Internationally recognised as members of one of the finest Cathedral choirs in Britain, the boy choristers are part of a living musical tradition which can be traced back over seven centuries. Their work in leading the worship in the unparalleled beauty of Lichfield Cathedral enables them to develop their musical skills under professional guidance. All boy choristers must be enrolled at Lichfield Cathedral School.
Being a boy chorister is a substantial commitment, not only for the young man, but for his whole family, and it is a commitment that should not be entered into lightly. The boy choristers rehearse before and after school and sing in several services a week, including most weekends during term-time. The boys also sing during important services in Holy Week, including Easter Day, and in the week leading to, and including, Christmas Day.
However, there are significant rewards beyond the outstanding musical education: being a boy chorister encourages a spirit of teamwork, self-discipline and a desire to strive for the highest standards in a rewarding environment. They live particularly busy lives, but are often among the most committed and high achieving of pupils.
Boys usually join the choir as probationers when in Year 3 or 4 (ages 7-9), although there may be places available in other year groups. For more detailed information, please read Life as a Chorister (below).
All boy choristers receive a choral scholarship representing a 50% reducation in School fees from the Cathedral Chapter which opens the doors to those for whom the benefits of independent education might not otherwise be possible. Additional sources of funding may be available from the Choir Schools Association and a variety of charitable trusts and foundations.
Boys will sing in the Cathedral Choir up to the end of Year 8 (aged 13-14) or until their voice changes from the treble register. Former boy choristers join Cantorum, the only scholarship-based youth choir in a school in the UK, and will continue to benefit from music scholarships. They may become Choral Scholars in Sixth Form and sing with the Gentlemen of the Cathedral Choir.
As well as its Choral Foundation duties singing in several services each week, the choir makes CD recordings and undertakes broadcasts for radio and television and tours abroad. Recent tours have included Malta, France and the USA.
While our main audition day usually takes place in early February, you are welcome to arrange an informal voice trial any time throughout the year. Contact the Admissions Team on 01543 306168 for further information.
Our annual Be A Chorister For A Day workshop is an excellent introduction to the world of choral music and life as a chorister.