Choirs are now resuming activity to varying degrees around the world, a very welcome development. It remains to be seen what the result of this might be.  The colder winter months may result in rising infection rates, but with the greater knowledge we now have, these may be controlled by localised measures rather than national lockdowns. Meanwhile, the choral world has become used to the idea that risk assessments must be carried out before rehearsals or performances can take place.  Guidance on risk assessment for choirs has been slow to develop.  The paper "First Choirs Standing" tells of how choirs around the world developed their own approach to risk management in advance of government guidance. Generally, they anticipated much of the guidance that was to come later with the result that performances took place safely. All the choirs exercised a high degree of precaution.  Increasing scientific information is allowing those levels of precaution to be relaxed. First Choirs Standing links the actions of the choirs to the unfolding story of the scientific research that has been ongoing throughout the summer of 2020.  

First Choirs Standing: what risks were taken by choirs returning early to singing during the 2020 Covid pandemic, how were the risks managed and what were the outcomes?  Download this paper here.

ABCD are shortly to publish their own risk assessment template that is based on the research for First Choirs Standing.  You will find it here.

First Choirs Standing updates the rapid response review I undertook for ABCD at the beginning of lockdown.  You can still access that paper through the ABCD Choral Directions Research page.

Where have all the singers gone? and when will they return? Prospects for choral singing after the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, ABCD Choral Directions Research, Vol. 1 supplement.   

CCWB actual.jpg

When boys discover the value of it, they sing

1812P DVD Cover.jpeg
SLSS Cover.jpeg.jpeg
Monday Afternoons.JPG
Emerging voices.JPG

Where have all the singers gone? and when will they return? Prospects for choral singing after the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, ABCD Choral Directions Research, Vol. 1 supplement.

Pitch, pedagogy and performance: demographic structure and vocal blending in an English cathedral boys' choir, ABCD Choral Directions Research, 1: 49 - 59

Three supplementary (2019) chapters to How High Should Boys Sing, available here.

Voices at Thirteen: when is the 'golden year' for an English boy chorister?  


Wee shall hear the fearest voyces of all cathedral churches in England:  Uncovering a lost treasure of English choral singing. 

A high-stretched minikin or a good strong mean?  Young masculinity, identity and voice in the late sixteenth century. 

What Voices Have Emerged? Lessons on boys' vocal dispositions and choral tone from a new choral leaflet series  Music Education Research.    10.1080/14613808.2018.1534819

Beautiful Swansongs of English Cathedral Music: adolescence and the boy "treble" voice.  NATS Journal of Singing, 75 (2), 141 - 153.

To make again sweete musicke with the fearest voyces of England.  ABCD Yearbook, 2018, 34-37.

The English choral tradition and the secular trend in pubertal timing, International Journal of Research in Choral Singing. 4 (2), 4 – 27.  

1000 Years and 1000 Boys’ Voices: the crisis and radical challenge for boys’ singing, in U. Geisler and K. Johansson (eds),  Choral Singing: histories and practices.  Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Broken voices or a broken curriculum? the impact of research on UK school choral practice with boys. British Journal of Music Education,  30 (3),  311 – 327.  

With Mecke A-C  “Boyes are apt to change their voice at about fourteene yeeres of age”: an historical background to the debate about longevity in boy treble singers.   Reviews of Research in Human Learning and Music, 1, 1 – 19.  

The Angel Enigma: experienced boy singers’ perceptual judgements of changing voices. Music Education Research  13 (3), 343 -354.  

Should I be singing this and if so, how high? boys reveal their masculinities,  In J. Adams, M. Cochrane & l. Dunne (eds) The Application of Theory to Educational Research. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

The perpetuation of hegemonic male power and the loss of boyhood innocence: case studies from the music industry.  Journal of Youth Studies 14 (1), 59 – 76.  

Technique or Testosterone? An empirical report on changes in the longevity of boy singers. , NATS Journal of Singing  November/December, 137 – 145 . Access via Questia.

Slappers who gouge your eyes: Vocal performance as exemplification of disturbing inertia in gender equality, Gender and Education, 22 (1), 47-62.  Visit archive

“Real boys” don’t sing, but real boys do: the challenge of constructing and communicating acceptable boyhood, THYMOS Journal of Boyhood Studies, 4 (1), 54 – 69. Visit archive

Boyhood melancholia and the vocal projection of masculinity, THYMOS: Journal of Boyhood Studies, 2 (1), 26 – 35. Visit archive

You sing like a girl? An exploration of boyness through the treble voice, Sex Education: sexuality, society and learning, 6 (2), 193 -205.   Visit archive

The spiritual, the cultural and the religious: What can we learn from a study of boy choristers?, International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 7 (3), 257 -272.

Singing, gender and health: Perspectives from boys singing in a church choir, Health Education, 102 (4), 180 -187.

If you are having difficulty obtaining any of the above articles, you are welcome to contact me directly. 

BKS Logo.jpg

Go to my BKS media site where you will find films, recordings, broadcasts, lectures and podcast on boys' voices and choral singing