"It is easy to forget when constantly harangued by the celebrity of the 21st century chorister that the choristers at St John’s are consistently considered by many to be the best in the country" Gramophone Magazine
The Choristers at St John's continue a long line of boy trebles who have been singing services in the Chapel for hundreds of years. In addition to these, they enjoy an exciting schedule of recordings, broadcasts, foreign tours and concerts as part of this Gramophone Award-winning Choir, known for its expressive and mature singing. As well as travelling all over the world and singing to millions of people live on radio, the Choristers meet and sing to a great number of celebrities – in the past couple of years they have met Dr Bill Gates, Sir Trevor Nunn, HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Colin Davis and former England Rugby Captain, Rob Andrew (also a former boy at the school).
The Choristers are educated at St John's College School on the far side of the College grounds. As well as attending the Tatler Prep School of the Year Award-winning school, they receive an unsurpassed musical education at the hands of the Director of Music, Andrew Nethsingha, often winning top academic and music scholarships to some of the country's most prestigious schools. See our Alumni page for examples of successful former Choristers.
All Choristers are full boarders at the School in the brand new Whitfield House, renovated in April 2011 and they receive bursaries of between 66% and 100% of the school fees; it is the College’s intention that no child should be prevented from taking up a place as a consequence of financial difficulty. The School now educates some 455 boys and girls up to the age of 13.
The Choristers do not usually sing Evensong on Mondays and Wednesdays and all service commitments fall within the school’s terms - the Choir is not required to sing during Holy Week, Easter or at Christmas. Although services continue within the College during the school’s Half Term holidays, the Choristers are free for Half Term from Sunday to Friday. Parts of holiday periods are sometimes used for concerts or for international tours but the children are able to enjoy more holiday time, overall, than they would have if they were attending a state school.
All Choristers board at St John's College School and have a busy time during university term. Their day begins with personal instrumental practice; the school provides a rich musical education and many of the Choristers are highly proficient instrumental players. This is followed by a Choristers' rehearsal taken by Andrew Nethsingha with the assistance of the Organ Scholars. At 9.10 am the regular school day begins, after which the Choristers head over to the College Chapel for the evening rehearsal and Evensong. After two services on a Sunday, the boys have Monday off singing to give them a rest and let them focus more on other aspects of school life.
the St John's choristers have a rich, warm quality which never suppresses the individual voicesFiona MaddocksThe Observer
The Choristers are appointed at Voice Trials which take place three times per year which involve oral/aural tests and singing a prepared piece (see here for more details).
However, Mr Nethsingha is always happy to hear boys aged 6+ informally throughout the year. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to arrange a time.
There is more information on what it means to be a Chorister at St John's in this Chorister Handbook. For further information, please contact the school directly:
Prep School of the Year 2008/2009Tatler School AwardsTatler Magazine
St John's College School,
75 Grange Road,
Telephone: 01223 353 652