Trinity Cathedral Launches Cantate Choral Academy
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Omaha, Nebraska has announced the opening of Cantate Choral Academy. This new program, based at the cathedral, offers opportunities for choral music education for children and youth using the Royal School of Church Music curriculum.
“The mission of Cantate Choral Academy is formation for lifelong praise of God through sacred choral music in the Anglican tradition,” explained Marty Wheeler Burnett, Canon Precentor and Director of the Academy. “We seek to equip singers for this mission through music education of the highest quality and engagement of mind, body, and spirit in sacred choral offerings.”
Starting this fall, Cantate Choral Academy will offer two ensembles for children and youth: Laudate Choir, a preparatory choir for grades 1-3, and Cantate Choir, an advanced choir for grades 4-8. The curriculum for both choirs includes choral singing, music theory, vocal technique, and spiritual formation.
The choirs are open to all children and youth in the Omaha area. Each singer and his or her parent or caregiver will meet with the director prior to admission to discuss expectations. “The choirs will sing at Trinity Cathedral two Sunday mornings each semester,” stated Burnett, “which allows young people from any church to participate in this outstanding educational program while remaining active members of their own congregations.” The choirs will also sing twice each semester at times other than Sunday morning at churches, health care facilities, and community events.
The goals of Cantate Choral Academy include encouraging high quality liturgical singing by children and youth in the Omaha area, supplementing musical education and experiences provided in local parishes and schools, and offering the unique RSCM curriculum which encourages and expects a high level of musical achievement from young people
The RSCM curriculum provides a standardized system of award ribbons signifying achievement of musical milestones through the years of participation. The opportunity to work toward these ribbons, which are worn with the choir vestment, provides motivation for students to achieve higher levels of musical achievement and literacy. RSCM also provides summer courses for older students which feature a week of intensive study and singing at one of several college campuses in the United States. Members of the Cantate Choir will be eligible to apply for summer courses starting in 2017.
The Director of Cantate Choral Academy, Marty Wheeler Burnett, holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Rice University, a doctorate from The University of the South, and has over 30 years of choral conducting experience. She received the Nebraska Choral Directors Association’s “Outstanding Choral Director of the Year” award in 2011. Burnett will be joined by assisting faculty who will provide instruction and keyboard accompaniment. All faculty and volunteers have completed Safeguarding God’s Children training and are committed to providing a safe, structured, and nurturing educational environment.
For younger children, the Academy offers Kindermusik classes in partnership with the Jennifer Tritz Voice Studio. Kindermusik is recognized as one of the premier programs of music and movement for infants through kindergarten students. These classes, offered at Trinity Cathedral, provide a strong foundation for future music study and choir participation. “As a result of our partnership, we are able to offer this outstanding early childhood music program with very affordable tuition, making it accessible to more children in our community,” stated Burnett.