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York Minster is offering York school pupils in Year 3 a chance to audition for its world-famous choir. Children are not expected to have formal singing experience, but a love of singing is very much essential to the role. If their audition is successful, children will receive a place at St Peter’s School, the choir school for York Minster since September 2020.
Choral music is one of the glories of York Minster: the choir, widely regarded as one of the finest cathedral choirs in the country, can trace its heritage back to 627AD and, more recently, has performed for King Charles III as well as featuring on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Alongside high profile performances, choristers also have the chance to tour internationally, make new friends and sing alongside renowned musicians in the stunning setting of York Minster.
As well as a world-class musical education under the tutelage of York Minster’s Director of Music, Robert Sharpe, choristers receive an outstanding education at St Peter’s School, one of the oldest schools in the world and winner of the Times Education Supplement’s Independent School of the Year 2021. The Chapter of York, York Minster’s governing body, provides a substantial scholarship for each chorister towards school fees, with additional means-tested bursaries potentially increasing the level of funding to 100%.
Robert Sharpe explained that the chorister recruitment 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 good 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, team-work, organisational skills, concentration, poise and attention to detail. Choristers are educated at St Peter’s School which shares a common foundation of 627AD with the Minster making it the fourth oldest school in the world.
“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.”
Commenting on the auditions, Jeremy Walker, Head Master of St Peter’s School York said:
“The wonderful experience of being a chorister at York Minster, combined with an outstanding education at St Peter’s, offers excellent and often life-changing opportunities for girls and boys with musical talents and interests. I have first-hand appreciation of the incredible experience this provides, as a former chorister parent myself and Head Master of two cathedral choir schools, and encourage you and your families to find out more and consider an application.”
About the 2024 Chorister Auditions
York Minster’s 2024 Chorister Auditions will be held in the week commencing January 2024 at St Peter’s School, Clifton, York YO30 6AB. The deadline for applications is 31 December 2023. For an application pack and more details, contact Sara Bath, Master’s PA, on 01904 527391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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