Joining The Choirs
Read about our upcoming Open Day for prospective applicants
Choral scholarships at Worcester College offer young singers the opportunity to become part of a flourishing choral tradition. Alto, tenor, and bass choral scholars sing as part of both the mixed choir and the boys’ choir, singing four services each week during the University term. Sopranos sing as part of the mixed choir only, performing twice per week. The choirs regularly perform together on some Sundays and for major occasions.
Choral scholars are trained by the Director of Chapel Music in conjunction with individual singing lessons. Worcester College Choir offers a friendly and professional environment in which students can develop as musicians through the performance of a variety of repertoire.
Choral scholars can study any academic subject offered by the College. Worcester College Choir prides itself on being a diverse group, made up of students from a variety of different subject areas and musical backgrounds.
In return for their time commitment, choral scholars receive an annual stipend, individual singing lessons and free meals in the hall after each service.
Choral scholars also enjoy taking a full part in the wider musical life of the College, performing at concerts and events outside of the Chapel.
Organ scholarships at Worcester College offer a unique opportunity for young musicians to gain first-hand practical experience in church music. Whilst studying for a degree in music with Professor Robert Saxton, students work under the supervision of the Director of Chapel Music, contributing fully to the training, accompaniment and direction of the College’s choristers and choral scholars.
The working life of an organ scholar at Worcester College is busy. Organ scholars develop a full set of skills for their futures as part of their role, including rehearsing and teaching the boy choristers, accompanying regular services, and conducting the chapel choirs under professional guidance.
In order to further their training, organ scholars receive an annual stipend, as well as organ lessons, conducting lessons, free meals in hall after services, and bursaries towards educational study trips.
In addition to chapel duties, organ scholars are encouraged to develop other interests and initiatives within the College’s flourishing Music Society, such as accompaniment and chamber music.
Although many of Worcester’s organ scholars have gone on to work in church music, some have used their experience to explore many different areas of the music profession. Former organ scholars of Worcester College have pursued careers in conducting, performing, teaching, academia, and various roles in the recording and broadcasting industries.
For more information on how to apply for a Choral or Organ Award, please click here.
Admission to the choir is by voice trial, conducted by the Organ Scholars and information can be found at Christ Church Cathedral School. Boys in school Year 3 audition and usually join as ‘waiting’ probationers during Trinity Term, before taking on the full schedule at the beginning of Michaelmas Term in Year 4. The choir also welcomes boys in years 4 to 8, who may audition at any time of the year.
Whilst admission is by audition, advanced musical ability is not a prerequisite for acceptance. A good ear, a promising voice and enthusiasm for singing are the qualities that the choir is looking for in a potential chorister.
Parents of boys wishing to join the choir should contact the Head of Music at the Cathedral School, Senior Organ Scholar or Chaplain.
Chaplain Rev’d Dr Jonathan Arnold: [email protected]
Director of Chapel Music Thomas Allery: [email protected]
Head of Music, Christ Church Cathedral School Sophie Biddell: [email protected]