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Every year, the Royal School of Church Music of America holds intensive choir courses for children throughout the country. The course specifically for the most advanced choristers is held in Washington, DC. Participants stay at St. Albans School, conveniently located next to the National Cathedral where they sing numerous Evensongs. In addition, this year the choristers sang a Mass at St. Luke's Roman Catholic Church in McLean, VA, a concert at St. George's Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA, and the 11:15 a.m. Mass here at St. Paul’s K Street.
Robert McCormick, St. Paul’s Director of Music, was selected to serve as this year’s Music Director for the DC RSCM Course for Advanced Trebles. Twenty-two children from across the country were selected to participate, five of whom were from St. Paul’s K Street. Choristers rehearsed intensively during the week-long program—at least three long rehearsals a day! They also had the chance to get to know each other during free time and scheduled activities.
Three of our choristers were asked to answer the question: What are the three things you liked the most about the 2012 RSCM Course? In their own words, they offer a glimpse into the exciting experiences they had.
Owen Gorman (age 12)
I think that the three best things about RSCM would have to be the music, the activities, and getting to know people from all over. Most of the music was upbeat and cheerful, so it was fun to sing. My favorite piece, He Never Failed Me Yet, by Robert Ray, was the most of these things. But there were some that were slower and less exciting. The activities were very fun, with a movie night, a ghost tour, and a talent show. The movie got "laggie" near the middle so we just messed around for the rest of the night. I thought that the ghost tour was just another tour of DC at night that I had seen a million times, but it was actually about haunted buildings. Another fun part was that every night in the boys' dorms we played games. It was nice that I got to meet people from all over the country. There were some people from Florida, some from Indianapolis, and some from close to where I live. It was nice because I got to see that some churches used different colored cassocks, that some used medals for levels, and that some didn't wear surplices. Those were the three best things about the RSCM course.
Ethan McKelvain (age 12)
I liked everything about RSCM but if I said three of my favorite things, the first thing would be meeting lots of new friends. Second, I really liked singing in lots of different places and being able to have a tour of the National Cathedral. Lastly, I really liked the talent show on the last full day of RSCM. It is one of the best parts about RSCM.
Will McKelvain (Age 10)
I liked going to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, talking with all the other RSCM choristers, and getting to know them. Next I loved going outside during break time and playing football and ultimate frisbee because it gave us time to get some fresh air and goof around. Finally, I loved going to Evensong and Mass to sing because I got to sing my favorite songs, got to go on a quick tour of the National Cathedral, and go to churches that I've never heard of before. I truly thought this year's RSCM course was amazing.