Worcester Cathedral Choristers form a strong team of happy and talented boys and girls who are educated at King’s Worcester and King’s St Alban’s. From September 2021, we are delighted to announce a historic change, with the girls not only taking an equal share in choristership, but also seeing them join from a younger age and, like the boys, have access to scholarships at King’s Worcester.
Worcester Cathedral’s boy and girl choristers benefit from a first-class all-round education at The King’s School, coupled with unparalleled musical training from the Cathedral’s professional music staff.
Choristers experience a repertoire that spans centuries and have opportunities to perform with professional singers and instrumentalists, in major concerts and in radio broadcasts. The skills that a chorister learns are transferable and equip them for life: those of leadership, confidence, self-discipline, presentation and teamwork, in addition to an understanding and love of music and performance. Choristers go on to pursue successful careers in all fields and develop a life-long passion for music.
A large number of Choristers have been awarded Choral and Organ Scholarships at Oxbridge colleges and others have entered the profession to become renowned conductors, choral directors, organists, or singers.
The King’s School
All Worcester Cathedral’s boy and girl choristers attend the King’s School Foundation. The life of a chorister is a significant commitment and at King’s we recognise this and put equal emphasis on wellbeing and pastoral care, as we do on the academic side of the school. We are here to fully support and nurture each of our children along their chorister’s journey, which is as fulfilling as it is fun. Every chorister is very much a part of the King’s Family.
They begin their school life as a pupil at King’s St Alban’s Prep School before moving to the adjacent Senior School at the beginning of Year 7. Choristers enjoy the richness of the King’s School life, with a wide array of academic and extra-curricular opportunities on offer, in addition to access to outstanding facilities on site at both the Prep and Senior School. Boy choristers are accepted from Year 3, continuing until the end of Year 8 (with an option to sing in Year 9 should the voice permit), and girl choristers are recruited from Year 4 and continue until the end of Year 9. Boys leave the choir when their voice changes, though many continue to play a major part in the musical life of the school.
All boy and girl choristers receive a scholarship which offers a reduction on tuition fees after musical and academic testing. Prospective choristers do not need to be current pupils at King’s St Alban’s, but would start at King’s alongside their entry to the choir.
Read more about choristership at Worcester Cathedral and school life at The King’s School by downloading this leaflet.
Choristers enjoy a stimulating and nurturing experience, develop a whole raft of skills, go on to successful careers in many fields, develop a life-long passion for music and friends for life.
A Chorister’s Day
On four days of the week, both boy and girl choristers attend a morning practice before the start of the school day (beginning at 8.15 am). Choral Evensong is sung on each of those days by either the boy or girl choristers in a balanced fortnightly schedule – on days with afternoon commitments, the choristers come to the cathedral after school for choir tea, a further rehearsal and the singing of Choral Evensong at 5.30 pm, which finishes by 6.15 pm.
Weekend commitments are also shared between the two groups of choristers – one week they will sing Evensong on Saturday afternoon, and the next they will sing the two Sunday services: the Eucharist at 10.30 am and Evensong at 4 pm.
Choristers play a full role in the Cathedral’s major feasts of Christmas and Easter, when they sing at services, concerts and other events, including the Cathedral’s popular Christmas Tree Festival.
Unique opportunities and quirky traditions
There are a great variety of other performing opportunities, one being the annual Three Choirs Festival, the oldest festival of its kind in the world, with the chance to perform with the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of leading conductors. In recent years the choir undertook such exciting opportunities as a tour to Sweden and also performed at Buckingham Palace.
The choir year includes a strong social element, helping forge life-long friendships and unforgettable occasions. Choristers enjoy regular events such as bowling and water park trips, alongside fun, quirky traditions, including the annual pancake race around the cathedral’s cloister, an occasion when the King’s Family gets together to cheer its choristers on!
Be a Chorister for an Afternoon
Would you like to try out a chorister’s life for one afternoon? The cathedral runs regular opportunities for boys and girls to come to the cathedral, sing with the choir, meet our staff and find out more. Here you will have the opportunity to:-
• Enjoy singing games with our music staff
• Meet the current choristers and find out more about the welcoming choristership community
• Perform with Worcester Cathedral Choir at Evensong
• Visit The King’s School and meet the King’s family
We are always pleased to hear from prospective choristers, and would encourage families of boys and girls who have a love of singing and enthusiasm for music to find out more about the opportunities that accompany life as a chorister.
For more information on becoming a chorister or forthcoming events, please contact Organist and Director of Music, Samuel Hudson at Worcester Cathedral on 01905 732917 or visit Worcester Cathedral Website
The Choir Schools Association
The Choir Schools Association (CSA) represents 45 schools attached to cathedrals, churches and college chapels in Great Britain and elsewhere. Choir School pupils have unlimited access to first-class schooling and musical training, giving them an excellent start in life. Indeed, a chorister’s life is full of fun and inspiration, as can be seen by testimonials from choristers themselves.
Chorister places are subsidised but by how much will vary at foundations under the CSA umbrella. However, there may well be additional financial help available for the child who sings well, who really wants to be a chorister, and whose parents genuinely cannot afford the fees. For more advice please contact the CSA.