The Choir of St George’s Chapel has a glorious tradition stretching back over 650 years. Made up of a maximum of 23 boy Choristers (of whom 5 are ‘probationers’, or training Choristers) and 12 Lay Clerks providing the adult voices of alto, tenor and bass, the Choir sings at Evensong each day (except Wednesdays) and twice on Sunday mornings during the three terms of the College year. It draws upon a large repertoire of music from all ages and traditions and sings before tens of thousands of people every year as well as broadcasting live on BBC Radio. The Dean and Canons are responsible for the professional Choir of Lay Clerks and provide bursaries for the Choristers in order to maintain and enhance this tradition for the glory of God.
The Choir is a living jewel in the College of St George. It is also the largest single cost in the annual running expenses of the College. In order to retain it in perpetuity, securing the excellence of music in the daily life and prayers of the Chapel for the future, a Choral Foundation has been established.
The Queen’s Choral Foundation
Maintaining a choir of this size to the standard demanded of a national institution like St George’s takes considerable expertise, time and resources – from the recruitment, training and education of the Choristers to the provision of accommodation for the Lay Clerks and the purchase of music and robes.
The College of St George is not the financial responsibility of the State, the Church or the Crown and relies on donations to support this important choral tradition. One of the ways of meeting this requirement is with The Queen’s Choral Foundation. This will help both to meet the current need, and also to secure the future of the Choir of St George’s Chapel in the longer term. With the English choral tradition under threat this need is greater than ever.
The Dean and Canons of Windsor currently offer all Choristers part bursaries for tuition and 100% for boarding at St George’s School.
The Choristers, aged between 7 and 13, attend St George’s School. They rehearse each morning before the beginning of the school day, and then come up the hill again to sing the service with the Lay Clerks.
We have an urgent need for funding to enable the Dean and Canons to continue funding Choristers so that they have the opportunity to receive both a first-class education and experience the joys and privilege of taking part in the heritage of the choral tradition at Windsor Castle.
More about St George’s School
St George’s School is a co-educational, day and boarding, preparatory school for children from 3 to 13 years. The Chorister School for St George’s Chapel, dating back to 1348, moved to its present location outside the walls of Windsor Castle in 1892. Since then, a vibrant and thriving school has evolved where some 400 boys and girls live and work together in a very happy, purposeful and safe environment.
The school aims to prepare all its pupils for a complete and fulfilling future life by educating them in such a way as to develop the whole person, enriching their lives academically, socially, physically, culturally and spiritually.
St George’s Renewal Campaign for the 21st Century
INSPIRE – CONSERVE – RENEW – TRANSFORM
The Queen’s Choral Foundation at
St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
8a The Cloisters, Windsor Castle, Windsor, SL4 1NJ
T 01753 848888
The Queen’s Choral Foundation is a restricted fund of The Dean & Canons of Windsor of Her Majesty’s Free Chapel of St George within Her Majesty’s Castle at Windsor; an ecclesiastical corporation exempt from the requirement to register with the Charity Commission.
Photographs: ©The Dean and Canons of Windsor, © Doug Harding, © Nikki Hill