Are you interested in joining us?
About the Choirs at the Abbey
The Abbey Choir is constituted in the Anglican cathedral tradition as a body of some twenty trebles (boy sopranos) and twelve gentlemen (altos, tenors and basses). It sings at services on most Sundays and major religious festivals throughout the year.
Girls aged 11–18 may be interested to know that a choir of some twenty voices runs in parallel at the Abbey to enable them to take part in its musical life.
We offer an excellent musical education for boys, supported by a tradition in which older and more experienced boys act as mentors to newer recruits.
High standards, in terms of punctuality, regular attendance at practices and services, tidy appearance and personal musical achievement, are encouraged. Choristers on Cantoris compete with those on Decani to earn points and win a chocolate bar and shield at the end of each term.
Basic admission requirements for new recruits, typically aged 7-8, are a musical ear and a proficient reading ability. Parents must be prepared to ensure that their sons are able to attend practices held on Mondays between 6.15 and 7.30pm and Thursdays from 6.30-8pm (6.15-7.30pm for probationary members). Choristers are expected to report for Sunday services before 9.20am for Sung Eucharist and before 5.50pm for Evensong (5.45pm for Choral Evensong).
Boys are recruited by annual auditions held by the Organist, Robert Fielding, at primary schools in the Romsey area. Robert normally visits schools concerned each February but, if you live within easy driving distance of Romsey and would like to have your son considered by him as a probationer separately from these arrangements, please speak to him at the end of a service.
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 Criminal Records Bureau.
The ‘back row’ of the choir enjoy similar musical benefits, complemented by a range of social activities that take place on an annual basis, such as the annual Epiphany Supper, a Quiz night, a skittles evening and a dinner.
Male Altos, Tenors or Basses who would be interesting in joining us should email Robert. Prior experience of singing in a choir would be highly desirable. Being available to sing at services twice on a Sunday for most weeks of the year, reporting to the Abbey at the times above, is essential, as is attendance at the practice on Thursday evenings from 7-9pm.