Being a Chorister is an ancient tradition that goes back over 1000 years in many of England’s oldest Christian foundations. The story of St Paul’s Cathedral Choir begins in 1127, when Bishop Richard de Belmeis made provision for ‘almony boys’ (poor children of the Diocese) to be educated and to serve the Cathedral. Since that time, thousands of talented boys have found a home at St Paul’s, and today the Choristers enjoy one of the best educations anywhere in the world.
‘Choristership’ is often featured in the media – there is fascination with the idea of an ancient and almost unbroken tradition continuing into the twenty first century. Not only that, people are captivated by the professional standard of music-making that children are able to attain; and of course, by the incomparable beauty of the sound created. Behind the scenes, our boys enjoy a rich childhood and become well-rounded members of society.
St Paul’s Cathedral is always happy to hear from the families of boys for whom becoming a chorister is an exciting prospect. All that is required is a sparkle in the eye, enthusiasm, intelligence, and potential – they don’t need to have had any formal singing experience. Boys receive an unparalleled musical and general education at St Paul’s, make friends for life, and make memories which they’ll treasure forever.
Auditions are held throughout the year, and boys normally join us years 3 or 4. Boys start with a probationary year when they learn about the routines and repertoire of the Choir and are given a firm grounding in vocal technique and sight reading. Once they have become full choristers they take a full part in the liturgical life of the Cathedral. Choristers board at St Paul’s Cathedral School, where they are part of a thriving school family. All Choristers receive 100 per cent bursaries and help with boarding fees is also available.
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