The Texas State Men & Boys Choir

The Texas State Men & Boys Choir is a Fort Worth based non-profit organization founded by Executive Director, Gary McGrath, in January of 2015. The choir originally began as a men's choir comprised of various alumni of The Texas Boys Choir, The Austin Boys Choir, The Lubbock Boys Choir, and The Fort Bend Boys Choir. Since then the choir has been opened to men from any walk of life, and currently has members from all over the state of Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

Following this change, the choir also opened up their boys choir portion in the Fall of 2015. The boys choir is a treble only choir which currently has members ages 8 to 14 years old, and requires little to no musical experience to join. The choir welcomes and encourages Grandfathers, Fathers, and Sons to join the choir together to get the amazing opportunity to perform with family.

With Conductor, David Featherstone, you can find them performing year round all over the state of Texas for church services, weddings, and with various symphonies and chamber ensembles.

 

Our Mission Statement

The Texas State Men & Boys Choir strives to provide a structured environment for the development of a world class group of professional men and boys.

Essential elements of this development include artistic training and personal social skills, as well as instilling in each man and boy a sense of self discipline, self confidence, etiquette, patriotism, and personal appearance.

The choir is dedicated to being an active member of the local arts community through their performances and by developing boys, who as adults, will perpetuate an appreciation for the arts and their community. 

The choir will also provide the opportunity for national and international performances as a professional touring organization.

 

Q&A

Q. How much music training must my son have had in order to qualify? 

A. None. In fact, we often prefer to train a boy from the start. He must love music and have a desire to learn. If he joins, we will teach him all he needs to know about vocal technique, music theory, and performance skills. 

Q. We currently have a voice teacher or are members of another choir, will that conflict with membership in this choir?

A. Absolutely not. We encourage all of our boys to work with voice teachers and to keep their commitments to any organization they are already part of while working with ours so they will receive the fullest possible vocal training.

Q. What should we bring to the audition? 

A. A copy of your son’s latest report card, a small hardcopy photograph, and three letters of recommendation from someone other than a family member. 

Q. What should we do to prepare for the audition? 

A. On the day of the audition, please avoid outdoor sports so that you you or your son’s voice will be in the best possible condition. He will be asked to sing any song of his choosing. “Amazing Grace” is a frequent choice, but any song will be fine (other than hip-hop or rock). Most of the audition is a matter of his reciting back dictated patterns to test his inherent abilities. 

Q. If he is accepted, what happens next? 

A. Your son will enter a probationary period of six weeks. At the end of that time, he determines whether or not he wishes to continue, and writes a requisite Letter of Intention in his own handwriting. If his progress has been satisfactory, he will be placed in the choir upon recommendation of the choir staff. 

Q. How much is tuition? 

A. Boys' tuition is $100 per month. Men's tuition is $50 per month. Uniform expenses are in addition to this tuition. 

Q. What is the time commitment? 

A. The TSMBC currently rehearses once per week on Saturdays from 2:00 - 3:00PM for the boys, and Saturdays from 2:00 - 4:00PM for the men.

Q. What about conflicts with other activities (soccer, etc.)? 

A. The commitment of this choir is only 1-2 hours of rehearsal per week. Faithful attendance at rehearsals it vital in the choir’s quality of sound and ability to rehearse, therefore we have made it as easy as possible to fit into your schedule. 

Q. What are the benefits of joining the Boys’ Choir? 

A. A successful choir experience will provide your son with a personal sense of security and pride in his place in society. His growing body is developed through training in posture, breathing, and movement skills for staged productions. Sports are also an important part of the summer training program held annually. His mind and social skills are sharpened through intense concentration, teamwork, and self-discipline. His soul is strengthened through service and accomplishment. A choirboy may be special, but he is all boy! 

Q. What are the academic requirements? 

A. Boys are expected to have above-average grades. If a boy has average grades now, we would expect them to improve as he progresses through the choir year. 

Q. What about discipline? How is so much accomplished? 

A. Choir rehearsals are not permissive, but highly organized. The workload is far too great to allow for irresponsible or disruptive behavior. Rules are clearly stated and fairly enforced. Our experience is that boys who have committed to the program will enthusiastically join with others in a cheerful, purposeful application of time. 

Q. What about transportation? 

A. Carpools are likely to be formed from the beginning of each year. Each carpool is self-formed and operated. The choir office will assist whenever possible. 

Q. What about summer activities? 

A. An intensive two week-long summer training program is scheduled annually at a cost of generally $350 per week, with a performance to conclude the period. These two weeks will be especially important, as tour choir selections will be made based on individual performance demonstrated. After summer training, the tour choir of men and boys will meet on 3 select dates following shortly after summer training to prepare for summer touring. 

 

The Boys' Choir

The boys' choir is comprised of ages 8-14 (or until voice change). The boys currently rehearse one day per week on Saturday afternoons from 2:00 - 3:00PM, with the first 15 minutes being group warm ups with the men's choir. Each rehearsal helps train the boys on how to read music, how to understand general music theory, ear training, and performance etiquette. 

The choir performs repertoire from classical choral pieces, to world folk music, to patriotic standards at solo concerts, church services, conventions, weddings, funerals, and other special events.

Boys in the choir are expected to maintain a minimum of a "B" average in school, have a good personal code of conduct, and a personal appearance policy. We pride ourselves in shaping fine young men for our community and are proud to be ambassadors of the city of Fort Worth. 

TSMBC_Members_Handbook.pdf 

 

The Men's Choir

The Men's Choir is open to any man post voice change (usually near age 14). Our current men's choir ranges in age from 13-70. The men's choir performs a wide range of pieces that span from Bach, to western folk, to barbershop, to contemporary pop songs. You can see them touring every summer or performing around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in various church services, street festivals, weddings, and other special events. 

TSMBC_Members_Handbook.pdf

 

Staff

Gary McGrath, Executive Director/Founder

Deborah McGrath, Associate Director

David Featherstone, Conductor

Morris Crayton, Vocal Director/Boys' Choir Director

Our staff is highly experienced in the boy choir art form, and are industry celebrated and specifically skilled in teaching and mentoring boys aged 8 to 14, as well as older boys who are negotiating the change of voice. 

Auditions are held throughout the year at the choir office. To schedule an audition or for more information, please contact Executive Director, Gary McGrath at 4818records@gmail.com or by telephone at (818) 312-8546. Or Associate Director, Deborah McGrath at debtsmbc@gmail.com. 

 

Board of Directors

Deborah McGrath

Alan Buratto

Sue Buratto

Gordon Kelly

Nathan Krieger

Gary McGrath

Kent Schmedel

Julia Webb

 

Gary McGrath - Executive Director

Gary McGrath began his love for choral music as a member of the Texas Boys Choir at the age of 10 in Fort Worth, Texas. Gary was a first chair baritone in the TEMEA and all State Choirs from 1994-1996. He graduated as Valedictorian of the summer graduating class from Paschal High School in 1996. Gary went on to study Music Education at both Weatherford College and the University of North Texas. In the 2000's, Gary spent his time as a touring musician and recording engineer for such credible names as Universal Music Group, Capital Records, Clear Channel Radio, Manny Charlton, Peter Tork, Penny Gilley, Tim Bogert, Mark White, Luis Conte, Danny Bonaduche, Mel McDaniel, Vivian Campbell, Jerry Best, Wilfredo Reyes Jr., Private Island Trax, Brian Friedman Digital, Gari Sound, Mad Dog Studios, Nickelodeon, Walt Disney Studios, CBS Radio, The Santa Clarita Symphony, Los Angeles Symphony, and was also the Music Director for the Santa Clarita School for the Performing Arts.

 

Deborah McGrath - Associate Director

Deborah McGrath began as Associate Director of The Texas State Men & Boys Choir in December of 2015. Mrs. McGrath received her music education from her 7 years in the world renowned Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir where she quickly grew within the organization to become one of the senior members who would often play the role of student leader to aid the directors in running rehearsals and mentoring young members. Mrs. McGrath's passion for music extends through many areas of her life including being an instrumentalist and member of the choir at her church.

 

David Featherstone - Conductor

David Featherstone, a singer, composer, and conductor, sang with the UTA a Cappella Chorus, Dallas Symphony Chorus, church choirs all over Dallas, and now with The Texas State Men & Boys Choir. He was the Founder and Artistic Director for the choral group, Evening Song, for its 17 years recording 5 CDs. He served twice as Chorus Master for the North Texas Oratorio Society's production of Crawford Gates' "Visions of Eternity", performed at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in 1995 and the Eiseman Center in 2005. He is an ASCAP composer with two country songs that made the Billboard charts, one of which was "Pick Hit of the Week" in 1986. He is finishing the recording of his Requiem along with other choral and vocal pieces scheduled to be released in 2018. his compositional mentors, Doctors John Stewart and Robert X. Rodriguez, have deeply influenced his writing. The Texas State Men & Boys Choir's Executive Director, Gary McGrath, has graciously accepted two pieces written for the group, which will be performed at various concerts throughout the year.

 

Morris Crayton - Vocal Director

Morris Crayton graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. He later earned a Masters in Music Education degree and Kent State University and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education degree from Walden University. Mr. Crayton began his musical career as a boy with the Texas Boys Choir. He sang under the direction of its founder and two time Grammy Award recipient, George Bragg. As an adult, Mr. Crayton continued developing his skills in the art of singing, conduction, and vocal pedagogy. Mr. Crayton currently teaches music for Fort Worth ISD and works as Vocal Director and Boys' Choir Director for The Texas State Men & Boys Choir.