Primo is the youngest entrance level ensemble; choristers are in JK through Grade 1. The choristers are introduced to music in an entertaining and interactive manner, blending movement, singing, speech, dance and drama, laying the foundations for a life-long love for music. Choristers will discover and develop their singing voice and establish an understanding of choral etiquette and deportment for learning and performing. This program offers open rehearsals where parents and friends are invited to observe their child’s learning experience. The Primo Choir has their own performance within the year; however, it is up to the discretion of the conductor to decide if the Primo Choir is ready to perform at the spring concert.
Dolce I consists of choristers who have an interest in singing and a desire to grow their musical voice, many of whom are former Primo participants. Choristers in Dolce I are generally in Grades 1 through 3. The choristers in this ensemble are able to match pitch and will learn strategies to further this skill. Choristers at this level learn increased control over their singing voice by using a variety of tools and techniques, such as breath control and enhanced listening. The choral repertoire allows the choristers to experience different genres of music. They are introduced to theory basics and how to read music, as well as solfege hand signs. Dolce I choristers are encouraged to be expressive in their responses to music while developing skills of deportment and etiquette for performances. The Dolce I choir performs 2-4 times a year.
The Dolce II ensemble consists of Dolce I participants in Grades 3-5 who have met the expectations of Dolce I. These choristers are able to match pitch, have an understanding of proper vocal technique and musical story-telling. Solfege hand signs are used to facilitate learning a melody or a voice part in choral music. At this level, the choristers will learn to sing in canon and be able to learn and hold simple parts to create harmonies. They will continue to develop their understanding of how to read music and navigate a score, and perform with expression accompanied by piano or other instruments to expand their musical colour palette in a variety of genres. Choristers are expected to master a high standard of performance etiquette. This ensemble performs 2-4 times a year.
Cantabile is our intermediate ensemble for choristers in Grades 4 through 9 who are comfortable matching pitches and holding harmonized melodies. In addition to solidifying the foundations of proper vocal technique, Cantabile choristers explore more challenging two and three-part music, and more advanced music theory. This choir performs up to five times per season. This ensemble participates in a two-day retreat and various community performances, in addition to an annual multi-junior-choir workshop, where they learn from and listen to other choirs, build friendships, and work with international guest conductors.
Encore is an SATB ensemble for choristers of a higher musical skill level and maturity. This ensemble allows choristers to explore mixed voice repertoire and develop leadership skills within our organization. Encore regularly collaborates with other musical organizations and will have the opportunity for touring, in addition to our choir retreat in August.
Camerata is a new treble ensemble consisting of select choristers from both Cantabile and Encore who have achieved a high level of vocal skill, artistry and musicianship. Camerata is the primary performing ensemble of YVT and will tour regularly. These choristers represent our community through musical collaborations in the GTA and act as role models within our community. Camerata has a more rigorous rehearsal schedule. Choristers are expected to attend a weekly rehearsal in addition to one Encore or Cantabile rehearsal per week. In Camerata, choristers challenge themselves musically and create captivating, powerful performances.
Every year, YVT choristers elect representatives to represent the choristers and provide an important youth voice in the running of YVT. Chorister council plans special events, retreat days, and work with administration, faculty, and volunteers to build community, promote socialization, and friendships among choristers. Chorister council representatives also take on a leadership role, ensuring they set a positive example for other choristers in all aspects of chorister life. Taking on a leadership role, and setting a good example for choristers with regard to behaviour, attitude, and musicianship.