at 10:45 am in the children’s choir room.
The Wesley Singers sing special services and events, such as the Blessing of the Animals, Palm Sunday, the Children’s Christmas Candlelight Service, Holly Hall, and “Sights, Sounds and Smells of Christmas.”
(Grades 3 through 8)
Following the Voice for Life curriculum developed by the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Choristers learn what it means to participate in a church choir. They explore vocal technique and part singing and are exposed to sacred repertoire, music theory, liturgy, and worship.
Choristers often sing in church, and they lead worship for the Children’s Christmas Candlelight Service and Palm Sunday. Voice for Life workshops are offered several times a year. Each May a guest clinician leads a choir clinic after which the Choristers lead Sunday worship.
"Let All the World in Every Corner Sing"
by George Dyson, words by George Herbert
Sung by the St. Paul's Choristers, directed by Anna Teagarden
Recorded in the St. Paul's Sanctuary on May 1, 2016,
during the 11:05 service.
This choir is comprised of a select group of singers who are serious about advanced vocal training, sacred worship, and liturgy.
Through the RSCM Voice for Life curriculum, the Trebles focus on Anglican Cathedral Choir tradition, singing Evensong, Compline, and Morning Prayer. They sing in church regularly, as well as with the St. Paul’s Choir.
The Trebles are encouraged to participate in the RSCM Winterfest and a summer course. Many have earned RSCM Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals. For more information, see www.rscmamerica.org and www.rscmgulfcoast.org.
St. Paul's Treble Choir: Songs from Christmas Eve 2015, Noon Service
RSCM Gulf Coast Course
One of many Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) training courses that take place during the summer, the Gulf Coast Course is for girls, ages 10 to 18. It is hosted by St. Paul’s and has been housed at both Rice University and the University of St. Thomas.
Throughout the week the girls have the privilege of knowing and working with world-class clinicians and musicians. Evensong is sung during the week at various churches throughout the city. Morning Prayer is sung every morning and Compline Services are held each night. For the culminating experience of the course, the girls lead a sung Eucharist during the 11:05 worship service at St. Paul’s.
This course is an amazing, life-changing week for all who attend. Girls from anywhere in the world may attend, and most come back every year, as friendships are strengthened and spiritual growth abounds.
Previous course clinicians:
- 2016: Paolo Bordignon, Giles Brightwell, Joseph Causby
- 2015: Frederick Teardo
- 2014: Benjamin Hutto
- 2013: Courtney Daniell-Knapp, Joseph Causby, Robert Brewer
- 2012: Robert Brewer, Joseph Causby
- 2011: Courtney Daniell-Knapp
- 2010: Garmon Ashby
- 2009: Tom Whittemore
- 2008: Gerre Hancock
- 2007: Bruce Neswick
- 2006: James Rightmyer
The RSCM Award system affirms the Voice for Life training and is open to experienced choristers of all ages, worldwide, who can demonstrate their skill and musicality in solo singing, together with their effective leadership and stylistic awareness as choristers in their RSCM-affiliated church or school. The rigorous two-hour examination covers vocal technique, music theory, sight singing, repertoire, and liturgy.
Many in St. Paul’s Children’s Music program have earned these awards, and one has earned the Gold Medal, the highest award bestowed by the organization. St. Paul's Keaton Brown was one of only three in North America to earn Gold in 2014 — the only boy and the fourth Texan to ever achieve this level —and he earned it with Honors.
2010: Audrey Black; Meg Brigman; Keaton Brown; Mallory Miller; Meghan Miller; Autumn Watt and Emily Wolfe
2016: Kate Teagarden and Leah Teagarden
2012: Keaton Brown
2014: Keaton Brown
For more information about Children’s Choirs, contact Anna Teagarden.
About Anna Teagarden | Anna Teagarden has been director of Children’s Music at St. Paul’s since 2005. During that time, the program has grown significantly in numbers and with the addition of three choirs. Her love of Anglican music began in the summer of 1999 when she was with St. Paul’s Choir in residence in York, England, and Germany. She has since been involved with the Royal School of Church Music on several levels, including teaching theory at the Newport, RI, summer course, certifying as an examiner for the bronze and silver examinations, singing with a select RSCM adult choir at Westminster Abbey, and managing the Gulf Coast summer course.
In addition to her leadership with children’s music and the RSCM, Anna is a soloist with the St. Paul’s Choir and serves as a clinician for workshops and festivals throughout the state. She earned her Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from The University of Texas at Austin.