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How to join the choir

Solo Chorister
Solo Chorister

Do you think your son might be interested in joining the choir? If so, here's what to do.

Get in touch with Charles Harrison, the Organist and Master of the Choristers. You can telephone him on 01243 812486, 01243 813582 or click here to email him. He is always happy to hear from parents and chat about the chorister life and education. For more advice, why not arrange an informal pre-audition? Charles will be happy to give a brief assessment of your son's musical potential, and there is no obligation at all to take things further.

Come to one of our Chorister Open Days - a fun and relaxed opportunity to sing with the cathedral choristers. The next Open Day is on Saturday 3rd March 2018. To book a place, please contact Lesa Burchell at the Prebendal School.

When you and your son are ready to take the next step, please make an appointment for an audition and interview. The atmosphere is welcoming and friendly. We take a completely positive approach - we want to hear what your son can do, the focus is not on what he can't do.

Singing a short song or hymn of your son's choice.
If he plays an instrument, we'd love to hear that too.
Joining in some musical games which help to tell us about your son's sense of pitch, rhythm and musical memory.
Reading a short passage of prose, usually the text of a hymn (without the tune!)

The audition usually involves three members of the Cathedral's music team: Charles Harrison (who directs the choir), Tim Ravalde (Assistant Organist, who also trains the new recruits before they are promoted to be full choristers) and Tim Schofield, a priest and professional musician who has overall responsibility for the Cathedral's music.

There are also some academic tests which are taken at the Prebendal School. Choristers tend to be bright and sparky, but they don't need to be academically brilliant! These tests are really intended to help us to be sure that your son will manage the choir's routine alongside school work and activities.

In an audition we're looking for future potential, not a finished product. We won't ask your son to sight-read music at this stage, and it doesn't matter whether or not he's had singing lessons. We're looking for a love of music, a good voice and the enthusiasm to improve.

There are three possible outcomes of the audition process:

1.  We offer your son a place, and he begins his exciting journey as part of the choir.

2.  We think your son has potential, but is not yet read for the demands of the chorister life. We will give you advice about how to continue nurturing his musicianship, and prepare for another audition. Lots of boys are accepted into the choir after their second audition; our top priority is to be sure that offering a place is absolutely the right thing for us, for you, and most importantly for your son.

3.  If we think that the Cathedral Choir and its routines are not suitable for your son, we will be happy to talk about other opportunities for singing and music. Whatever the outcome, our auditions are always a positive experience.

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