St. John’s School, founded in 1946, is a K-12 coeducational college preparatory day school. Ranked as one of the top academic schools in the USA, it has an enrollment of 1225. In the Upper School (grades 9 – 12), advanced placement preparation is offered in 18 subject areas. Honor sections, independent study, domestic and foreign exchange programs, and study at a local university for college credit are available opportunities. From the over 500 students in Upper School, over 100 perform in one or more of four choral ensembles: the Boy Choir, Les Chanteuses, Chorale, and Kantorei.
Kantorei is the top Upper School Chamber Choir. They sing exclusively a cappella literature. Chosen by audition from the much larger Chorale, this highly select group is approximately thirty members strong, and holds rehearsal for two to three 40-minute periods a week, with occasional extended weekend and weeknight rehearsals.
Kantorei annually participates in an Independent School Arts Festival as well as a statewide High School Chamber Choir competition where it has consistently received superior ratings. They've opened for the Vienna Boys Choir at Houston's Jones Hall, given Christmas performances at Houston's Alley Theater and Hobby Center, and have sung for the American Jewish Committee's Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony and America's Table Thanksgiving Breakfast. Singers from Kantorei have participated in some the country’s best honor choirs, being selected to sing at conventions for organizations such as the Texas Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, and Organization of American Kodály Educators. Kantorei has a prolific history of touring internationally, having performed concert tours of Austria and Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia, Brazil, Spain, Norway, Italy, and Canada.
Chorale is St. John’s larger mixed choir and is made up of approximately fifty-five singers from the junior and senior classes. This ensemble also holds rehearsal for two 40-minute periods a week but performs primarily accompanied, larger-scale choral works. Along with the Fall and Spring Choral Concerts, Chorale performs at the annual St. John’s Christmas Candlelight Concert and Choral-Orchestral Festival, at both venues presenting choral-orchestral major-works accompanied by the St. John's School Upper School Chamber Strings.
Scott Bonasso is in his eleventh year as Choir Director and Music Teacher at St. John’s School, where his responsibilities include teaching intermediate general music classes and Music Theory AP, co-directing the upper school chapel program, and conducting the St. John’s Boychoir (a 50-voice, all-male choir; grades 4-12) which he founded in 2002, Chorale (a 70-voice mixed high school concert choir) and Kantorei (a 30-voice select high school chamber choir). Mr. Bonasso is also the Director of Music Ministries at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Missouri City, TX, where he conducts the chancel choir and oversees a large music program that includes 3 youth choirs and 2 adult choirs. Scott holds a B.M.E. degree in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from Sam Houston State University where he studied conducting with Peter Jermihov and voice with Walter Foster, and he also holds a M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he studied conducting with Charles Hausmann.