Join the Abbey boy choristers

Romsey Abbey boy choristers

We currently have a waiting list for would-be boy choristers  (but there are currently two vacancies for girl choristers). Please read on and get in touch with our Director of Music, George Richford, if your son, or a boy you know, is interested in joining the choir.

What’s on offer

Romsey Abbey Choristers running around in cassocksMusical training is of course one benefit of the chorister experience – but it isn’t the biggest. Confidence is the single biggest skill required in life: it is what helps get us through exams, do well at school, interact with people, succeed at that job interview, excel at our job and make friends. Singing in this choir will endow your son with a confidence and self-belief that will tangibly benefit him at school and in life.

Focus improves since the nature of being a chorister is in the continuous preparation and performance routine. Nothing could be better for school exams – the focus on rehearsal and revision and the significance of having to ‘pull it out of the bag’ on a Sunday and use what has been revised to deliver a polished performance.

Romsey Abbey Choristers singing Byrd's Mass for Four VoicesSinging and musical training is obviously strongly in evidence. We will encourage your son to sing solos when he is ready, willing and prepared. He will learn to read music and benefit from a huge experience of making music – not just listening or contributing but understanding the processes involved in bringing a piece to life. Being musical is not just about singing or playing right notes!

We believe that being a chorister is the best experience and education in the world. It is why choirs still exist today, and why they will continue to flourish for years to come.

Romsey Abbey advent procession serviceThroughout the year, choristers can expect to be involved in plenty of really important and impressive services, many of which are broadcast live on the Internet. Regular social activities include the local panto, laserquest, bowling competitions, football and so on. There are social nights for parents, friends and families, too.

We organise choir tours as well as awaydays, broadcasts, recordings and concert appearances. Our calendar includes annual joint services with the choirs of Christchurch Priory, Sherborne Abbey and more.

There is a chorister medal reward scheme, with a corresponding pay scale. There are also termly award ceremonies to engage and promote values of hard work and commitment.

The audition

This is noting to worry about! George Richford, our Director of Music, is looking for a bit of a spark – an eye for mischief, a cheeky smile and a ‘can do’ attitude. The auditions take place in the church choir room or for the first time, over Skype. In the audition, George wants to get to know the boy and his family, and hear a little bit of singing. Sometimes boys and girls come with a piece of music they have prepared. But most often George will ask to hear ‘Happy Birthday’ sung. There is not much more to it than that! An audition can take less than two minutes, or longer if we get chatting. It is nothing to worry about in the slightest – more about meeting the family and the young hopeful.

The commitment

The most important aspect of being a chorister is the commitment. While this is quite significant for you, your son will gain hugely from his time with us. In recognition of the service your boy provides, there is generous remuneration at the end of each term.

We understand that absence due to illness and important family commitments can be unavoidable, but we try to encourage a real sense of teamwork from children and parents so we can always do our best.

Service and practice times

Day What Start Finish
Monday Choir practice at the Abbey 6pm 7.30pm
Thursday Choir practice at the Abbey 6pm 7.30pm
Sunday morning Rehearsal, then 10am service 9.15pm 11.45am
Sunday evening Rehearsal, then 6.30pm service 5.15pm 7.15pm

Your son will get the first Sunday and third Sunday morning off each month, when the girls are singing, to give you flexibility in terms of organising family activities.

Child safety

The safety of your son is a priority. Romsey Abbey operates a Child Protection policy and all members of the Abbey community who deal regularly with choristers and other children – clergy, members of staff, choir parents and adult members of the choir – are vetted by the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau).

Get in touch

Phone George Richford, our Director of Music, on 07 901 339 618 or use this brief form:

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