Our schola was extraordinarily fortunate to have picked good music at the outset, even from the first rehearsal. The hours we spent in these early days have paid returns over the years. Every piece you learn is something that stays in your “capital stock” for years to come. Not one minute is wasted.
Singers today have the great gift of CPDL.org to look through and find material that is suitable. This surely beats buying octavos that you make your way through once and never see again.
New scholas: listen up. Sing the best material now. In ten years, it will still be fresh and wonderful. You can still sing it at anytime. It is worth it to spend the extra time and energy getting it right from the outset rather than just getting by with the easiest material now.