The Dean and Canons of St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle are pleased to announce that, by September 2023, girls and boys will be singing side by side as choristers in our renowned Chapel Choir. This follows the appointment of our first female lay clerk in November 2021. Further details will be announced in due course.
All choristers are admitted by audition and are educated as boarders at St George’s School, Windsor Castle, a long established co-educational independent prep school. Choristers join the choir in Year 4 and leave in Year 8. During these years, the Dean and Canons of Windsor provide a generous scholarship of fifty percent of the school fees for each chorister; further financial assistance may be available on a means-tested basis. During a typical week, the choristers sing up to seven services and rehearse each weekday morning under the Director of Music, James Vivian, and his chapel music colleagues. Alongside a full school time-table, choristers study two further instruments in addition to their music theory lessons. The choristers also receive individual singing lessons from a team led by the inspirational vocal coach, Anita Morrison.
James Vivian, the Director of Music, is always pleased to hear from the families of potential chorister candidates at any time. The music office can be contacted on [email protected].
The Dean of Windsor, The Right Reverend David Conner KCVO, said:
When St George’s Chapel was established to be the spiritual heart of the Order of the Garter, the singing of the daily offices of the Church became the foundation of this community of Christian people, both lay and ordained. Nearly 700 years on, the offering to God of worship and music of the highest standard continues to be our aspiration. For several years now the Dean and Canons have been committed to the inclusion of female voices within our choir, and recently we have appointed the first female lay Clerk. Now, by opening up choristerships to girls as well as boys, we firmly believe that this will broaden and enhance our musical tradition. It is also a reflection of our understanding that although we live out our vocation amid ancient buildings, we should strive to be true to the Christian Gospel in today’s world. We believe it right to include both boys and girls as participants in the great Choral tradition of English Church music.
James Vivian, the Director of Music, says:
The choir of St George’s Chapel was founded in 1348. Its music-making has played a significant role in the daily worship of the chapel ever since and has also adorned ceremonies of national and international significance. The choristers, who sing alongside top adult professional singers, perform music from many centuries and work daily to develop their musical skills in addition to those of teamwork, self-confidence, leadership and responsibility. I am absolutely delighted that this opportunity is being extended to girls.