Ruth Purcell, founding director of the North Georgia Children’s Chorus, has recently received Certification by the Choristers Guild Institute. Mrs. Purcell was one of 15 choral musicians serving churches throughout the United States and Canada who received certification at the Institute in 2012.
The Choristers Guild Institute is a three-stage certification program for directors of young singers, Grades K-8, in a Christian church or school setting. Participants are recommended by their pastor, principal, or director of music. The three-summer Institute, totaling 180 hours, offers a rigorous curriculum and schedule including seminars, workshops, and master classes in four areas of emphasis: Worship and Young Singers; Pedagogical Skills and Content Knowledge for a Successful Choir Program; Administration and Organization of an Effective Music Ministry; and Personal Musicianship and Leadership Skills with focus on conducting and voice. Certification in the three-summer program also requires outside reading and completion of short and long-term assignments each Institute Year. Participants are under a faculty mentor throughout the three-year period.
The 2012 Institute core faculty included nationally recognized leaders in the area of church and choral music education including Dr. Therees Hibbard, University of Nebraska; Dr. C. Michael Hawn, Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University; Dr. Kenney Potter, Wingate University, and Helen Kemp, Professor Emerita of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ. Numerous other sessions were led by highly experienced and qualified instructors. The Helen Kemp Lecture, during the Institute, featured Sue Ellen Page of Princeton, NJ. The Choristers Guild Institute was held on the beautiful campus of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Mrs. Purcell had this to say about her experience at the Choristers Guild Institute. “Each successive summer was better than the one before. I was amazed at how comprehensive the curriculum was, and was inspired by the dedication and passion of every single faculty member. New learning in many other areas, such as organizing a choral program and working with volunteers, was an added benefit of the program. Best of all was the opportunity to sing together with so many wonderful, dedicated musicians.”
Certification opens doors to continuing education opportunities in future years at the Institute’s Advanced Seminar for Alumnae.