Cathedral Choir School

Music transforms children's lives

Young choristers have been making music in cathedrals for centuries. In the fall of 2017, St. James Cathedral joined in this tradition by founding the Cathedral Choir School. The Choir School is an after-school program that offers children a world-class musical training at no cost financially. By encountering and mastering great works of the choral repertoire, choristers learn:

  • Musical skills that last a lifetime
  • Teamwork & leadership
  • Patience & discipline
  • Empathy & compassion

Choristers will have the opportunity to go on tours, attend summer choir camp, make recordings, and— of course—sing excellent music to a professional standard.

Becoming a Chorister

Any child entering grades 3 through 8 may join, regardless of religious affiliation. No prior experience is necessary, and there is no tuition. The only requirement is commitment to the choir’s rehearsal and service schedule. We invite all prospective choristers to come visit St. James and arrange an informal interview with the Director of Music Stephen Buzard. He can be reached Email Stephen.

2017/18 Schedule

The choristers will rehearse every Wednesday afternoon and sing for one of the Sunday services, starting after Labor Day. On Wednesdays, choristers can arrive straight after school for homework time, music lessons, and other activities. Rehearsal will begin at 4:30 p.m. and conclude with a brief Evensong in the Cathedral at 5:45 p.m., which parents are invited to attend. Choir supper follows, finishing around 6:30 p.m.

The Music Institute of Chicago

Choristers are eligible to receive scholarships for music lessons at St. James through the Music Institute of Chicago. MIC is one of the most respected community music schools in the country, offering private music lessons and Suzuki training to students of any age. For more information about MIC, call 847-905-1500 or visit

The Royal School of Church Music

The St. James Choir School is affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music. The RSCM promotes excellence in church music across the globe through its graduated standards, courses, and educational materials.