Choral Scholars Program

What is the Choral Scholars Program? It’s a hands-on musical experience for selected west side high school students who sing in their school’s choir. Students join the 80-voice West Shore Chorale for approximately 8 rehearsals in the Fall and/or the Spring to learn and then perform a choral/symphonic masterwork at the Chorale’s spring concert.

Who can participate? Up to 4 students from any west side high school preferably an SATB quartet.  On occasion, more may take part.

How are they chosen? Students are chosen by their high school director. There is no audition process. Each high school director is given the freedom to set criteria for participation. The West Shore Chorale’s only request is to choose students who know they can participate in the majority of the rehearsals.

Why does the Chorale do this? Part of the mission of the West Shore Chorale is to promote choral music education among young people. We offer free tickets to students to all performances, waiver of music fees for any student who is admitted to membership in the Chorale, and various projects over the past few years that have involved student choral groups performing with the Chorale.

When does this take place? Students are selected during the month of September for the Christmas concert. They start coming to rehearsals on October 5 for a total of 10 rehearsals.  The concert is generally in the first or second Sunday in December at 7:30 PM.  Plans for the spring concert will be announced later.

Where are the rehearsals? The rehearsals take place at Memorial Hall part of the Rocky River City Hall Complex at the intersection of Wagar and Hilliard, in Rocky River. There is a huge parking area and a circular drive in front of the hall to drop off and pick up students who don’t drive.

History? The Choral Scholars program began in 2010 with a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Since then there have been performances of Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Samson, Beethoven’s Mass in C, and Bach’s Cantata #4.  Haydn’s “Harmoniemesse” and Dvorak’s Te Deum. In 2018, our 50th anniversary we did the  Mozart Requiem and a newly commissioned work by David Malloy, composer of the Tony award-winning musical “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.”  Recently we did Parts 2 and 3 of Handel’s Messiah with professional soloists and orchestra and this coming season Faure's Requiem and Bach's Magnificat in D.

For an audio-visual explanation of the program go to:

For students who are Choral Scholars

Questions and Answers

What’s the first thing I should do at rehearsal each week? Go to the table at the front of the room and check-in. There is a separate attendance sheet for the Choral Scholars. Make sure you bring a pencil to the very first rehearsal you should also pick up the scores we will be using (at the back of the room)

When do rehearsals begin and end? Rehearsals begin promptly at 7:30 PM and end at or before 9:30 PM. If someone is picking you up they can wait in the “circle” in front of Memorial Hall.

When and where is the concert? Our concerts can be found on our performances page

Is there a dress rehearsal for the concert? Yes, generally on the Saturday before the concert from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Are there tickets to the concert? Yes. All tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance….see a WSC representative at the front table. Or they can be bought online or ordered by phone at 216-375-7773. All students are free, so your friends can come to the concert at no cost.

What to wear for the concert? If your regular school uniform for concerts is a formal black tux or black gown, you should wear that. If your school wears robes or some formal outfit other than black, try to find an all-black ensemble to wear for the concert. Come as close as you can. The Chorale wears either a black tux, white shirt, and black bow tie or a long black dress or blouse/dress ensemble that is floor length. Do not wear high heels.

When will I return my music? At the end of the concert as you go off stage, there will be bins for your music.

How do I know what will be covered in rehearsals? The conduct will send an email with music that will be covered in each rehearsal. 

Where can I obtain a sheet containing scales? Go to our important links page.

Where can I get help with my part online? Go to and find the pieces we are rehearsing – individual voice tracts for every chorus are available.  Also, YouTube performances will be on our website.