Becoming a Chorister

To have sung in the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge was to be offered a glimpse of absolutely everything that music making could be; passion, commitment and emotion on a daily basis. I was the youngest ever chorister, starting at the age of 7 and later a choral scholar. Without question I owe every musical fibre of my being to this choir

Iestyn Davies MBE (Chorister 1987-93, Choral Scholar 1999-2002)

The twenty choristers of St John’s College Choir are part of a centuries-old tradition with a vibrant modern present.  

  • The boys sing six services a week in the College Chapel during university terms, and tour the world twice a year, including recently the USA, China, Japan and throughout Europe.
  • A peerless musical education is just part of the Choristers’ experience - they all board among the 450 other pupils of the academically renowned St John’s College School described by the Good Schools Guide as ‘magically happy’. They live together in a homely boarding house from which they walk each day across the College grounds to the Chapel.  
  • The Choir is not required to sing during Holy Week, Easter or at Christmas and the Choristers are free for Half Terms from Sunday to Friday. 
  • All Choristers receive a bursary of two thirds of school fees, with no boy ever excluded from the Choir for reasons of finance.  Choristers go on routinely to win music and academic scholarships to leading senior schools.

Here's Matthew to give a taster of what it's like to experience a tour with the Choir:

If you know a boy who loves to sing, a Choristership at St John’s could be the best possible start in life for him.  

Director of Music, Andrew Nethsingha, is always happy to hear from parents or guardians of any boy aged six+ who is enthusiastic about singing.  He need not play an instrument or have any formal training, in the right boy, potential is more than enough.  

There is more information on what it means to be a Chorister, and on what an audition would entail in this Chorister Handbook.

Choristers in the snow

The boys enjoying the snow on the Backs at St John's College

Upcoming Voice Trial dates are as follows:

  • Saturday 19 May 2018
  • Saturday 6 October 2018

If you would like to discuss things further, Mary Robb at St John's College School is always pleased to talk to parents of prospective Choristers on 01223 353652 admissions@sjcs.uk

St John's College School, 75 Grange Road, Cambridge, CB3 9AA
Telephone: 01223 353 652
Website: www.sjcs.co.uk  

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Latest webcast

Recorded on
13 May 2018
  • Introit: Exaudi Domine
  • Victoria: Missa O Quam Gloriosum
  • Gradual: Psalm 1 (tone i)
  • Hymns: 133, 138
  • Voluntary: J. S. Bach Fugue in G major (Gigue) (BWV 577)

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The Ascension Day Carol

For the first time since 2013, the Choir performed the Ascension Day Carol Service from the Chapel Tower after its restoration

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer