BHS Chorus FAQ

Singing at Brookline High School

If your question is not answered below, please email Dr. Driscoll.


Q: I would like to sing at BHS, but I don’t want to audition for a group.
A: No problem – sign up for Concert Choir (PA 1000)!

Q: Can I join chorus if I don’t read music?
A: Absolutely! Learning how to read music is a major component of the chorus classes at BHS. Chorus at BHS meets 7 out of every 10 school days, so we have plenty of time to work on these skills. There is a place for people with a variety of backgrounds and skills.

Q: Is chorus a class I should take if I don’t really want to take any other elective at BHS?
A: No! There are many elective options at BHS. Students who sign up for chorus are truly committed members of the choir, are serious about making great music together, and want to become better musicians. We have fun, but there is a real seriousness of purpose in the chorus classes at BHS.

Q: I want to play in the BHS Concert Band or the BHS Orchestra. Can I also take chorus?
A: Yes! Both BHS Concert Band and BHS Orchestra meet during ‘Z-block,’ which is before the official start of the school day. That means that you still will have an elective block available during the school day when you can take Concert Choir.

Q: Can freshman take A cappella Choir at BHS?
A: Yes. A cappella Choir is open to students in grades 10–12 without an audition. Incoming 9th grade students who are more advanced singers and readers may audition to be considered for A cappella Choir. Auditions for the 2021-2022 school year will take place virtually after school on February 23-25, 2021. For more information about auditions, please go to the auditions page. Auditions include singing a song (‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ or ‘Happy Birthday’), singing scales, sight-singing, and a written test of music notation knowledge.

Q: I am interested in auditioning for the BHS Camerata choir. Are freshmen able to be in the group?
A: Yes. Freshmen are eligible to be in the group. Not many freshmen get in , however, because of competition from older BHS singers who have had more singing and sight-singing experience. Auditions for the 2021-2022 school year will take place virtually after school on February 23-25, 2021. For more information about auditions, please go to the auditions page. You may do one audition for both Camerata and A cappella Choir.

Q: I auditioned for BHS Camerata, but did not get in. Should I give up on singing in chorus at BHS?
A: Absolutely not! Admittance into the BHS Camerata is quite competitive. Spaces usually go to students whose voices have had time to mature and who have had more experience sight-singing. If you don’t get into Camerata as a freshman, the best thing you can do to prepare for getting into Camerata in a future year is to take a year of BHS Concert Choir. Most students who work their way through the choral course sequence at BHS will eventually get into Camerata.

Q: I auditioned for BHS Camerata and got in. Do I also have to take Concert Choir?
A: Yes. Students who get into Camerata are required to take two years of one of the other faculty-directed ensembles (Concert Choir or A cappella Choir). This is possible to schedule because Camerata meets during Z-blocks and Concert Choir and A cappella are scheduled during the regular school day.

Q: I’m interested in joining one of the student-directed vocal groups at BHS. When are auditions?
A: Auditions for the student-directed groups usually take place in May. Please be on the lookout for dates or contact Dr. Driscoll in late April.

Q: If I sing in one of the student-directed vocal groups at BHS, do I also need to take BHS Concert Choir?
A: Yes. Students in the student-directed a cappella groups must also take at least a year of a faculty-directed choral ensemble at BHS (BHS Concert Choir or BHS A cappella Choir). This helps ensure that you have the skills that you need to be effective members of your student-directed ensemble.

Q: I am a pianist. Can student pianists accompany the choirs?
A: Yes! The choirs at Brookline High School are accompanied by students only. Please see the auditions page for more information.


Chorus Classes at BHS

PA1000: CONCERT CHOIR

Concert Choir is open to anyone with or without singing experience. Healthy singing technique as well as sight-singing and aural (listening) skills are emphasized. This choir provides the opportunity for students to perform in a group of mixed voices that presents the finest examples of choral music from all periods and styles. Concert Choir typically performs three to four evening concerts per year and at school assemblies. 

Level: N
Periods per week: 4
Elective: 9-12
Prerequisite: None
Credit: 1

PA1500: A-CAPPELLA CHOIR

A-Cappella Choir is open to anyone with or without singing experience, although an excellent sense of pitch and rhythm is highly recommended. Healthy singing technique as well as sight-singing and aural (listening) skills are emphasized. Students will become familiar with the performance of contemporary a cappella (voices only) music which has recently become highly popular on college and university campuses. The class repertoire will include popular songs from the 20th Century to today. The A-Cappella Choir typically performs three to four evening concerts per year as well as at school assemblies. 

Level: N
Periods per week: 4
Elective: 10-12
Prerequisite: No prerequisite for students in grades 10-12; Advanced 9th grade students may audition to be in this course.
Credit: 1

PA1200: CAMERATA (HONOR)

Camerata is an advanced choir where students can expand their vocal music repertoire, improve their musicianship, and increase their proficiency in sight singing. Frequent performances are included in the year’s schedule of events. Enrollment into the group is by audition. Auditions for Camerata are held in the spring. Students who are new to Brookline may audition in September. All Camerata students must be enrolled in either Concert Choir or A-Cappella Choir for two academic years; this requirement can be met before admittance into the Camerata or concurrently as a member of the Camerata.

Level: H
Periods per week:  2  Z -Blocks +one evening
Elective: 9-12
Prerequisite: Audition
Credit: 1