Being an Abbey chorister is a remarkable experience for a boy.
During his years in the choir he will be trained to professional standards in performing. He will acquire a sense of purpose, of self-discipline, and awareness both of adult standards and of glorious music, words and architecture. It is a training which sets a boy up for life, in whatever field he may eventually choose.
On two days a week there is a morning rehearsal before the normal school day begins. Sunday is a busy day, with a morning and evening service. School holidays and Half Terms are all observed, except for a few days over Christmas and Easter. Choristers also have fun in plenty of non-musical activities such as cricket, ice skating, outdoor pursuits and the annual trip to the pantomime.
Abbey choristers are paid – unlike boys at many cathedrals. There are several ranks within the choir, from Probationer to Head Chorister, to which a boy will aspire. With each higher grade comes greater responsibility—and higher pay!
How do you get in?
All we look for when we audition is a quick ear, a bright eye, the beginnings of a musical voice and a reasonable reading ability. We can do the rest! No training is necessary, though having started to learn an instrument can be an advantage as it helps a boy to read music and listen.