Cantus Program Information


Choralis offers the Cantus Youth Choirs program to provide opportunities for young singers to:

  • discover the joy of choral singing and developing musical skills
  • enjoy the satisfaction of offering exceptional music performances to the community
  • make new friendships rooted in a common interest and common goals

Cantus choirs have performed in programs at the International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap, The Music Center at Strathmore, and The George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts, as well as with Choralis and in their own concerts.

Cantus Ensembles

The Cantus Youth Choirs program includes three ensembles serving youth from ages 5 through 14.

  • Cantus Liberi is for children in kindergarten through fourth grade.  Participants in Cantus Liberi learn the fundamentals of singing — proper breathing, posture, and basic music reading skills — through interactive musical games and other components of a structured curriculum. Cantus Liberi helps instill a love of music and prepares children for the more advanced Cantus performing ensembles. Cantus Liberi typically performs at three concerts or special events each year.  Rehearsals are on Tuesdays from 5:00 to 6:00 pm.
  • Cantus Medius is an intermediate-level performing ensemble for youth in grades five through eight. It performs mixed voice arrangements, and so accepts boys with changed or unchanged voices. Singers in this group generally have had some singing experience and are ready for more challenging music. They work to improve their sight-singing and to be able to sing more difficult lines and harmonies. Cantus Medius typically performs at three concerts or special events each year. Rehearsals are on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.
  • Cantus Primo is an advanced-level treble choir made up of singers in grades five and above who have exceptional abilities, including strong sight-reading skills. Cantus Primo is privileged to be directed by Choralis’ founder and Artistic Director, Gretchen Kuhrmann. Cantus Primo performs for at least three concerts or other programs each year, often including performances with Choralis or another adult chorus.  All youth accepted into Cantus Primo must also participate in either Cantus Liberi or Cantus MediusCantus Primo rehearses on Tuesdays from 5:00 to 6:00 pm.

2016-17 Cantus Youth Choirs Season

The Cantus Youth Choirs 2016-17 season will include a Christmas concert designed especially for families, a Valentine cabaret, and a magical spring concert.

  • A Choralis Family Christmas: Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 4 pm, The Falls Church Episcopal, Falls Church, VA. Presented by the entire Choralis family of choirs and The Classical Brass Quintet, this concert offers family-friendly songs for all musical tastes. The concert also will include a carol sing-along, a conducting raffle, and a visit from Santa!
  • I Love You Truly, Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 7:00 pm, The Falls Church Episcopal, Falls Church, VA. Our annual Valentine Cabaret will feature solos, group songs, and singing Valentines by members of the Cantus choirs as the audience enjoys sweet treats.
  • The Magical Kingdom, Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 4 pm, The Falls Church Episcopal, Falls Church, VA. The Cantus choirs will regale the audience with songs of legends, magic, and fairy tales in their final concert of the season. 


Cantus Youth Choirs in the News!

The Cantus Youth Choirs program was featured in Bob Madigan’s Man About Town on WTOP Radio. You can listen to a portion of this segment online.



Auditions, rehearsals, and most concerts are held at: The Falls Church Episcopal, 115 E. Fairfax St., Falls Church, VA 22046.


Auditions are by appointment and generally take place in May-June and August-September for all ensembles. Auditions also may be made available at other times during the year by special arrangement. Please email to find out when the next auditions are being held and to be sent a link to an audition scheduling website at the appropriate time.

Auditioners will be asked to perform the following (with age-appropriate adjustments):

    • scales, to show their range
    • Happy Birthday (sung a cappella)
    • Row, Row, Row Your Boat, as a round with the judges
    • a simple sight-reading example
    • repeat back rhythm and melody patterns after hearing them just once



Tuition helps to defray the cost of music materials, supplies and activities; director’s and instrumentalists’ fees; facility rentals; and other Cantus Youth Choir program expenses. Uniform costs are in addition to tuition.

The 2016-17 tuition for Cantus Liberi or Cantus Medius is $550 for the first child in a family and $500 for each additional child in Liberi or Medius from the same family. There is an additional charge of $150 for singers selected to also participate in Cantus Primo.  Tuition payment is due by the first scheduled rehearsal.   Links to pay tuition online are provided below.

A limited number of scholarships are available to families able to document financial need.  Assistance can be requested through an email to:

In addition to tuition payment, families of Cantus choir members are expected to contribute to the support of the Cantus Choirs by encouraging family and friends to purchase concert tickets and volunteering to help with special events.


Uniform Information

All Cantus Youth Choirs perform in black pants and a uniform white top. Information about uniforms will be provided upon admission to a Cantus Youth Choir ensemble.


    • A Cantus Member Forms Packet must be completed for each participating child at the time of their Cantus enrollment.
    • The Member Forms Packet includes a Registration Form, Health and Emergency Authorization, Media Release, Sign-In/Sign-Out Permission Form, Parent Volunteer Form, and optional Alternate Pick-Up Designation Form.  The packet can be obtained here and must be submitted at the first rehearsal a child attends.


Additional Information

For more information on our Cantus Youth Choirs program email

    Contact us:

  1. The Choralis Foundation
    PO Box 6012
    Falls Church, VA  22040
    (703) 237-2499 (t)