The Men, Boys, and Girls Choirs of All Saints Church



Founded in 1899, the All Saints Choir of Men and Boys ls is one of only a few parish-based choirs of its type in the Episcopal Church in the United States. As we rebuild following the pandemic, All Saints Girls Choir has joined the boys for the treble line, to ensure the type of musical experience we want for our children. The choir continues not only a great tradition of choral singing, but also the distinctive sound of the great English and European boy choirs—a sound dating back centuries. The choir tours regionally annually and occasionally further - most recently to England in 2019. Through work with the choir, children learn about music, teamwork, social skills, and more. 

The choir is open to boys and girls from grades 2 - 8 (after a skills assessment and usually a period in the training choir); teen men from grades 9-12 and skilled adult men. One needs not be a member of All Saints Church to participate. The choir sings twice a month (one service Sunday AM & one Evensong service each month); rehearsing usually on Friday evenings (5:30 - 7:30 PM) and Sundays (4:00- 5:00 PM)


Do you know a child who likes to sing?

The choir is always looking for new singers!  The benefits of the choir are numerous, and the skills developed are life-long.  Here are a few:      

  • Teamwork

Any choir is a team - as each singer brings their strengths to the group. We believe that this is best done intergenerationally - a unique experience offered only by this choir in Richmond. Older children can mentor younger children, and younger children can push the older children to become leaders. The Altos, Tenors, and Basses of the choir offer guidance, direction, and support for even the youngest singer.

  • Musicianship

What would a choir be without music?  At All Saints, we train the children to use their voices, learn about music, different composers and musical genres.  Our Chorister Training Program teaches the rudiments of music theory and sight-singing. 

  • Unforgettable experiences

Singing at All Saints Church is pretty special in itself, but trips to sing in the great cathedrals and churches of the world are what sets this choir apart from other choirs.  Our choir has made regular trips to Europe, most recently to England and Austria. It has sung at the Washington National Cathedral and Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg. Our trips also include some fun events - such a singing the National Anthem to begin a University of Richmond basketball game or a Richmond Kickers soccer game.  

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  • Life-long Friendships

Many in the choir begin in 2nd or 3rd grade, and sing through their high school years.  The Choir can become their family - and many stay in touch throughout their lives.  Some have gone on to be school music teachers, where others have become successful business people. All Saints is the type of place where a 90 year old man can speak to a 2nd grade boy and say "I remember singing in the choir when I was your age".  This happens regularly, and those relationships cannot be replicated many other places!


Chorister Training Program 

Most come to the choir with little or no musical experience at a very young age (2nd - 4th grade), and we introduce the skills needed for success as a chorister.  Our goal for each child entering the program is that they become musically literate, as well as appreciate a choir's place in the community and church.

In terms of music education, we believe an educated singer is a good singer. In our program, use a variety of material to assist in learning about music education.  "A Young Singer's Journey" is our main musical curriculum, and clearly introduces music theory and sight singing. Group voice lessons are a part of early life in All Saints Choirs, and our skilled voice teachers offer helpful suggestions and instructions to lay a firm foundation for singing technique.  
All Saints Choirs are affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). A benefit of the RSCM is heir "Voice for Life" program, which we use mainly for learning about the church and the choir's place in the community. The RSCM emphasizes music education in the church - and "Voice for Life" is a structured way for anyone to learn about music, it's context, and about life in a choir. For more information, visit the RSCM website.

For those who wish to go even further, a number of music teachers operate out of All Saints, and scholarships are available for private lessons in piano, flute, violin, and voice.


Visit the Choir

You are always welcome at All Saints!  If you'd like to sit in on a rehearsal, please contact Scott Hayes, Director of Music at shayes@allsaintsrichmond.org, or 804-288-7811. 


Frequently Asked Questions About the Choir

Q:  Is the choir fun ?  It sounds like a lot of work?

A:  We think the choir is fun!  Much like scouting or any team sport, there is work involved, but there is also a lot of fun!  The choir, in cooperation with All Saints Youth Group, takes regular trips to play laser tag, bowl, see a movie, or another fun activity.  Rehearsals are not usually boring, and you get out of it what you put in.  


Q:  Do singers and their families have to be members of All Saints Church to participate in the choir?

A:  No. The choir is open to all, regardless of their religious affiliation.  Historically, many in the choir are not members of All Saints.


Q:  What happens to boys when their voices change?

A:  They will move from singing treble to one of the other parts in the choir. Some boys enjoy singing countertenor (or alto) for a time, while others prefer to move to one of the lower parts.


Q:  Is there a formal audition for the choir?

A:  Most come to the choir through one of the "Open Houses".  At these events, prospective choristers can sing as a member of the choir. Usually, this is a good indicator of how they will do in the choir - whether they are attentive to detail, willing to try the occasional "silly" idea, can they match pitch. If a boy can't attend an open house, then we'll schedule a short "musical interview", where he can demonstrate his voice by singing a well-known song (such as the National Anthem) and talk with the director.


Q:  How much does the choir cost?  

A:  The Choir does not charge for participation. Families are asked to make a donation to All Saints Music Education Fund, if they are able, and so inclined, as the choir does require significant funding to operate.   


Q:  Are the children paid for singing?

A:  Yes, boys & girls are paid for their singing.  Beginning as a way to "cover trolley fare", the continuation of this tradition signals to children, adult, and church leaders the significance of the contribution that the choristers make to our common life.  Stipends are determined by the chorister's "rank" in the RSCM Voice for Life program.  



Hear about the Choir from the Choir

All Saints Choir has meant so much to the boys and their families who have participated over the years!  What better way to find out about the choir than from those who are a part of it!  Here are some quotes:

"I like to sing with boys my age and with others who love singing as much as I do. Scott makes singing in a church choir fun!" 

  •     Marshall, Choir Boy

"As new All Saint's visitors and boys choir parents, Jay and I feel welcome and at home at All Saints.  The connection with Scott Hayes and the rest of the choir members and parents has been full of great fellowship. Our son, Grant, LOVES boys choir, and we are so blessed to be a part of God's plan at All Saints!"

  • Lisa Lugar, Choir Parent

"I have always loved the ASC Men and Boys choir, especially after 21 boys sang at our wedding in 2002.  Once West became eligible to join, I knew I wanted to learn and share with him the joy of singing in the choir. We both look forward to rehearsals and Sundays, as well as the special events Mr. Hayes has put together."

  • Dan Sherman, Gentleman of the Choir & Choir Parent

“As a father, a singer, a teacher, and a frequent choir chaperone, I’ve loved seeing what this choir does to help young men develop in so many ways.  We sing some pretty awesome music too!”

  • Chris Tickle, Gentleman of the Choir


The Choir's Schedule

The choir is really two choirs in one, the Boys & Girls who sing the treble (or soprano) line of the choir, and the Lay Clerks of the Choir who sing Alto, Tenor, and Bass parts.  As such, there are two different rehearsal schedules, and occasionally, they operate and sing as two separate choirs. Several of the men also sing in our Parish Choir, which rehearses immediately following the Men's weekly rehearsal. To find out more about the rehearsal schedule, click here.  


Hear the Choir

All are welcome to hear the choir in person on most 1st and 3rd Sundays at All Saints Church 10:30 AM worship service.  Click below for a few samples from live services.