Boy and Girl Choristers

Heavenly voices

The Cathedral Choir at Gloucester Cathedral, originally consisting of Boy Choristers and Lay Clerks, was established in 1541. Girl Choristers were first recruited to sing in the Choir in 2016, for girls full equality of opportunity and scholarships began in September 2021. The Cathedral Choir has been known as one of the U.K’s leading choirs for many decades.

A Gloucester Cathedral Chorister is a member of a professional team in which all the singers play an important part – regardless of their age or experience.  A Chorister joins the Cathedral Choir as a Probationer and is fitted out with a cravat (round the neck) and a red cassock. When he/she has completed the probationary period (usually one year) to the satisfaction of the Director of Music, he/she is admitted as a full Chorister and gains the white surplice.

The Choristers sing in this wonderful building almost every day, and benefit from an education in the traditions of English Cathedral music: these unique benefits cannot be obtained outside this environment.  As well as having the opportunity to make music regularly alongside professional adult colleagues, the Music Department of the Cathedral ensures that the Choristers receive an all-round musical education. As part of the scholarship each Chorister receives regular singing lessons and instruction on liturgical and religious matters.  Music theory lessons are offered by the King’s School for Junior Choristers and by the Cathedral Music Staff for Senior School Choristers.

The Choristers gain enormously from their time in the choir, and we have no doubt that they learn much which serves them personally, professionally and socially for the rest of their lives.   

The commitment of a Chorister, and his or her family, is quite considerable. The weekday routine starts at 8am Monday – Friday (except Thursday, no commitment) with morning rehearsal.  After school Choristers have Chorister tea, rehearsal and Evensong (ending at 6.10pm) as follows:

  • Monday – Girl Choristers,
  • Tuesday – Boy Choristers
  • Wednesday – Girl Choristers
  • Friday – Boy Choristers

Weekends alternate between girls and boys:

Saturday routine: 3.00pm-5.15pm;

Sunday routine 9.15am – 11.30am and 2.00pm-3.50pm. 

The Choristers’ Cathedral commitments take place in King’s School Gloucester terms, with the addition of duties between the end of the Michaelmas Term, up to and including Christmas Day morning. Choristers sing the Holy Week and Easter Services regardless of whether the week falls within the King’s school term or the Easter holiday break.  Selected Choristers take part in the annual Three Choirs Festival, which rotates between the Cathedrals of Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester, and is held around the last week of July.

Gloucester Cathedral Choristers attend the King’s School and benefit from an attractive Choral Scholarship towards School fees. For pupils who require further financial support, additional means-tested bursaries may be available from the school or from external organisations. This highly prestigious award is divided between Gloucester Cathedral (20%) and The King’s School (20%) from the time the Chorister joins the choir. On leaving the choir, the pupil is able to apply for a music scholarship from the school until their education is completed. Ex-Choristers are encouraged to take a full part in school music and to join the Cathedral Youth Choir. Many ex-choristers stay on at King’s until the age of 18 and continue to thrive and be involved in the wider King's School community.

To find out more about King's, and how to apply for a Choristership, please contact the School Admissions Office on 01452 337337 or visit www.thekingsschool.co.uk.

How do I become a chorister?

Prospective Choristers are auditioned by the Director of Music and Canon Precentor and applications should preferably be made when the child is in School Years 2, 3, or 4. It is usual to have an informal voice test, followed some months later by a formal Voice Trial. Once accepted as a Probationer Chorister they attend the King’s School, therefore entrance as a Chorister is dependent upon accepted entrance into the school.

If you would like more information about becoming a Chorister or details about how to apply for a Chorister audition, please email: admissions@thekingsschool.co.uk

Choir Policies

For details of the  various policies relating to all the Cathedral Choirs, please click here

 


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