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Capital Campaign

Madeleine Choir School Capital Campaign

Phase II: The Renovation of Jaquelyn M. Erbin Hall

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Case for Support

The Madeleine Choir School is a proven outlier in the current national educational landscape. The Choir School provides the best in Catholic school education while incorporating the enriched curriculum of a European choir school to a student body pointedly representative of all economic backgrounds.
The current phase of the Capital Campaign for the renovation of Jacquelyn M. Erbin Hall on our campus has yielded $5M in committed funds toward our goal to raise $6.5M. Driving this phase of our capital campaign is our plan for expansion at all grade levels. The renovation of our main building is a necessity in providing a safe classroom environment for each student at the Choir School.

The case for support and immediate need to raise the remaining funds to complete our renovation is illustrated below, accompanied by the story of continued success of our unique educational institution.

We respectfully ask for your support in our efforts to provide this unique experience to our student body representing widely diverse demographic backgrounds as the rate our growth continues to outpace that of our surrounding community.

Our Challenge

Our immediate challenge is to complete the school's current Capital Campaign goal to raise $6M for safety upgrades to the main classroom building, Jacquelyn M. Erbin Hall.

Renovation for seismic upgrade and long-term campus planning are the biggest issues facing The Madeleine Choir School today. The success in preparing students to become responsible world citizens while providing them an extremely unique and effective educational experience adds to the cultural richness of the local community and beyond. This responsibility also comes with further demand from the growing local community for additional enrollment openings and suitable, safe classroom spaces in our historic facilities.

Choir School History

Begun as an after-school choir training program, The Madeleine Choir School was established as a full-time middle school in the basement of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, and has experienced success and growth in the subsequent years, illustrated in the following timeline:

  • 1996 – The Madeleine Choir School was founded and established grades 4-8.
  • 2003 - The Choir School opened its doors as a complete K-8 elementary school with the purchase of its current and historic campus in the Avenues neighborhood of Salt Lake City.
  • 2007 - A Pre-Kindergarten program was added to The Madeleine Choir School.
  • 2010 - As the demand in enrollment was climbing steadily and the school's continued financial viability was showing a need for growth, the MCS Board of Directors approved a proposal to add an additional Kindergarten class to begin the gradual expansion to double the student body.
  • 2018 – The Choir School will complete the expansion plans for two classes per grade.

The 2003 purchase of the beautiful and charming campus from Rowland Hall has provided the Choir School the opportunity to grow and succeed in so many facets, including its continued service to the Cathedral of the Madeleine. With an enrollment of 293 students in the 2012-2013 school year, having added over 75 students from 2010 to 2013, projections show an enrollment increase of 30 students a year over the following five years, with a final count of 484 students by 2018.

Cultural Impact

The student choristers, along with the faculty and staff, of The Madeleine Choir School are widely recognized as ambassadors of the State of Utah on their annual national and international expeditions.

The downtown Salt Lake City campus serves as a training ground for student choristers, as they perform over 180 times every year. Described by many as breath-taking or awe-inspiring, performances by the Choristers of The Madeleine Choir School take place through an annual concert series, international and national tours, daily Masses at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, as well as partnerships with Ballet West and the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, among several other local arts organizations throughout the school year.

The choir's rehearsals can be heard on a daily basis echoing throughout the historic campus as they work in preparation of their astonishing performances. This daily practice is incorporated into the pursuit of rigorous academic curricula in the humanities, mathematics and sciences, visual arts, and balanced through engagement in physical education and athletics.

The school fosters a strong program of moral and character formation, and seeks to provide a thought-provoking and comprehensive study of Christian Theology. The Choir School seeks to nurture the whole child, with attention to the intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional well being of each student entrusted to its care.

Community Impact

The Madeleine Choir School adds a unique element to the arts and culture of the community in Salt Lake City through an annual concert series at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, national and international tours, in addition to our students performing in productions with Ballet West and Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, among other highly acclaimed arts organizations.

The Choir School adopts as its motto Caritas Christi urget nos (the love of Christ compels us). While serving our community as an educational choice for children with interests in music and performing arts, the overriding virtue binding this community is genuine love, concern, and respect for one another. Our community represents a wide range of diversity, coming from many religious, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Demographic Impact

In 2007, the Choir School began to explore what its role would be as the Cathedral's parish school in response to the burgeoning Hispanic community at the Cathedral. The student body population at The Madeleine Choir School is reflective of the ethnic diversity and income of the surrounding community.
Currently, the Pastoral Staff at the Cathedral works jointly with the school staff to be sure there is heightened sensitivity to the particular needs and challenges these families are facing. School leadership regularly articulates the importance of this initiative with the entire community, developing a common sense of mission for the School Board, Home and School Association, parents, faculty and staff.

Scholastic Impact

After leaving MCS, the majority of our students test into advanced classes in mathematics and science. Moreover, they consistently score in the upper quartile on standardized tests.

The Choir School teaching objective in our lower grades is to build a strong foundation in the core and liberal arts subject areas. Our dedicated teachers focus on helping all students master the prerequisite skills necessary to be competent readers, writers, mathematicians, musicians, and critical thinkers. A walk through McCarthey Hall classrooms (K-3) on any given school day will reveal both the art and the science of great teaching and highly engaged learning.

Building on the foundational skills acquired in the Lower School, students dive deep into liberal arts curriculum in grades 4 through 8, making critical cross-curricular connections. Considered by many as the best liberal arts education in the Salt Lake Valley, our students study the classics, from Theology to Latin. The structured nature of the Choir School helps middle school aged students to navigate their early teen years with a sense of relationship between self and others in the community. Through our choir and faith formation programs, students are encouraged to become leaders.

Our Goal

The Madeleine Choir School, a Roman Catholic School in the Cathedral tradition, brings together a community of learners and inspires them to become engaged scholars, effective communicators, dedicated liturgical musicians, and responsible world citizens. The Choir School preserves and furthers the choral art primarily in service to the public worship life of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, and additionally through concerts, performance tours and recordings. Through its academic coursework, character formation, social activities and athletics, the Choir School works to form these responsible world citizens who will serve as civic leaders in the generation to come.

Desired Outcomes of the Renovation of Jacquelyn M. Erbin Hall

  • An increased number of students will be helped through scholarships and are enabled to find success in their lives in our community and beyond through the scholarship program at The Madeleine Choir School.
  • Successful stories of our alumni will continue to inspire many as our students go on to make lasting contributions in their respective communities.
  • The historical significance and aesthetic features as community landmarks of The Madeleine Choir School facilities will be conserved during their restoration and upgrades. The project will:
    • Ensure occupant health and safety.
    • Improve energy efficiency.
    • Enhance usability for everyday classroom purposes and special school programs.
    • Attain fire and earthquake, disability access, and other code requirements.
    • Modernize technology infrastructure to meet present and future demands.
    • Provide comfortable accommodations for classroom, office, and public functions.
    • Restore and beautify the building's facades and school grounds.
  • Continue expanding enrollment numbers at The Madeleine Choir School while scholastics continue at high levels and choir performances experience increased attendance and visibility in the community.
  • Students will become more self-reliant and their learning and performance skills will improve as they continue to find new horizons of understanding about themselves and Christ through the benefits of a safe and well-constructed campus and advanced educational technologies and faculty teaching and mentoring.
  • Families will continue to be strengthened as they develop positive relationships through participation in The Madeleine Choir School community, given opportunities to serve others in multiple meaningful and memorable ways
  • The Madeleine Choir School leadership will participate as a strong player in the Salt Lake community to help keep the city's downtown core viable and forward thinking regarding artistic, spiritual, and humanitarian issues.

Our Objective

While preserving the aesthetic and historical appeal of our campus, we are faced with the need to seismically upgrade and maximize the utility of older facilities as places of education, music rehearsal, social gathering, and community service— revitalizing a home for building vital bonds of trust, friendship, and lasting memories for our student choristers.

Again, we respectfully ask for your support of our efforts to continue on our trajectory of success and growth.