Join the Abbey Girl Choristers
We currently have a waiting list for girls to join us, since we have a full complement of 24 singers in our ranks.
We accept girls from Year Six at school, running up to Year 13. We occasionally accept girls at older ages (12+), generally if there has been previous singing experience.
Girls are drawn from the local area and there is stiff competition to join the choir!
What’s on offer
Musical training is of course one benefit of the chorister experience – but it isn’t the biggest. Confidence is the single biggest skill required in life: it is what helps get us through exams, do well at school, interact with people, succeed at that job interview, excel at our job and make friends. Singing in this choir will endow your daughter with a confidence and self-belief that will tangibly benefit him at school and in life.
Focus improves since the nature of being a chorister is in the continuous preparation and performance routine. Nothing could be better for school exams – the focus on rehearsal and revision and the significance of having to ‘pull it out of the bag’ on a Sunday and use what has been revised to deliver a polished performance.
Singing and musical training is obviously strongly in evidence. We will encourage your daughter to sing solos when she is ready, willing and prepared. She will learn to read music and benefit from a huge experience of making music – not just listening or contributing but understanding the processes involved in bringing a piece to life. Being musical is not just about singing or playing right notes!
We believe that being a chorister is the best experience and education in the world. It is why choirs still exist in 2016, and why they will continue to flourish for years to come.
Throughout the year, choristers can expect to be involved in plenty of really important and impressive services, many of which are broadcast live on the Internet. Regular social activities include the local panto, laserquest, bowling competitions and so on. There are social nights for parents, friends and families, too.
We organise choir tours as well as awaydays, broadcasts, recordings and concert appearances. In the last year or so, the girls have sung at Winchester Cathedral, Portsmouth Cathedral and Christchurch Priory.
There is a chorister medal reward scheme, with a corresponding pay scale. There are also termly award ceremonies to engage and promote values of hard work and commitment.
This is noting to worry about! George Richford, our Director of Music, is looking for a bit of a spark – an eye for mischief, a cheeky smile and a ‘can do’ attitude. The auditions take place in the church choir room or for the first time, over Skype. In the audition, George wants to get to know the girl and her family, and hear a little bit of singing. Sometimes girls come with a piece of music they have prepared. But most often George will ask to hear ‘Happy Birthday’ sung. There is not much more to it than that! An audition can take less than two minutes, or longer if we get chatting. It is nothing to worry about in the slightest. It is more about meeting the family and the young hopeful.
Older girls will be expected to bring a prepared piece, normally an examination standard piece and sight-sing something to around Grade 2-4 standard.
The most important aspect of being a chorister is the commitment. While this is quite significant for you, your daughter will gain hugely from her time with us. In recognition of the service she provides, there is generous remuneration at the end of each term.
We understand that absence due to illness and important family commitments can be unavoidable, but we try to encourage a real sense of teamwork from children and parents, so we can always do our best.
Service and practice times
Girls sing on the first Sunday (morning and evening) and third Sunday morning each month.
|Wednesday||Girls practice in church||6pm||7.30pm|
|Sunday morning||Rehearsal, then 10am service||9.15pm||11.45am|
|Sunday evening||Rehearsal, then 6.30pm service||5.15pm||7.15pm|
The safety of your daughter 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 Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau).