Who wants to be a chorister?

14th January 2020

We’re rightly proud of our British choral tradition. Feted as one of the singular glories of musical history, it has formed a key part of our Christian worship for over a thousand years and every year our cathedrals open their doors to offer wannabee choristers the chance to be part of it.

These next couple of months sees choir taster days and some voice trials at Ripon, Manchester, Truro, York, Winchester, Gloucester and Salisbury Cathedrals.

This Saturday Manchester and Ripon are both offering chorister taster experiences.

Manchester Cathedral is holding a Be A Chorister For A Day event from 12.45pm until 4.30pm and again on March 21st. These free fun afternoons are for girls and boys. Choristerships are available.

To book a place for BACFAD, please email music@manchestercathedral.org

This Saturday also sees Ripon Cathedral launch its new Winter Prom programme to showcase its musical talent and give children aged six to 11 a glimpse of life as a chorister. It will include a free family friendly concert with live animations and refreshments and all the choirs of Ripon Cathedral will come together and invite those youngsters interested in being choristers, the chance to join them.

Next weekend the 2020 search for new choristers begins at York Minster – with a chorister audition day on Friday 24 January for York school pupils currently in Years 2 and 3 and who love singing.

Children joining the choir, which is made up of 20 boys, 20 girls and 12 adult singers, will be part of an internationally renowned team of singers whose voices are an essential part of worship at the Minster.

The Minster choir are proud to have produced the winner of BBC Radio 2’s Young Chorister Of The Year Competition 2019 – Will Miles-Kingston.

Truro Cathedral and Truro School Prep have also announced the date for their Chorister Experience and Cushion Concert – fresh from their standing ovation on Britain’s Got Talent last year!

It will take place on Saturday, January 25 between 12pm and 3.30pm and is an opportunity for boys currently in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 to learn about life as a Truro Cathedral Chorister.

The cathedral’s director of music, Christopher Gray, said:

“Being a cathedral chorister is a truly special thing that goes beyond the enriching experience of singing great music every day to become a way of life for the boys and girls who do it.”

Boys will be able to explore the cathedral and take part in a range of activities including singing with the choristers. The day will end with a cushion concert in which the cathedral choir’s boy choristers will introduce and sing a short programme of beautiful music.

This Saturday also sees voice trials for boys in Years 2-4 at Salisbury Cathedral and for girls (Years 2-4) in February.
The Cathedral and Salisbury Cathedral School run a hugely popular choir open day (‘Be a Chorister for a Day’) each year and this year it will take place on Saturday 10 October and there is a Voice Trial Workshop in November.

Applications for the Voice Trial can be downloaded from here.

Winchester Cathedral will invite boys to a chorister experience day on 1 February and the girls on 8 February.. This free event is open to any boy aged 7-9 and girls in Years 6-7 for an afternoon of musical fun before they sing Evensong with the choir in the historic Cathedral.

Booking is essential, please contact The Pilgrims’ School, 01962 854189 admissions@pilgrims-school.co.uk for the boys and for the girls contact choirs@winchester-cathedral.org.uk.

Gloucester Cathedral and The King’s School, Gloucester have just announced choral scholarships to girls for the first time. For almost 500 years boy choristers have been educated exclusively at King’s, with each boy receiving a choral scholarship towards their school fees – but from 2021 the girl choristers – who were established in 2016 – will also be offered a choral scholarship marking a significant step in the Cathedral’s rich choral history and ensuring equal opportunities for both girls and boys.

Singing audition dates for aspiring choristers have been set for Wednesday 26 February (girls) and Friday 28 February
(boys). The Cathedral and the King’s School will also hold a “Chorister Experience” Open Day on Saturday 26 September 2020 to which all are welcome.

To sign up for the voice trials and the chorister experience day click here:

St Albans is hosting a chorister taster afternoon for girls aged 7-9 on Saturday 1 February. The free day includes singing sessions, a tour of the cathedral and then rehearsal with the Girls Choir before joining them for Evensong and is open to anyone who is interested in joining the choir – no prior musical experience needed.

A similar event for the boys will take place later in the year.

To register email to music@stalbanscathedral.org

Watch a short film on being a chorister at Salisbury below.