A group of students in black dresses singing on risers on the chapel stage. There is an oboist playing and a piano player playing. The conductor is front of the group conducting with a hand in the air.

The Bel Canto curriculum explores historical, theoretical, and cultural aspects of a wide range of repertoire for older, advanced treble choirs. Bel Canto singers prepare music for multiple performances per year, including both the fall and spring Girl Choir concerts. Bel Canto was recently awarded Second Place in the national American Prize competition, has been invited to perform at several state and regional conventions of choral conductors, and has appeared as the guest artist with the Monteverdi Master Chorale (Stevens Point), St. Marys Youth Choir (Ontario, Canada), Viking Choral Festival, newVoices (formerly White Heron Chorale), Makaroff Youth Ballet, Lawrence University choirs and orchestra, and for the Sing Out Loud! and PIPFest women's choir festivals in Minnesota. They have appeared on Wisconsin Public Television and have a performance permanently linked to the WPT website.

Students registered for Academy ensembles are also expected to participate in a curricular (during the school day, for credit) performing musical ensemble when available; Bel Canto should not substitute for curricular music programs.

Auditions for Bel Canto are held in April for the following academic year. Auditions for the 2019-20 season are closed. Please fill out our interest form to receive information about auditions next spring.

Tuition assistance is available to families who demonstrate financial need.


  • CONFIRMED - Additional Bel Canto Performance
    • Saturday, February 1, 2020, 9:30 am - 11:00 am (shared performance with Capriccio/singalong at Touchmark)

  • Spring Concerts - Date Change
    • The spring Girl Choir concerts have been moved from Saturday, March 28 to Sunday, March 29. They will still take place at 2pm and 7pm, and the dress rehearsal will still take place on Friday, March 27.

  • Riser Schedule
    • ​Six Bel Canto singers are expected to help with riser setup and strike every week. Click the button below to view the schedule.

2019-20 Riser Schedule



Homework assigned October 13
  • Qui creavit - (We will always start on page 4 from now on.) Please get comfortable with the Latin in verses 1-3 that we learned, and learn the notes for the Latin we learned in verse 4 (mm 21-26). A recording of the Latin is linked here.
  • You are doing a GREAT job with the Debussy! Keep puckering, especially for final "e" vowels. We sang measures 28-40 in class; please solidify those notes and add the French (we learned in rehearsal), linked here.
  • Angels We Have Heard - remember if you are a first or second S1/S2/A1 and be sure you know where you sing for the introduction. Memorize all of verse 1 for next week.
  • Abreme - learn the notes for 42-55 and you will have reinforced the notes  in 13-26. :) Be prepared to sing 1-41 on the Spanish and 42-55 on "pa." We'll add the Spanish next week. Here is the definitive recording we'll use for pronunciation (conducted by the arranger!), and they use a soft z ("s") on zarandela.


Past Assignments:
Homework assigned October 6
  • Review measures 2-13 (on pages 4-5, not the unison version) of Qui creavit on solfege and be sure you are singing the correct notes and rhythms. Note that A2 (not S1) has the first "Two Voices" spot at the beginning.
  • Learn your part in Qui creavit from measures 14-20 on solfege, paying attention to where the melody lies and to tuning the Lydian mode. (Sopranos - this is your opportunity to really tune/fix the "ti" in the first two sections, since you won't have much heavy lifting here!)
  • Review/solidify the Spanish in Abreme la Puerta
  • Learn the notes of your part in Abreme (on the Spanish) from measures 13-26. Pay careful attention to the rhythms.
  • Review all of Abreme (mm 1-12, 26-41), solidifying rhythmic issues, entrances, and language.
  • Get more comfortable with the French in Noel des enfants (link to pronunciation in the last two weeks' assignments). If you have Spotify, it is 6 from the bottom of the list on this album: https://open.spotify.com/album/4cOAPhU7iYlTLq1IvXnab9 If you have Amazon Prime, you can stream it here (scroll down to track 19): https://www.amazon.com/Choral-Concert-Tapiola-Kortekangas-Kostiainen/dp/B002Y8DNB4 An internet search will bring you other videos, but not the recording you heard in rehearsal, if you have neither service.
  • Review pages 8-10 of Sleigh Ride


Homework assigned September 29
  • Write the solfege into measures 2-7 of Qui creavit
  • Review the first two pages of Abreme, fixing pitch/rhythmic errors, and review your part from measures 26-41. Altos, be especially careful to practice putting lots of air through the non-voiced "ch k." Everyone, soften up the "z" in "corazon" (closer to an "s")
  • Really work on getting the French working in your mouth on the sections from last week. Pucker up! :) Also, please learn your part (notes/rhythms) from measure 75 to the end. Note the S1/S2 notes and A1/A2 notes toward the end. Here is a link to the French for that section.
  • Review pages 8-10 of Sleigh Ride (starts last two notes of page 7 at the top). If you were absent, please contact a singer who was present that night so you know what sections we sing.


Homework assigned September 22
  • Get comfortable with pages 1-3 (ensuring pitch and rhythm accuracy) on "loo" of Qui creavit.
  • Review/solidify notes /rhythms of the Debussy in measures 3-26 and 60-72. Add the French, linked here, and be ready to sing these sections on the words by next week. (Sorry, sopranos, you have the heavy lifting this week!)
  • Review the first four measures of Abreme La Puerta, learn measures 5-12. Put both sections on words and be ready to sing these two pages next week (slower than the recording, faster than careful!). Here is a link to the recording we heard last night.
  • The schedule for riser set up/strike has been posted. Please take a look and make sure you are able to fill your time.


2019-20 Dress Rehearsal and Concert Dates

Tickets for the winter concert go on sale October 30, and tickets for the spring concert go on sale March 9. Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office online, over the phone, or in-person.

Dress Rehearsals
Friday, December 13, 2019 3:45-6:30 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Friday, March 27, 2020

3:45-6:30 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Saturday, December 14, 2019 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel
- 7:00 p.m. concert will be available
to view online via Livestream.


Sunday, March 29, 2020


2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel
- 7:00 p.m. concert will be available
to view online via Livestream.

2019-20 Calendar

Click the button below to view a draft of the 2019-20 Bel Canto calendar. Please note that the calendar will be updated in September.

2019-20 Calendar

Policies and Required Materials

Registration in an Academy program indicates your understanding and acceptance of our guidelines. In addition to the Academy guidelines, please click through the subjects below to read about Girl Choir-specific policies and required materials.

Girl Choir Handbook
Please refer to the Girl Choir handbook for a comprehensive list of guidelines. Click here to view the handbook.
Electronics Policy
Cell phones, iPods, electronic readers, and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited during ensemble rehearsals and back stage during concerts. If a family emergency takes place during a rehearsal or concert, please contact the ensemble manager.
Concert Uniform
  • Bel Canto will have a choice between purchasing a uniform dress or uniform top and pants.
  • Singers who already own a dress may choose to be fitted for and purchase the new uniform top and pants or continue to wear the dress they already own.
  • Bel Canto singers are to wear black, closed-toed, flat-heeled dress shoes, and black pantyhose.
  • Post-style earrings for concerts are acceptable, no hoops.
  • Hair must be a natural color, or sprayed a natural color, for performance. Singers with longer hair should pull or pin hair back so that it does not obscure their face while on stage. Hair accessories should be small and the color of the hair.
  • No uniform return is necessary at the end of the season.
Choir Materials
  • Bel Canto singers must bring a black three-ring binder and two sharpened pencils to every rehearsal.
  • Music is the property of the Academy.
  • Singers new to the program will receive a tote bag that becomes theirs.
  • Additional or replacement bags can be purchased through the Academy office for the price of $10 plus tax.

a clos-up of several high school Girl Choir singers singing during a concertA close-up of several Bel Canto seniors smiling. They are wearing their concert dresses, pearl necklaces, and corsages.Bel Canto seniors are lined up at the front of the Chapel stage and holding hands before the finale.Stylized Girl Choir typography designed to look like a treble clef