The Chapel Choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), and sings repertoire from the English choral tradition.
It sings for six services of Morning Prayer each term, in addition to special services at Christmas and Easter, Remembrance Sunday, and the Confirmation Service in May.
Voice for Life
Members of the choir work through the RSCM ‘Voice for Life’ scheme, and are awarded singing medals as they develop in four key areas: Using the Voice, Understanding Music, Choral Repertoire, and Choir in Context.
These are assessed and awarded internally upon meeting specific targets on reading and understanding notated music, behaviour and attendance at rehearsals and services, and the development of the singing voice.
Once each year, pupils may enter for a Bishop’s Award. These are examined externally at Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels. The exams include singing a hymn, a psalm, and an anthem - all selected from music the choir will already have learnt for services in chapel, so they are an excellent way to formally recognise singing achievements and musical development.
Juniors: Probationers and Choristers
Junior members of the Chapel Choir (pupils in the 1st and 2nd Form) are admitted initially as Probationers as they work towards the first level of Voice for Life (White). Once they complete this level they are known as Choristers and will be entitled to wear the white surplice over their cassock during services.
A Head Chorister is appointed each year, who is normally the most senior 2nd Form Chorister in the choir who has progressed furthest through the Voice for Life Levels. During the year a Deputy Head Chorister may also be appointed from among the Choristers.
Seniors: 'Back Row'
Upon reaching 3rd Form, pupils who have sung in the choir as Choristers and achieved at least their Dark Blue singing medal will be eligible to continue singing with the ‘back row’ of the choir - so called because they stand in the row behind the Probationers and Choristers!
Pupils in the 3rd Form to the 6th Form who are interested in joining are welcome. Pupils with some prior singing experience are likely to meet all the standards of the Voice for Life Light Blue level already, and if this is the case they will be formally admitted to the choir at that level and begin working towards their Dark Blue.
The weekly commitment of members of the choir will differ depending on their status. While Probationers and Choristers may choose to attend additional rehearsals if they wish, the minimum requirement is as follows:
- Rehearse only on Wednesdays of Week B, during Period 7 (4.10pm - 5.00pm).
- They will sing with the choir for all Thursday morning services of Morning Prayer, and may be invited to sing for additional services.
- Continue to attend on Wednesday afternoons of Week B, and will be expected to start attending the Wednesday morning rehearsals from 8.20am.
- Once they attain Light Blue level they will be expected to attend the whole Wednesday morning rehearsal from 8.00am.
- They will sing with the choir for all services of Morning Prayer, and will be invited to sing for the additional services sung by the whole choir.