Historic changes to Rochester Cathedral Choir widens access to many more musically talented local youngsters.

07 May 2020

In an exciting new development, more places for musically talented boys and girls aged between eight and 13 will be on offer in Rochester Cathedral Choir. From September 2020, a mixed treble line with equality for boys and girls will be introduced to the Cathedral Choir. All new Choristers will be offered financially-assisted places at King’s Rochester Preparatory School.

The tradition in Cathedral Choirs has, until very recently, been for the treble parts (those with the highest, purest voices) to be sung by boys, but now Rochester is putting girls and boys on the same footing in a historic move away from tradition.

Reverend Canon Matthew Rushton, Canon Precentor at Rochester Cathedral said, “As we look to the future of music at Rochester Cathedral, we are excited to be taking these steps to ensure that Rochester continues to be a centre of excellence for sacred music, with boys and girls fully and equally involved in our choral music. We are also excited to be expanding our community music programme for the local area”.

The new arrangements will be phased in over five years with all new Choristers receiving a package of financial and educational support which will include fee remission and music tuition. Means-tested bursaries at King’s Rochester will also be available.

Ben Charles, Principal of King’s Rochester, said, “We are delighted to be playing a vital part in this historic development in the life of Rochester Cathedral. The Cathedral and School’s partnership extends back over 1400 years of mutual commitment and the standard of music-making in both institutions has always been of the highest calibre. This exciting and dynamic initiative will extend these opportunities to a much wider audience.”

The Cathedral is holding a “Chorister Experience” Open Day on Saturday 11th January 2020 to which all are welcome.

Auditions for would-be Choristers going into Years 4 and 5 in September 2020 will take place on Saturday 25th January 2020. Details are available from Ms Francesca Massey, Director of Music, Rochester Cathedral by telephone on 01634 843366 or by email on francesca.massey@rochestercathedral.org.

In addition, two further new, musical opportunities for musical members of the local community include a Rochester Cathedral Youth Choral Course for singers aged eight to 18 starting in October 2020 and Cathedral Sixth Form Choral Scholarships for talented young singers.

Details for both initiatives are available from Ms Francesca Massey, Director of Music, Rochester Cathedral by telephone on 01634 843366 or by email on francesca.massey@rochestercathedral.org from February 2020.