The Pueri Cantores

The origins of the Pueri Cantores go back to the 6th century, when Pope Gregory the Great established a school of boy choristers to complement the adult singers at papal celebrations. Today they form the most important link with the Renaissance sound, and at the same time the most delicate part of the choir, because it is not just  the boys’ musical training that is overseen, but their educational and cultural development as well.
The boys attend a private Catholic school, recognised by the Italian state, the Schola Puerorum della Cappella Sistina, where the normal curriculum is supplemented with lessons in music theory, sol-fa, vocal technique and piano. Every year, the teachers of the Pueri Cantores go round the primary schools and parishes of the Rome area to chose the right voices to join the preparatory class. At the end of this phase, the eligible Pueri Cantores go on to join the Sistine Chapel Choir officially.