Becoming a Girl Chorister
Auditions for the Abbey Girls Choir normally take place in late April each year. They are open to any girl in Year 3 who loves to sing, regardless of previous experience in a choir. There are occasional vacancies for older girls, and vacancies can sometimes arise at other times in the year.
The choir sings the service of Evensong in St Albans Cathedral twice weekly – on Wednesday and Friday evenings. There are also occasional weekend services each term, and exciting opportunities for concerts, recordings and tours. For example, in the past two years, the Choir has performed at the Royal Albert Hall (twice), at St Paul’s Cathedral and at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. The Choir has also appeared on BBC TV’s Songs of Praise, made a CD recording for the international Naxos record label and been on a short tour to Paris.
The choristers are drawn from a large number of schools in the St Albans area (unlike many cathedrals, there is no choir school attached to St Albans Cathedral). Rehearsals take place early in the morning before school, with services and rehearsals after school.
Girls normally join the choir at the beginning of Year 4 and continue through until the end of Year 9. As members of the choir, they receive a first-class musical education and the pleasure and satisfaction from performing regularly to a high standard, as well the chance to make many new friends from different schools.
Girls begin as Probationers, learning from the other choristers, and taking part in a few pieces every week. During this time they receive their own singing and sight-reading tuition, with an emphasis on music theory. They are normally admitted as full choristers after three terms, when they begin to take part in the full schedule, including occasional weekend and special services.
The choir’s director, Tom Winpenny, is always pleased to hear about potential applicants. To discuss an audition, or to find out more, please contact him c/o the Music Department, St Albans Cathedral: tel 01727 890245 and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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