About the Film

The Story behind THE CHOIR

Three years before our son was born, my fiancé and I sat in a pew towards the back of The Cathedral of the Madeleine. It was Sunday and sitting towards the back of the church provides one of the best vantage points in this striking architectural landmark. We sat there astonished. 

It wasn’t just the impressive gothic revival interior with towering columns or the incredible influence of Spanish/Moroccan art murals with dramatic angels on the ceiling. Nor was it the distinctive stained glass windows throughout. We had been in the cathedral before, as we were planning our wedding. A fifth generation parishioner, I was very familiar with the cathedral. My great-grandfather, an Irish mine owner from Park City, helped to build the cathedral along with other wealthy Utah mining families

My wife and I lived in New York City for years, a city that boasts St. Patrick’s and St. John The Divine cathedrals…we both had traveled across Europe...and were familiar with spectacular architecture and interiors. Growing up in England, my wife had frequently experienced beautiful performing choirs including the boy’s choir at Westminster Cathedral.

What astonished us - that Sunday - years ago-was the sound and beauty of children’s voices emanating from the back of an ornately carved wooden screen just behind the altar.

We were also surprised to see a mix of boys … and girls… streaming down the aisle at the conclusion of the Mass. They were all from a new choir school, The Madeleine Choir School, founded only months before. We were ‘moved’ and wanted them to sing at our wedding ceremony.

Who knew… that ten years after our son was born… we would be listening to ‘his’ voice… as part of this superbly trained choir that ‘so’ astonished us years before. This choir, although from Roman Catholic roots, was participating in the same show of cultural diversity that the cathedral practiced. It was then that we decided to tell the story of this choir, its history, the visionaries who created the choir school and those talented teachers who produce one of the finest children’s choirs in the world.

In a city that boasts one of the best known ‘adult choirs’ on the planet… there is another choir, a children’s choir, with an international reputation and a collective voice that continues a tradition of liturgy with music. It is the only co-ed choir school in North America and is nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in the heart of Salt Lake City. Their story is inspiring and their voices are truly the ‘speech of angels.’

Michael J. Kearns
Executive Producer