The Raleigh Boychoir

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The Raleigh Boychoir
Origin Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Genres Classical, Folk, Patriotic, Musical Theater
Years active 1968–present
Members Artistic Director & Conductor
Robert Unger
Asst. Director & Principal Accompanist
Vicki Oehling
Past members Founder
Thomas Sibley

The Raleigh Boychoir is a 70-member strong choral group based in Raleigh, NC that educates and trains boys aged 7 to 14 in the art of singing and performing the finest music in the boychoir tradition. The boys who participate have an opportunity to learn and perform some of the world's great choral music. The choristers, conductors and musicians of the Raleigh Boychoir contribute generously with their talents to the musical and cultural life of Raleigh and the greater Triangle area and beyond.


The Raleigh Boychoir was established in October 1968 by Thomas E. Sibley with 20 boys and a $50 contribution from the Woman's Club of Raleigh. Sibley, who served as coordinator of music for Raleigh public schools, as well as organist and choir master of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Raleigh, founded the choir because of his concern about the lack of choral experiences and performance opportunities for boys whose voices had not changed. He also believed in developing the etiquette of young boys.

The newly formed boychoir offered a public concert during its first Christmas season in 1968. That first "Carols of Christmas" concert has become a Yuletide tradition for many in the greater Raleigh area. Mr. Sibley conducted his 40th and final holiday concert in 2008.[1]


The Boychoir is committed both to artistic excellence and to developing each boy's confidence and character. The Raleigh Boychoir’s repertoire is demanding and includes sacred and secular classics, selections from musical theater, and a rich assortment of American folk music and patriotic music.

The Raleigh Boychoir has performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall and the National Cathedral, and has toured throughout the United States and Europe. The Raleigh Boychoir is composed of the following choirs:

Millennium Singers
Performing Choir
Resident Choir
Training Choir
Alumni/Scholar Choir

Some Raleigh Boychoir choristers have even moved on to other top boychoirs around the world, including the American Boychoir, St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys and the Vienna Boys' Choir.[2]

Annual Performance Schedule[edit]

The performance schedule has expanded from a single Christmas concert in 1968 to 15-20 engagements annually. The various Raleigh Boychoir choirs sing throughout the greater Raleigh area. The Performing Choir serves as the touring choir, taking trips regionally, nationally and internationally. The most recent international trip was a 2012 pre-Olympic tour to a choral festival in London.[3]

The Boychoir's annual home season consists of four key performances: Fall Concert, Carols of Christmas, American Music Festival and Spring Concert. The schedule also includes engagements that range from participation in the Friends of the College and Peace Concert Series to concerts for arts and civic organizations, from outreach performances at retirement communities to concerts in conjunction with the family oriented events at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and from festivals and celebrations for the city of Raleigh and towns in Wake County to performances with the North Carolina Symphony and the North Carolina Master Chorale.

Musical Education and Personal Development[edit]

In addition to exciting performance opportunities and lasting memories of fun and fellowship, the Raleigh Boychoir provides excellent musical training for every choir member. Choristers develop an appreciation for a wide range of choral literature. They also learn to read and sight-read/sight-sing music. These skills are beneficial to boys who also play instruments or sing in school or church choirs.

Participating in the Raleigh Boychoir also affords choristers the opportunity to develop confidence, poise, character, discipline and leadership abilities. Each chorister devotes numerous hours over weeks, months and years to help sustain the choral tradition of boychoir singing. In return, choristers are rewarded with a rich, unique and unforgettable experience that will remain an integral part of their lives.


The Raleigh Boychoir is always eager to welcome new boys into its program. The Boychoir holds auditions three times per year: mid-January, mid-April and mid-September. Interested boys and their parents can come to the Raleigh Boychoir Centre to learn more about the choir and meet with the artistic directors. This audition is low key audition; boys simply need to bring with them a love of music and a desire to sing. Auditions are open to boys 7 to 11 years old, regardless of race, color, or creed. New boys are allowed to participate in a trial period of a month before committing to a semester-based tuition.

Artistic Staff[edit]

  • Robert Unger, Artistic Director & Conductor of the Performing Choir, Resident Choir, Alumni/Scholar Choir and Millennium Singers
  • Vicki Oehling, Assistant Director, Principal Accompanist & Training Choir Conductor
  • Thomas Sibley, Founding Director Emeritus


The Raleigh Boychoir is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that operates with limited staff and financial resources. However, in recent years, the Boychoir has grown to include an elected volunteer Board of Directors, parent committees and an executive director.

Board Positions Parent Committees
Chair Web Community
Vice Chair Marketing/PR
Secretary Fundraising
Treasurer Grant Writing/Research
Membership Chair Membership
Tours Chair Performance and Social Events
Director of Parent/Board Relations Robing
Director of Long-Range Planning Clothing Closet
Director of Facilities Management General Assistance
Director of Alumni Relations Choir Parent

The Board of Directors also includes a number of at-large positions.


  1. ^ "Thomas E. Sibley Leads Raleigh Boychoir in 40th Annual Carols of Christmas." Classical Voice of North Carolina, Dec. 8, 2008.
  2. ^ "Raleigh boy singer tours the world with famed Vienna Boys' Choir." Raleigh News & Observer, Jan. 8, 2012.
  3. ^ "Raleigh Boychoir performs at pre-Olympic choral festival." Raleigh News & Observer, July 7, 2012.

External links[edit]