We comprise some twenty trebles (boy sopranos) and twelve gentlemen (altos, tenors and basses). Choral scholars – former choristers who are still in education locally – sing with the men and benefit from vocal training and a small termly stipend, financed by George’s Trust.
We sings at services on most Sundays and major religious festivals throughout the year.
Girls and young women aged 11–18 can take part in Romsey Abbey’s musical life as members of its Girls Choir, directed by Daphne Lindsell. The choirs unite to sing on major festivals such as Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.
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 prizes at the end of each term. Boys also appreciate the opportunity to earn wedding fees throughout the year.
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 (5.30pm 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 or contact us.
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.
We relish being part of a choral tradition that has died out in so many churches. Our repertoire is wide, ranging from Tudor motets through classics of the English cathedral repertoire by Stanford, Parry and Elgar, to French organ masses and works from the present day. Singing is complemented by a range of social activities, such as the annual Epiphany Supper, quiz nights, skittles evenings and end-of-term dinners, not to mention drinks after the weekly choir practice at the Abbey Hotel. We are especially keen to hear from prospective tenors and counter-tenors.
If you are interesting in joining us, do introduce yourself at the end of a service. 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.