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Girl Choristers

The girl choristers of the Cathedral Choir are educated at a variety of schools throughout the local area. They rehearse at the cathedral on Tuesdays from 6.30 to 8.15pm during which time they also receive vocal training from a visiting singing teacher. They also rehearse at the cathedral on Fridays at 4.30pm prior to singing Choral Evensong. In addition, the girls have one Sunday duty each week. This may be an evening rehearsal, sung morning services or sung evening service. There are also duties at Christmas and Easter.  The main activity of the choir is the maintenance of regular sung services, but in the last few years the girls have also toured to France and Italy, have made a CD recording, sung live on BBC Radio 3 and have performed in many concerts.

There are vacancies each year for musical girls who are interested in becoming choristers. The Guildford Cathedral Music Development Foundation award an annual bursary to girls selected for the choir (currently £500 per annum); the bursary is to pay for girls’ individual music lessons.

Most girls are auditioned between the ages 9 of and 12, although older girls are welcome to apply, and if offered a place in the choir, are expected to remain in the choir until the end of Year 11. There is also the possibility of staying in the choir until the end of Year 13. If you would like to explore the possibility of a girl choristership, please contact the Organist and Master of the Choristers to arrange a short and informal audition. At the audition some very simple tests are given to check a sense of pitch and rhythm. On the basis of this audition a place may be offered as a probationer chorister. We are not looking for trained voices at this age, but for a quick ear and a lively, intelligent personality.

Having a girl who is a chorister is a commitment for the whole family, but there are great rewards. Many choristers go on to pursue careers in music, and all benefit from the experience of teamwork and sense of achievement the choir gives them; in particular, ex-choristers often go on to achieve music scholarships and other choral awards at universities.