The Boys’ Choir of Saint Paul’s | Harvard Square Concerts

Seasonal performances in the true European chorister tradition

Saint Paul’s Boys Choir singing during a Christmas Service at St. Paul’s Parish | Harvard Square, image by George Martell

McGRATHPR.com – Saint Paul’s Choir School (SPCS) announces its Christmas season Boys Choir performances, a treasured tradition of Saint Paul’s | Harvard Square, Cambridge.  The Choir is directed by Conductor and SPCS Director of Music James Kennerley.

The Boys’ Choir of Saint Paul’s Christmas season performances open with A Celebration of Christmas, a choral concert program performed by the Choir of Men & Boys of Saint Paul’s | Harvard Square. The program features favorite Christmas music selections, as well as beloved carols that invite the audience to join in song. Compositions are drawn from more than 500 years of choral literature, including original works composed by Director of Music and Conductor James Kennerley, as well as selections by acclaimed contemporary composers including John Rutter, Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen. The Saint Paul’s choristers, in the true European tradition, invite the audience on a musical journey through the many themes and moments of the Christmas story. The choirs are joined by the Back Bay Brass, a premiere Boston-based chamber music ensemble, and a percussion ensemble, with accompaniment on Saint Paul’s majestic pipe organ by Maks Adach, organist.

The Boys’ Choir of Saint Paul’s Performance Schedule:

A chorister in St. Paul’s Boys Choir,
image by Brian Crowley

Tree Lighting Ceremony in Harvard Square

The Boys Choir joins this popular community event to share traditional Christmas carols

and other seasonal songs in Cambridge’s Harvard Square

Sunday, December 1, 4:00 pm

Admission is free

For more information on the Tree Lighting Ceremony, visit harvardsquare.com

A Celebration of Christmas

Sunday, December 8, 3:00 to 4:30 pm, Saint Paul’s | Harvard Square

29 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge

Performed by the Choir of Men & Boys of Saint Paul’s | Harvard Square

Tickets:  preferred seating $35, general seating $25

Advance purchase:  saintpaulschoirschool.us/events

Sunday, December 15, 3:00 to 4:30 pm, Saint Paul’s | Harvard Square

29 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge

Performed by the Choir of Men & Boys of Saint Paul’s | Harvard Square

Tickets:  preferred seating $35, general seating $25

Advance purchase:  saintpaulschoirschool.us/events

Tickets are available at the door to church capacity, and may be purchased by cash, check or credit card.

Parking is available street side or in the public garage at 65 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge.

Ceremony of Carols

A performance of Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols coupled with traditional Christmas Carols

Saturday, December 14, 6:00 pm

Our Lady of Good Voyage Shrine Church, 51 Seaport Blvd., Boston

For more information on Our Lady of Good Voyage Shrine Church, visit seaportshrine.org

Saint Paul’s Boys Choir singing during a Christmas service, image by George Martell

Saint Paul’s | Harvard Square Christmas Services

29 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge

Father William Kelly, Pastor

The Boys’ Choir of Saint Paul’s performs at each of these services, singing Gregorian plainsong selections and Christmas carols

Lessons and Carols

Tuesday, December 24, 3:00 pm

Christmas Eve Mass

Tuesday, December 24, 7:30 pm

Christmas Day Mass

Wednesday, December 25, 11:00 am

For more information on Saint Paul’s | Harvard Square, visit stpaulparish.org


Saint Paul’s Choir School Director of Music James Kennerley,
image by Brian Crowley

Internationally recognized organist, vocalist and Director of Music James Kennerley, conductor, is rooted in the English choir school tradition, having sung as a chorister under Graham Elliott and Barry Rose at Chelmsford Cathedral. He later served as Organ Scholar at Jesus College, Cambridge, and at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London. Most recently he served as Music Director at three influential Episcopal churches in the United States. Additionally, he has provided professional leadership as Dean of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and as Director of the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus.

Founded in 1963, Saint Paul’s Choir School prepares boys in grades 3 through 8 to succeed in the strongest secondary schools, become confident and virtuous leaders, and grow into compassionate, caring adults. Embracing the great cathedral school model, SPCS unites a rigorous academic and musical curriculum rooted in the Roman Catholic moral tradition. Within this community of faith, friendship and high expectations, students move through critical developmental periods in their transition from children to men. Over time they build the habits of mind and heart to rise to all of life’s demands and thrive in a world characterized by constant change.

Saint Paul Choir School’s world-class music program trains all students in choral music appreciation, theory and practice. They sing music ranging from Gregorian chant (which is a key feature in any sung Mass) to contemporary commissions for the choir.  The choir provides beautiful liturgical music at daily and Sunday services at Saint Paul’s Church and have released several professional recordings, including the albums Ave Maria and Christmas in Harvard Square (by Aim Higher Recordings, available at saintpaulschoirschool.us). In addition, the ensemble tours internationally and performs alongside renowned groups such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

Saint Paul’s Boys Choir Singing with Director of Music James Kennerley,
image by Brian Crowley

A demanding and thorough music theory course is taught using the internationally acclaimed materials of the ABRSM. Each boy takes individual piano or organ lessons, also using the ABRSM syllabus, which draws together the various elements of the music program. As the boys continue through the school and their voices change, a Choral Studies course teaches them about conducting, composition, and choir training. The study of the organ is also available to qualified students.


A Celebration of Christmas concert program:

CAROL: arr. Willcocks: Once in Royal

Our Lady

Kennerley: Adam lay ybounden 

Darke: In the bleak midwinter

Howells: A spotless rose

CAROL: The first Nowell

A Great and Mighty Wonder

Lauridsen: O magnum mysterium

Taverner: God is with us

arr. Kennerley: Cantique de Nöel (O Holy Night)

CAROL: arr. Kennerley: Joy to the world

BRASS/ORGAN: Gabrieli: Canzon Septimi Toni a 8

The Road to Bethlehem 

arr. Rutter: I wonder as I wonder

Head: The little road to Bethlehem

Rutter: Shepherd’s Pipe Carol

arr. Marier: Silent Night

CAROL: Angels we have heard on high

A Starry Night

Warlock: Bethlehem Down

Rutter: Star Carol

Whitacre: lux aurumque

CAROL: arr. Willcocks: Hark, the Herald angels sing 


To learn more about Saint Paul’s Choir School enrollment, curriculum, programs and performances, visit saintpaulschoirschool.us, call 617-868-8658, or email admin@saintpaulschoirschool.us, or follow St. Paul’s Choir School Harvard Square on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Saint Paul’s Choir School

Saint Paul’s Choir School (SPCS) is the only private all-boys Catholic Choir School in the United States, serving students in grades 3 through 8. Founded in 1963 by Dr. Theodore Marier, SPCS is a vital facet of Saint Paul’s Parish in Harvard Square, Cambridge, led by Father William Kelly, Pastor, an alumnus of the school himself.  

Dedicated to providing rigorous academic training and an extensive and unique education in music and liturgy, SPCS accepts musically talented and academically qualified boys ages nine through fourteen for full-time study. Students commute locally from communities in the Metro-Boston region.  Together with committed parents and inspirational teachers, SPCS endeavors to form the faith, character, and intellectual and musical abilities of young men, preparing them for the strongest secondary schools, and equipping them to become virtuous adult leaders.

​Uniquely integrated with music study, the school’s diverse academic offerings aspire to give each student a strong foundation in basic skills and to provide diverse opportunities for enrichment. The positive influence derived from the study of music on other academics is clearly evident. Classes are small and motivation is high among both students and teachers, making for a lively, energetic and creative classroom environment.​

To learn more about enrollment, curriculum, programs and performances, visit saintpaulschoirschool.us, call 617-868-8658, or email admin@saintpaulschoirschool.us, or follow St. Paul’s Choir School Harvard Square on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.