Be a Chorister Afternoon - for children P3 to P5.

Find out what it's like to be a chorister and part of the award-winning Choir of St Mary's Cathedral. 

Friday 15th November, 2pm to 6pm. Free. Booking essential. 

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Application Process to Become a Chorister 

We welcome applications from girls and boys age 8 to 9 (Primary 4) who love to sing and who are prepared to commit to the full five-year chorister programme. There is no requirement for any religious affiliation and we accept children of all faiths and none. Financial support is available. 

Find out more about Fees and Financial Support

 At this time we can only accept choristers as day pupils.  Parents and carers should be aware of the time commitment needed to make sure children can attend all necessary rehearsals and services. 

Auditions

The admissions procedure for choristers is organised together with the Organist and Master of the Cathedral Music.  

We hold auditions three times a year and the main entry point is at Primary 5 (age 9 to 10) with auditions taking place at Primary 4 (age 8 to 9), although in certain circumstances it may be possible to audition at an older age.  We look for a quick mind, a good sense of pitch and rhythm and a clear voice and although applicants do not have to have any experience of singing in a choir, they will usually have had some experience of learning a musical instrument.    

At audition wesuggest that candidates bring a simple song to sing - anything such as a hymn or song learnt at their present school is acceptable. 

What happens next?

If your child is successful at audition, they will undertake a year’s probationary training (three times a week - Tuesday, Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings), before entering the school at Primary 5. On completion of this probationary year they will be admitted as a full chorister. This approach means that your child will be introduced to the routine of a chorister’s life gradually, so that the transition to St Mary’s Music School is an easy one.  

What else should I know? 

Choristers enjoy a very full schedule with regular opportunities to perform.  In addition to performing in Edinburgh, in recent years, our Choristers have performed in France and Prague.  The Master of the Music Staff and staff at St Mary’s Music School are sympathetic to the special nature of the balance between 

Chorister and academic commitments and work closely together to ensure the pupils enjoy the opportunities available.  The Organist & Master of the Cathedral Music, Duncan Ferguson, is always delighted to answer questions or to hear a prospective candidate at any stage. You are encouraged to come and hear the Cathedral Choir sing.  

If you have any questions or would like to know more then please contact Mary Walls, Admissions Secretary at St Mary’s Music School

Steps to Apply 

1. Complete our Enquiry Form 

In the first instance you should complete our Enquiry Form. This allows us to capture the main information about your child and details of how we can contact you.  

2. Visit Us 

If you are considering Choir School and the Chorister programme for your child we encourage you to find out more about the programme. You can do this in a number of ways: 

  • Attend a Choral Evensong at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral – and hear the award-winning choir and the choristers of St Mary’s. 
  • Come to an Open Day at St Mary’s Music School – Join us for an afternoon. Take a tour of the school, see classes in action and meet pupils, parents and staff. 
  • Register to attend a Be a Chorister Afternoon - These take place twice a year and provide your child with the opportunity sample life as a chorister, starting with a rehearsal in the Song School with the Master of the Cathedral Music, then taking part in a fun lesson at school with our Head of Primary before returning to the Cathedral to dress in the formal robe of a chorister and taking part in Choral Evensong. As parents or carers you will have the chance to hear more about the programme, ask any questions and of course, attend Evensong to hear your child sing in the Choir. 
  • Independent Visit – If you can’t make an Open Day then it is possible to visit on a Monday afternoon, meet our Admissions team, take a tour of the school and have any of your questions answered. 
  • Attend a Concert - Come and see our pupils in a public performance. Register to receive our enews to find out what’s on or visit the What’s On pages of the website. 

And of course your family is welcome too.  

3. Complete the Application Form

If you would like to progress your application then the next step is to complete the full Application Form. It asks for more detailed information which we can keep on our system and helps us make sure we send you the correct information at the right time. You should send your completed Application Form to Mary Walls, Admissions Secretary. 

4.  Attend an Audition

Once we have your Application Form we will arrange a suitable date and time for an audition.  At audition wesuggest that candidates bring a simple song to sing - anything such as a hymn or song learnt at their present school is acceptable. 

After the audition we will recommend one of three possible outcomes: 

  • offer a place – this will be on our Probation Year for children in P4.  
  • advise that more practice is needed and recommend returning at a later date 
  • recommend you consider alternative options. 

There is no fee for an Audition. 

5. Offer Accepted  

If your child is in P4 we will recommend that they undertake a year’s probationary training (three times a week - Tuesday, Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings) before becoming a full chorister. 

They will remain at their current school during this time. 

If your child is older than P4 we will discuss the best options for you.  

Further Information

If you would like to know more about becoming a chorister or the audition process, or would like to discuss a particular application, please get in touch with Mary Walls, our Admissions Secretary

 

Online Applications 

If you would like to complete your application online please do so here.
If you would like to make an admissions equiry please do so here.

 

Download Application Forms 

Application forms may be downloaded below or requested from the School. These can be printed off, filled in and returned as hard copies, or completed and returned by email.

Forms should be returned to:

Miss Mary Walls
Admissions Secretary
St Mary's Music School
Coates Hall
25 Grosvenor Crescent
Edinburgh EH12 5EL

Downloads

Application Form (pdf)

Application Form (word)

Admissions Privacy Policy

 

 

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St Mary’s Music School is one of the nine specialist Music and Dance Schools the UK (and the only one in Scotland)  funded by the UK Government and providing the finest training in Britain. It is a co-educational, non-denominational specialist music school, offering a world class standard of music and academic education to musically gifted children aged 9-19 years. It is also the Choir School of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. It attracts day and boarding pupils from across Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe and internationally. 

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St Mary's Music School Trust Ltd, Registered No: 54504
St Mary's Music School Trust Limited is a charity No. SC014611
Registered Office: Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5EL.