The Junior Choir

 

ST. OSWALD'S JUNIOR CHOIR

The Junior Choir is made up of boys and girls of 8 years and upwards and forms the Treble line of the Parish Church Choir. The Juniors usually sing every Sunday morning and one Sunday evening each month. The Junior Choir also sings at major festivals and for weddings and other special services.

What can the Chorister expect from membership of the Choir?

1. Musically

  • The opportunity to sing some of the finest choral music ever written and to experience the performance of a spectrum of music from before the Reformation to the present day.
  • The benefits of a fine music training through the Royal School of Church Music's Chorister Training Scheme 'Voice for Life' and the Lichfield Diocesan Chorister Award Scheme. Additionally choristers receive free singing and musicianship lessons, a benefit normally available only to children in cathedral choirs.
  • The opportunity to attend music courses and summer schools either free or at substantially reduced fees.

2. Financially

  • Choristers receive Choir Pay each term. The amount is determined by the number of attendances that the chorister has made and the level that (s)he has attained in the Choir. (see below)
  • Choristers receive a fee for singing at weddings and other occasions outside the normal duties specified above.
  • Sponsorship and / or support on Chorister Training events.


3. Socially

  • There is a trip to the pantomime usually just after Christmas each year.
  • There are a number of social events during the year.

What do we expect of the Chorister?

  1. That the Chorister will attend services when (s)he is on duty and carry out his / her duties to the best of his / her abilities..
  2. That the Chorister will be available to sing at weddings as required ( a fee is payable for this service)
  3. That the Chorister will attend punctually the set Choir Practices and Services. These are:-

Junior Practice: Wednesday from 5.45pm to 7.00pm.
Full Practice: Friday from 7.15 pm to 8.30 pm.

Voice for Life Training: Wednesday 4.30pm - 5.30pm and Saturday 10.00am. - 12 noon. Choristers will only attend the session appropriate to their level of training and will not usually be required  on both Wednesday and Saturday.

Before Services:-

Sunday Morning: 9.30 am. Practice, 10.30 am. Service
Sunday Evening: 5.15 pm. Practice, 6.30 pm. Service

Major services such as carols services usually have an extended practice but tea is provided between the practice and the service.

Joining the Junior Choir

Joining the choir is through a simple audition. We do not expect a high level of musicianship - we will teach this. We do expect that the young person can sing in tune and can read well. The Choir performs music in a number of languages other than English and also uses "Prayer Book English". It is important, therefore, that the prospective chorister has a good reading ability. Without this he or she may quickly become discouraged.

When a young person joins the Choir (s)he does so as a probationer and wears a maroon coloured cassock. After an induction period of about 6 weeks the chorister makes a commitment to the choir and is admitted formally during a service. (S)he is then presented with a white surplice and becomes a full member of the Choir.

The chorister then begins work on the first level in the Royal School of Church Music's training and when successful is awarded a medal with a light blue ribbon. (S)he then becomes a Junior Singer. Further stages lead to the award of dark blue ribbon (Senior Singer) and red ribbon (Chorister). From this point the chorister is examined externally to attain the Bronze Award (Dean's Chorister - Green Ribbon) and Silver Award (Bishop's Chorister - Purple Ribbon ) The final stage is the Gold Award of the Royal School of Church Music, a national award.

Finally...

Choristers lead a busy but fulfilling life. They make good friends and enjoy full social lives. Perhaps more importantly, a church choir is unlike any other choir in that it is continually producing new music for services. The chorister, therefore, soon develops the ability to learn quickly and make the most of his/her time. I have found that these skills affect all other aspects of the chorister's life and most do well. During my choir training career several of our choristers have gone on to study music, some as choral scholars at Oxford and Cambridge, and most go on to some form of higher education.

For more information or to discuss joining

contact:-

Mike Donkin,

The Director of Music

Tel: 01691 649933

e-mail: mvdonkin@aol.com