Virginia Girls Choir // Virginia Boys Choir
The Virginia Girls Choir is a community-wide choir for girls in grades four through twelve. Founded in 2008, the choir has rapidly become one of the leading girlchoirs in the United States. In 2010, they recorded “An Unexpected Christmas.”
Though much younger, the Virginia Boys Choir has had a very successful first season and is ready to grow. Both choirs are community-wide offerings of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, and children throughout greater Richmond are invited to experience the joys and rewards of great choral singing. Though some are St. Stephen’s parishioners, many choir families come from other congregations and traditions. All are welcome!
The choirs sing during Sunday morning worship (girls twice a month, boys once a month) and for special services, concerts and recordings. In addition, the girls choir sings for Choral Evensong on Wednesdays. Both choirs commit to weekly rehearsals, worship and performances during the academic year; summers are generally free after a June tour or trip; a week-long day camp takes place in August.
In addition, choristers enjoy social activities such as pool parties, cookouts, holiday parties, and more. Last year they sang for a radio broadcast and recording of Nine Lessons and Carols for Christmas.
Both choirs work to sing with spirit and understanding in a variety of musical styles, with the music of the Anglican tradition taking pride of place in their repertoire. Musical literacy is a strong emphasis of the program, using the Voice for Life curriculum of the Royal School of Church Music. Choristers develop strong music reading skills as well as strong voices, while growing in discipline, responsibility, and leadership–skills that benefit every child.
No prior musical training is required—we are looking for girls and boys who like to sing! The process is simple: Please fill out an application (HERE). Once the application is complete, please contact Paige Reisenfeld, administrative assistant for the music department. She will set up a meeting for you that will provide more complete information so that you and your child can make an informed decision. New choristers have a one-month trial period, usually in September, so that families can see if this is a good fit for them.
We hope you’ll try us out!
The Story of the Virginia Girls Choir
We are pleased to offer excellent choirs for both girls and boys at St. Stephen's Church. Since the Virginia Girls Choir has been around longer--it was founded here in 2008--you may be interested in the group's history.
Singers come from across the greater Richmond area. The girls work to sing with spirit and understanding in a variety of musical styles, with the music of the Anglican tradition taking pride of place in their repertoire. They have performed under the direction of noted choir trainer Dr. Barry Rose, and have performed with recording artist and composer Ana Hernández.
At St. Stephen’s, the choir sings Evensong every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and on alternating Sunday mornings. The choir has also sung concerts and worship services at Chester Presbyterian Church; River Road Church, Baptist; St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, Richmond; The First Lady’s Luncheon and for the National Association of Women in Business awards, both at the Omni hotel, Richmond; at the Diamond for Flying Squirrels games; Epiphany Church, Danville; Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg; St. Paul’s Church, K St., Washington, DC; Washington National Cathedral; St. Bartholomew’s Church, NY; St. Luke’s Church, East Hampton, NY; St. William the Abbot Catholic Church, NY.
On tour in England in 2012, the choir sang with the Girls Choirs of Lincoln Cathedral and the of All Saints Church, Northampton. They also sang at Eye Church, the East Anglia Children’s Hospice, and for the Mayor of Ipswich at the Ipswich Cultural Center.
The choir released their first CD in 2010, a Christmas recording made in collaboration with Ana Hernández, called “An Unexpected Christmas.” With 16 original arrangements of familiar carols, as well as several new tunes, the CD received airplay in both the U.S. and Canada, and led to appearances on Lite 98’s “Wake Up Show” with Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins, and WCVE’s “Virginia Currents” TV show with May-Lily Lee.
In December 2015, the choir--along with members of the Virginia Boys Choir, Sanctuary, and St. Stephen's Choir--participated in a Service of Nine Lessons and Carols recorded and broadcast by WCVE, the National Public Radio member station based in Richmond.
While singing in a choir of great renown is, by its nature, a reward, choristers grow in confidence, poise, self-esteem, collegiality, as well as gain deep awareness and appreciation for the disciplined study of poetry, music and the arts.
While the choir is in residence at St. Stephen’s Church, choir members come from every part of the city. Some are St. Stephen’s parishioners, though many choir families come from other faith traditions and congregations.
We are proud of this group, and excited about the future of our newer Virginia Boys Choir, as well!