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The 2020 search for new choristers begins

13 Jan, 2020

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Posted 13 Jan 2020

York school pupils currently in Year 2 and Year 3 and who love singing are encouraged to try for a place in York Minster’s world famous choir and the chance to be educated at the Minster School.

Children joining the choir, which is made up of 20 boys, 20 girls and 12 adult singers, will be part of an internationally renowned team of singers whose voices are an essential part of worship at the Minster.

Choristers perform at services, high profile occasions, events and concerts. They will also have the opportunity to take part in broadcasts for national media organisations such as BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, recordings for classical music labels and to tour abroad.

Recent alumni of the York Minster Choir include Will Miles-Kingston who was announced as the winner of the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year competition in December 2019.  Will won the title as the UK’s best boy chorister.

Will was a chorister at York Minster from 2014 until 2019, singing rehearsals as part of the school day and singing up to four services each week. Will is now a music scholar at St Peter’s School York, where he has continued to develop both his singing and performing.

Choristers are educated at the Minster School and each receive a bursary worth 60% of their school fees, with means-tested funding potentially increasing this to 100%. This makes the benefits of a chorister education available to every child, irrespective of family circumstances.  Mrs Angela Mitchell, Head Teacher at the Minster School said:

“Our school is a very friendly and warm community where the staff get to know each child incredibly well.  Our pupils enjoy a rich and extensive range of learning opportunities.  They thrive with traditional curriculum subjects and they also experience high quality learning in art, music and languages with opportunities to take part in residential events in France. They will also take part in events in the magnificence of York Minster.

“By Year 8, our pupils are lovely, responsible and confident young adults, ready for the next stage of their education. They go on to a range of schools including excellent local schools and boarding schools in other parts of the country. Parents and carers are welcome to contact the school for an appointment to come and visit and to learn more about the process of becoming a York Minster Chorister.”

Robert Sharpe, Director of Music at York Minster, explained that the audition process aims to identify children with musicality and potential, rather than recruiting fully formed singers.  He said:

“There will be many parents in and around York with a son or daughter who just loves singing and who may be searching for ways to nurture their child’s ability. Becoming a chorister at York Minster is an excellent way to harness a child’s musical talent.  Energy, enthusiasm and humour are just as important as musical talent.

“In addition to developing their musical skills, chorister training helps children to develop lifelong skills such as self-discipline, organisational skills, concentration, poise and attention to detail.

“This is a unique opportunity for a child to have a superb education and to play a part in the life of one of the most important and beautiful cathedrals in the world.”


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