Radley offers boys between the ages of 7 and 12 the opportunity to sing treble in the chapel choir, alongside the older boys from the school who sing the lower parts.
We welcome applications from any boy; the minimum that we require is a commitment to learning, a reasonable natural ear and enjoyment of performing. Boys are selected after a simple interview, and a voice and ear test. They have the opportunity to sing a prepared piece if they wish.
Why should my son become a chorister at Radley?
Choristers in English cathedrals, colleges and major parish churches have access to one of the best musical educations available anywhere in the world. Singing regularly as a group is the surest way to develop a musical ear and learn to read music fluently. These benefits are well attested and the Anglican choral tradition is, as a result, the envy of the world.
One of the results of this excellent musical education is that ex-choristers are strong candidates for music scholarships at Radley and other independent schools. Choristers at Radley also receive free individual singing lessons to help them develop as singers, as well as free tuition on up to two instruments, either given by the College's well-established specialist instrumental staff or by the boy's existing instrumental music teacher if preferred.
For the choristers themselves, there is the added bonus of pocket money, which is accrued per service, and is added up and paid in a lump sum termly. In addition a similar amount is added by Radley to a savings account termly on behalf of the boy and paid in a lump sum on completion of his choristership career at Radley.
What would it involve?
During term time, choristers are expected to come to Radley three times a week: for both rehearsals and music theory tuition on Thursday and Friday evenings, and on Sunday for a short rehearsal and service.
On Thursdays they usually attend from 5pm, finishing at 7pm, having had a break for tea in Hall. The schedule on Fridays is similar except that the final rehearsal may be a full rehearsal which the senior boys would also join. On Sundays they arrive at 9am for a full practice followed by Sung Eucharist which starts at 10am and finishes by 11am (choristers' families are very welcome to attend).
Other than these services, they sing at three annual Carol Services, two Confirmation Services (which take place on Sundays in the Michaelmas and Summer terms, finishing at 12.15pm), the College Leavers' Service (on a Saturday in early July), and at occasional concerts and special services. Singing and instrumental lessons are arranged to suit parents and the school's timetable.
Who is suitable to become a chorister at Radley?
Boys of ages 7 to 12 are encouraged to apply, although more places are available to younger boys. Apart from having an interest in music, potential choristers should be outgoing and enjoy performing. Older boys should be able to read music and sing a simple tune on their own, but these skills are not essential for younger applicants.
How can I apply for my son to become a chorister?
If you would like to discuss your son becoming a chorister at Radley, or to arrange to visit the school in person to discuss choristerships further, then please ring the Precentor, on (01235) 543034, or take a look at our brochure for more information.