Boy Choir Costumes: Italy

Figure 1.--The Piccolo Coro Sclavons has a uniform of red sweatshirts and bklue jeans. Like other Italian choirs it is a mixed choir of both boys and girls.

HBC has little information on Italian choirs. Curiously in a country with a rich musical tradition, including choral music, there appear to be no well known boy choirs. HBC has attempted to reserch the subject of Italian choirs. Given the long history of the Catholic church and choral music, there must hve been many boy choirs in the medieval and early modern era. There are countless important churches in Italy and there must have been boys cjoirs in many of them. Apparently in modern Italy, however, the notion of boys' choirs is now unknown. There are, however, children's choirs made up of both boys and girls. HBC would be very interested for any insights that Italian readers can offer.


Much of the musical tradition of the early Chridtian church developed in Italy. In addition, the western musical tradition was heavily influenced by Italian music. Italian composers and the Catholic church played an key role in Baroque music. Curiosly in a country with such a rich musical tradition, including choral music, there appear to be no well known boy choirs. HBC has attempted to reserch the subject of Italian choirs. Apparently in Italy the notion of boys' choirs is now unknown. There are, however, children's choirs made up of both boys and girls.

Individual Choirs

Curiosly in a country with a rich musical tradition, including choral music, there appear to be no well known boy choirs. HBC has attempted to reserch the subject of Italian choirs. Apparently in Italy the notion of boys' choirs is now unknown. There are, however, children's choirs made up of both boys and girls. HBC has noted some children's choirs in modern Italy. They appear to be more social choirs than one providing serious choral training.

Associazione Piccolo Coro Sclavons

Piccolo Coro Sclavons (Small Sclavons Chorus) was formed in 1992 by Parish priest Father Giovanni Vicentini. It was originally composed of some 30 of children who made the song tests after the catechismo. The choir gradually grew and by 1998 had 110 members enrolled. The main objective of the Choir is to enliven the church services of the children. In fact every Sunday morning about 50-70 children are present all year round singing liturgical classics and the work of modern composers such as Spoladore, Sequeri, Gen Rosso and Verdi, Frisina, etc. The Choir in 1996 joined the Federation of Pueri Cantores. The choir has been recognized as a legal body by the Bishop in 1998. The Choir in recent years has performed in many other parishes of the province, promoting new choirs. The choit in 1996 began organizing a concert at St. Peter in which six choirs of Pueri and Juvenes Cantores participate. The Choir besides singing the holy mass hold many concerts from Assisi and S.Maria of the Angels to Merano, from the Dome of Florence to Treviso, from Udine to Rome and in many countries and city of the Friuli and the Veneto. The activities of the Small Chorus are not limited only to singing. In fact, each year, they organized field trips, the first to Curtain, then to Rigolato and in the last years to Avoltri. The children benefit in many ways. They can use the experience gained to pursue careers in the theatre and other related areas. Some of the activities that the children remember best are games played or long walks in the beautiful Italian mountains. The Small Sclavons Chorus is composed for the greater part from children and girls from the 6 to the 18 years It is directed by Paola Polesel, assisted by Elia Marson. The operations of the choir are guided by an Association founded in 1996 by a group of parents. They organize the program the several activities, leaving undiminished the natuaral joy and enthusiasm of the children. The Choir has a casual uniform of red sweatshirts and jeans.

Pontifical choir

While not actually part of Italy, the Vatican is located in the middle of Rome. Thus for organizational simplicity, we will include the Pontifical choir with Italian choirs. The Vatican Pontifical choir includes boy singers. Boys begin at age 9 and continue until they are 13 or their voices change. We do not have further details, however, about the choir at this time. It does not appear to be part of a boarding school. We are not sure if there is a school involved.

Figure 2.--Pueri Cantores M° Onofrio Crosato war white cassocks when they perform. Here they perform before the Pope.

Pueri Cantores M° Onofrio Crosato

The Pueri Cantores M° Onofrio Crosato of the Concattedrale Dome of Pordenone are 30 children, both boys and girls, who enjoy singing together to transmit their joy also to who listens to them. They sing every Sunday and with great solennity in the parish of the Dome of Pordenone and in other neighbors. They joined the National Federation Pueri Cantores in 1995. They participated in the National Conference of Sorrento in 1997 and in the regional Conference at Lignano in 1998. They have participated to the International Conference at Salisburgo (1996), Barcelona (1998), and Rome (1999-2000). The Pueri Cantores of Pordenone have also had numerous exchanges with other Italian choruses (Saint Mount Giusto, Castions di Strada, Flambruzzo, Treviso, Macerata...). There have also been exchanges with foreign choirs (the Petits Chanteurs di Versailles--Paris, the Petits Chanteurs of Notre Dame--Soisy sur Sein, the Petits Chanteurs de Vierge the Noire of Paris. The Choir has also hosted the Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers of Saint Francisco for the the International Conference of Rome. The Choir every year organizes a gathering of Pueri Cantores of their Diocese and promote many musical activities in the city of Pordenone and outskirts. As part of their performances in 2000, the Choir has performed Baroque music, especially work by Bach chorales and and some oratories, between which "the Historia di Ezechias" by Giacomo Carissimi (1605-74). In December 2000 they will participate to the National Conference of Loreto.

Pueri Cantores "San Domenico Savio" di Plasencis (Udine)

The Pueri Cantores "San Domenico Savio" di Plasencis (Udine) unlike many Italian choirs is an all boys' choir. Like most other current Italian choirs, it was founded relatively recently. The choir was founded in 1990 and is formed from 30 boys. In 1991 it joins the italian federation of Pueri Cantores and in the same year it participates to the National Conference of Udine. On september 19, 1993 it receives the ecclesiastical approval from Bishop Batistes. Its activity is mainly liturgical, participating also in concerts. The Chorus, with its songs, animates the parochial mass and many times also those of the surrounding areas.. In 1992, at the occasion of the visit of the Pope to Udine, the choir has sung together with other groups during the mass celebrated by the Pope. He has participated to the Regional Conferences of Castions di Strada (UD) in 1992, of Loreggiola (PD) also in 1992, of Voltabarozzo (PD) in 1993. In 1994, thanks to the cooperation with the "Caritas Diocesana", it has undertaken a tournée in Hungary with stages that have touched also Austria and the Slovenia; In Budapest the Chorus has sung in the Cathedral of Santo Stefano during the mass celebrated by the Bishop of the city. Beyond having participated to the national conference of Assisi (1995), invited by the "Caritas Diocesana" the choir has participated to numerous charity concerts. In 1996 a friendship relationship is established, thanks to a sistership, with the parish of Grottammare (Ascoli Piceno); here it has animated the solemn mass in the parochial church. In the same year the choir holds the closing concert of the national conference on Problems of the Child (" With the child for the child ") held October 4 in Riva del Garda, with a most successful manifestation. From the beginning of 1997 the choir has participated in numerous liturgical functions and has in preparation, for the Christmas period, beyond to Nativity Sacred Mass, also some Christmas concerts in the near parishes. The choir is directed by the Master Annalisa IANNI. The organist is Francesco RED.

Figure 3.--I believe this is a photograph of the Pueri Cantores Saint Giuseppe.

Pueri Cantores Saint Giuseppe

The Pueri Cantores Saint Giuseppe was formed during the 1970s from a previous choir which had provided some choral training to the children. It had always been directed by nuns. In 1983 the direction of the choir changed. Laura Crosato helped the Choir grow in both numbers of member and quality of oprerformances. Sergio Tomasin begame the director in 1983. The Choir joined the Ass. Pueri Cantores in 1989. The purpose of the Choir are to promote the love for the song above all that choral music. The Choir seeks to better the relationship between young people and the society as a whole. They believe strongly in community service. They perform at many civic events. The chorus has also an intense choral program. The Choir in fact organizes various concerts during the year between which they participate in church services. They perform sacred music, including the Polifonico chorus " Saint Nicholas " of Pisa" in 1997. At the end of each April, all pupils of the music school take an examination. Quite a number of students are involved, of which some are in the conservatory and others are [organists?] in various parishes. The exam program includes several songs as soloists or accompanied by instruments, in a repertoire extending from popular to modern music. For the October concert in which new songs are presented, the Choir invites some other choirs to prticipate, mainly those with with concert experience. This results in many exchanges among the various Pueri Cantores choirs. And finally the Christmas concert, made in 1999? with the youth orchestra of Martignacco, and in which the choir demonstrated good ability to sing with a complex entity such as an orchestra. In July 1997 the choir participated in the National Conference of Sorrento from the 3 to the 6. In 1998 the chorus of Pueri Cantores "Castel di Godego" was featured on television. The chorus is directed by Elisabetta Faggian and Sergio Tomasin.

(La) Scala Boys' Choir

La Scala (Teatro alla Scala) is one of the most famed opera house in Milan. The Theter was founded in Milan as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala (New Royal-Ducal Theatre alla Scala). (1778). Almost all of Italy's greatest operatic artists, and many of the most revered opera singers from around the world, have appeared or aspired to appear at La Scala such as is its reputation in the opera world. La Scala is seen as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. It is the home of the La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra. It also has an associate school, known as the La Scala Theatre Academy (Accademia Teatro alla Scala) which provides highly regarded training in music, dance, stage craft and stage management. We believe that there was a boys' choir sponsored by the Theater, itmight even had been aesidential choir. We have been unble to find any historical information on the choir. We have found a press photogrph showing the boys at aondon appearance in 1950. The boys wear what look like grey suits.


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Created: October 27, 2000
Last updated: 3:14 AM 11/15/2017