Choristers Guild Institute 

A certification program for directors of young singers in churches and church schools

Monday, July 22 - Friday, July 26, 2019
(Opens at noon Monday, concludes at 12:30 Friday afternoon)

First UMC in Fort Worth, Texas

About the Choristers Guild Institute

The Choristers Guild Institute is a three-year certification program for leaders of children's and youth choirs (K-8) in churches and church schools. Each summer, partcipants receive week-long, intensive instruction and mentoring from a faculty composed of talented, nationally-know teachers and clinicians. (See the schedule for the 2019 sesion here.) Alumni seminars are also available for those who wish to continue to expand their skills.

The certification process is designed to strengthen directors’ musical and instructional skills and to equip them to effectively integrate children in worship. Graduates of the program receive certification from Choristers Guild and become part of a close and supportive nationwide network of Institute alumni. 

Who Should Attend?

The Institute is designed for choir directors who are leading young singers, K-8, in a Christian church or school setting, and those preparing to be  full-time, part-time, or committed volunteer directors in these settings.

A degree in music is not required, but musical literacy is fundamental to success as a participant in the Institute. First-year participants should submit a letter of support from a supervising Pastor or staff member. A limited number of partial scholarships are available (amounts vary, but are generally between $200 and $500).

A Choristers Guild membership is required for all Institute attendees. 

2019 Institute


A distinguished group of faculty will lead courses throughout the week. You will not want to miss personalized study with this group!  Learn alongside: Andrea Baxter, Michael Burkhardt, Mark Burrows, Emily Floyd, Karol Kimmell, Chris Nemec, Tom Shelton, Amanda Page Smith and Ruth Szucs. Learn more on our Faculty page. 

Additionally, we are pleased to bring Cynthia Nott to the Institute as the 2019 Helen Kemp Lecturer. She will be the featured speaker at the Helen Kemp Banquet on Thursday evening. A nationally recognized choral educator, Ms. Nott has served as Artistic Director of the the Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas since its inception in 1997. 

Location and Lodging

The Insitute is moving to Texas! For the first time, the Insitute will take place at the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth (800 W. 5th Street). Mark Burrows, director of Children's Ministries at First UMC, will be our host. 

Accommodations will be provided by Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham, 1701 S. University, in Fort Worth's Cultural District. All rooms have a full kitchen with a fridge/freezer, microwave, oven, and dishes. Directly across the street from the hotel, you will find six restaurants of all price points.

Learn more about transportation options during the Institute. 


The program fee is $725 for attendees in their first, second, or third years of CGI. CGI alumni (those who have completed year three of the three-year program) are invited to attend at the alumni rate of $400. 

A meal plan will be offered (estimated $120). This plan will cover lunches Tuesday through Thursday, a Monday evening reception, and your ticket to the Helen Kemp Banquet on Thursday evening. 

Lodging, travel and required books are separate expenses. 

Connect with us 

Visit the Choristers Guild Institute Facebook page for regular updates on the 2019 Institute. (It's also a great way to connect with Institute students and alumni.) You can message through Facebook to get in touch with Institute Co-Directors Karol Kimmell and Chris Nemec. Or, reach us by email sent to: