American Kodály Children's Chorus
Overview | Class Descriptions | How to Join | Faculty | Fees & Payment | Contact | Flier | Registration Form | Handbook | Newsletter
The American Kodály Children’s Chorus is dedicated to offering all boys and girls, ages 5-18, in the greater Baltimore area access to high quality music training in a nurturing environment.
During the school year, the chorus meets at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore. During the summer, the chorus is in residence at Loyola University Maryland as an observation and laboratory chorus for the graduate students enrolled in the American Kodály Institute’s summer master’s degree program in Kodály Music Education. The chorus’s artistic director is Dr. Alyson Shirk, and the teaching staff consists of AKI graduates Rachel Kershner, Suzannah Norris and Jim Javorsky.
The American Kodály Children’s Chorus strives for excellence by providing students with:
- Vocal pedagogy-based choral and solo singing instruction
- Kodály method and play-based musicianship coursework
- Local, regional, and international performance opportunities
Choristers learn to sing, read, and write music through engagement with a diverse repertoire of classical, spiritual, and folk music from many traditions. The unique rehearsal and class curricula and activities offer an enriched learning environment and opportunities for positive social interaction with peers.
Class Descriptions and Schedules
- Cantus - Training choir with local performance opportunities. Each choir rehearsal is accompanied by one musicianship class. Students are placed in classes according to skill level.
Schedule: Meets on Tuesdays from 5–6:30 p.m.
- Lyric - Training choir with local performance opportunities. Each choir rehearsal is accompanied by one musicianship class. Students are placed in classes according to skill level.
Schedule: Meets on Tuesdays from 5–7 p.m.
- Concert Choir - Touring choir. Each choir rehearsal is accompanied by one musicianship class. Students are placed in classes according to skill level.
Schedule: Meets on Tuesdays from 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Classes for both choirs begin Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 and end Tuesday, May 19, 2015.
How to join
- Interview to be part of the chorus
Each student will need to set up an interview in order to be placed appropriately in the musicianship classes and choruses. Interviews will be conducted by Dr. Alyson Shirk and will last 30-45 minutes. Be prepared to sing a song of choice and play musical games to determine placement.
To schedule an interview, contact Dr. Shirk at email@example.com. Acceptances with chorus and class placement information will be emailed following the interview.
Download and complete the registration form (see the Registration Forms link in top right corner of this page)
Return the form with payment to:
Bryn Mawr Music School
109 W. Melrose Ave
Baltimore, MD 21210.
Dr. Alyson Shirk, Artistic Director
Dr. Alyson Shirk, artistic director of the American Kodály Children’s Chorus, also serves as director of music for The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland. She earned her doctorate in vocal performance from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2009, where she was awarded the Dean’s Graduate Scholar Award for excellence in scholarship for her dissertation “Mad Women in Opera: An Investigation of Madness and Selected Mad Scenes for Soprano." In 2009, Dr. Shirk taught master classes and performed the Brahms Requiem with the Ho Chi Minh Symphony Orchestra in Vietnam. In 2010, she studied and performed the music of Argentine composer Carlos Guastavino in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The American Kodály Children’s Chorus and Dr. Shirk’s Bryn Mawr Chorus have performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, The US State Department, and The Blair House. Dr. Shirk is the former artistic director of the Children’s Chorus of Maryland, and she conducted children from that chorus on a tour to Budapest, Hungary in July 2013, where they were keynote performers at the Kodály Institute's Seminar at the International Kodály Symposium opening concert. In addition to her work at Bryn Mawr, Dr. Shirk is a frequent choral clinician, adjudicator, and master class teacher.
Rachel Kershner, AKCC Class Teacher
Rachel Kershner teaches elementary vocal/general music for the Howard County Public School System in Maryland. She earned her bachelor's degree in Music Education with a vocal concentration from Towson University in 2012. She is currently working on her Kodály certification and master’s degree in Kodály Music Education at Loyola University Maryland. Rachel also plays the flute and piano and is an active member of the National Association for Music Education, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Organization for American Kodály Educators.
Suzannah Norris, AKCC Class Teacher
Suzannah Norris teaches pre-K through 8th grade general music at Our Lady of Hope/St. Luke’s School in Baltimore, Maryland. She also teaches Music Together® classes for young children and their families at the Abbott Center for the Arts. Ms. Norris earned a B.A. in Music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from Eastern University. She holds a Master of Education in Kodály Music Education from the American Kodály Institute at Loyola University Maryland and, in 2012, taught Solfa I and Solfa III classes for the AKI summer master’s degree program.
Jim Javorsky, AKCC Class Teacher
Jim Javorsky teaches music to students in grades K-5 at Red Pump Elementary School in Harford County. He received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Voice from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. In 2012, he received his Master of Education in Kodály Music Education from the American Kodály Institute at Loyola University Maryland.
Fees and Payment
- Cantus: $1,000
- Lyric: $1,100
- Concert: $1,200
A full refund, less $100 materials and uniform fee, will be granted for withdrawal until the first rehearsal is held. Refund requests must be submitted in writing to Dr. Alyson Shirk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the first rehearsal is held, choristers will be considered fully enrolled.
Dr. Alyson Shirk, Director of Music
The Bryn Mawr School
109 W. Melrose Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21210