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.
The Boy Choir is a non-auditioned choir made up of boys in the 6th through 9th grades (the only cross-divisional ensemble in the school!). They rehearse two times per US/MS seven-day rotation in the morning ensemble period (7:30-8:15am) and perform in four major concerts during the year - The Fall & Spring Choral Concerts, Candlelight, & the MS Pop Show – as well as various LS, MS, & US Chapel services.
The Boy Choir performs a diverse array of literature, from Classical to Pop/Rock to World/Ethnic Music. They combine with Cantatores (the MS girls choir) to dance and sing in the Pop Show, and perform with the SJS orchestra at the annual Candlelight Service.