Choral Music & Voice
We offer St. Andrew's students three different avenues by which to practice and perform choral music: Founders Choir, the Andrean Ensemble, and Noxontones. Choir and the Andrean Ensemble are our for-credit choral music courses, while Noxontones is an extracurricular a capella group. Choir is open to all students regardless of prior experience, while students must audition to join the Andrean Ensemble or Noxontones. Private voice lessons for any student are also available as scheduling allows.
Founders Choir is open to all students regardless of prior vocal experience and focuses on building individual and ensemble singing skills. Students learn basics of healthy singing through performance of a wide range of musical styles, as well as weekly small group or individual voice lessons, plus sight singing and theory practice using Auralia and Musition software. Choir students perform (both as a standalone choir, and in conjunction with our Andrean Ensemble and Noxontones groups) at school gatherings, in the School chapel, and at our annual Service of Lessons and Carols. This course also prepares singers who would like to sing in the Andrean Ensemble or Noxontones.
St. Andrew's Andrean Ensemble program is designed to develop the “complete choral singer,” and is an approach unique to St. Andrew’s among American boarding schools. The program is based on an expanded version of the Voice for Life training program created by the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) in London, England, an institution with which St. Andrew’s School is affiliated. As a singer in the Andrean Ensemble, students have access to:
- individual vocal instruction once every other week; developing their vocal production, sight-singing, and aural skills.
- specific and individualized practice of music theory and ear training skills using Musition and Auralia software,
- the opportunity to perform frequently on campus and throughout the mid-Atlantic region,
- national and international choral tours and recordings in alternate years (most recently, to Cuba in 2015-16, and Bermuda 2017-2018) and the opportunity to perform in notable venues throughout the country and the world;
- exposure to the finest choral literature from the past and present. Andrean Ensemble repertoire comprises both larger works, such as Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Bach cantatas, and selections from Handel’s Messiah, as well as sacred and secular music from the Renaissance to the present day, and from around the world.
Andrean Ensemble auditions are open to all students in all forms; however, students with less or no previous singing experience are encouraged to begin their vocal musical education in our Choir course. Admitted students progress through the Andrean Ensemble program at their own rate, developing their vocal production, sight-singing, and aural skills through private lessons. A student’s beginning level is determined by taking a placement test upon arrival at St. Andrew’s.
Andrean Ensemble is a yearlong, half-credit course that meets for four class periods per week.
This aim in developing the "complete choral singer," involving both exposure to a range of music and of performance experiences as well as individual growth as singers and sight-readers, hopes to cultivate a lifelong ability and love for music-making. Everything we do is designed to ensure both the ensemble and individual singers grow as readers and interpreters of music. Graduates of the Andrean Ensemble program often go on to sing in some of the finest collegiate and liturgical ensembles in the country.
- The White House
- Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC
- St. Paul's Church, K Street, Washington, D.C.
- St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, Austria
- Bratislava Conservatory, Slovakia
- Iglesia de Jesus de Miramar, Havana, Cuba
Touring with the Andrean Ensemble was invaluable: it allowed me to connect to the pieces in our repertoire more profoundly. Whether we were singing an open worship service in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, or an intimate recital at a conservatory in Slovakia, performing in diverse venues helped teach us as a choir musical nuances that can only be understood through traveling. My tours with the Andrean Ensemble were some of the most enjoyable times of both my high school and musical careers.
The Noxontones is a popular coed a cappella ensemble of roughly 16 to 18 singers that rehearses twice weekly in the evenings and performs a number of times throughout the year. The focus of Noxontones is the American collegiate a cappella literature, including arrangements done especially for the group by their director. Noxontones is an extracurricular activity, not a for-credit course, and is open to all students by audition.
Private voice lessons are available for all students (whether or not they participate in our of our choral music ensembles) for an additional fee. Students may take private voice lessons during the school day, evenings, or on weekends. Interested students should contact Quinn Kerrane at email@example.com.
Quinn Kerrane is St. Andrew's Director of Choral and Vocal Music. She joined the Music Department in 2004 as a private voice teacher and choral director of the Noxontones.
As a performer, Quinn specialized in Baroque and Renaissance music. She worked as a soloist with early music chamber groups in Colorado and Boston, and performed as a soloist and section leader at St. John Episcopal Cathedral, Denver, and Christ Church, Boston. While living in Boston Quinn also sang with early music choral groups Boston Bach, and Schola Cantorum, including performances at the Boston Early Music Festival and Bach festivals in New York.
Quinn also has varied experience as an elementary and middle school teacher. She taught for two years at a public school in Middletown, and two years in Colorado public schools. She earned her bachelor’s in music at the University of Delaware, and a graduate degree in pedagogy and vocal performance at the University of Colorado.
Gary Seydell has performed in regional opera houses throughout the United States and Italy and has been a soloist with several orchestras including the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Newark Symphony, Northern Kentucky Symphony and the Wheeling Symphony.
Mr. Seydell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Voice from the University of Delaware, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and an Artist Diploma in Opera from The University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.
Mr. Seydell currently holds the position of Assistant Director of Academic Advising at Wilmington University and has been adjunct professor of voice at the University of Delaware and Visiting Assistant Professor at The State University of New York (SUNY) College at Fredonia. He is a regular soloist for Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and performs regularly throughout Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has maintained a professional singing career for the last 20 years while working in higher education.