We are particularly keen to welcome new boys aged between 7 and 10 to the Abbey Choir – but new girls are always welcome as members of the Abbey Girls’ Choir.
A free, first-class musical training
What we offer
Learning musical skills through singing helps improve concentration and self-confidence – a life-long benefit. Through exposure to a wide range of texts, your boy’s reading ability will also develop without him actually realising it.
Romsey Abbey is a big building and we sing exciting choral music, backed by a large pipe organ, every Sunday. Our choristers get a real kick out of belting out great hymn descants to our large congregations.
A leading role in major services
The Abbey Choir shines in the big services at Easter and Christmas. With lots of music to learn to a high standard, it’s a busy run-up to the big day but the choristers love being in the limelight!
Fun and games
On our fully-supervised Christmas outings, choristers have enjoyed ice-skating and ski-bobbing. After Christmas, we always lay on a trip to the Panto. There’s the annual bowling competition in the Spring and, during the summer, choir practice is preceded by football on the lawn outside the Abbey.
Socialising for parents
We also lay on events for parents and Friends of the choir, such as skittles and quiz nights. Even just chatting outside the vestry door, waiting for boys to emerge from choir practice, is a great way to meet other parents.
Each August, we organise a short tour to a different cathedral each year. In the past these have taken the boys and men as far afield as Canterbury, Carlisle and Truro. Having forged links with choirs from other major parish churches, such as Sherborne Abbey and Christchurch Priory, we sing joint services with them each year.
What we look for
We look for a musical ear and basic proficiency in reading. If he’s learning to play the piano, say, that’s great – but it’s not essential.
Boys start as probationer choristers and practise between 6.15 and 7.30pm on Mondays and Thursdays (they’re joined by the older boys at 6.30pm). Within a year they can expect to be promoted to full Choristers.
Boys report for Sunday services before 9.20am for Sung Eucharist and before 5.50pm for Evensong (5.30pm for Choral Evensong). We are flexible about reduced attendance for probationers and occasional, unavoidable family commitments for older boys,
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.