Many countries of Western and Central Europe have a long tradition of church boys' choirs dating back to the medevil era. The choirs were associated with the Catholic Church, but choirs were also formed by some Protestant churches. Some of
Figure 1.--The Vienna Boys' Choir wears their trade mark sailor suits.
choirs developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, new
developed for performanes of non-eclesiastical music, including
sailor suits and
velvet suits or other formal dress. German an Austrian boy choirs
such as the Viennas choir boys
often chose sailor suits. French and British choirs often
had short pants uniforms. The British choristers usually wear the
traditiinal English school boy uniforms of blazers and ties. Many
private Catholic schools in France and Belgium has choirs. The boys
there traditionally wore sweaters and short pants with white knee
socks. Most of the English and French choirs since the 1980s have changed the uniform to long
pants for all but the youngest boys. Several boys' choirs were formed in America, one
of the most famous being the Harlem Boys' Choir. Since the 1970s, most choirs have gradually
adopted blazers and long pants. A few choirs continue more traditional
costumes like the Vienna Choir Boys who continue to wear sailor suits.
Figure 2.--French and Belgium Catholic schools with choirs often had uniforms with blue sweters and shorts and white knee socks.
Note: Space limitations do not permit me to provide more
boys' choir costumes or historical photograhs.
however, additional information and many historical photographs
on the expanded Boys Historical Clothing web site. For details click
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