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Exeter Cathedral School
The Chantry, Palace Gate
Exeter, EX1 1HX

[email protected]
+44 (01392) 255 298

"The most remarkable musical training"

There are up to 18 boy Choristers and up to 18 girl Choristers in Exeter Cathedral Choir, including a small number of Probationers (learner Choristers). They enjoy the most remarkable, fulfilling and rewarding musical training, alongside a broad and balanced all-round education at Exeter Cathedral School. For boys and girls who love singing, a Choristership is a very special opportunity to develop all-round musical talent in the context of service in the Cathedral.

Exeter Cathedral School was founded in the 12th century as a Choir School. To this day, we remain proud to educate the Choristers of Exeter Cathedral.
38 boys and girls (usually from Year 3 to Year 8) make up the Cathedral Choristers. They join forces with the Adults of the Choir (Lay Vicars and Choral Scholars) and sing around 8 services each week during term time, maintaining a musical and spiritual tradition that has been largely unbroken for centuries.

School life as a Chorister

Choristers receive a Scholarship to attend Exeter Cathedral School, awarded by the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral, and receive the same broad and balanced education as all of our pupils. They access our full curriculum and all of the other enriching opportunities on offer: with the exception of some after-school clubs and some assemblies, our Choristers do not miss out on any part of school life. That said, we are of course mindful of their busy schedules, and our dedicated Chorister Tutor closely oversees the workload and wellbeing of the Choristers. Weekly wellbeing meetings take place between the School’s pastoral staff and the Cathedral music team.

As well as being fully involved in the life of the School, our Choristers are trained to a professional standard to sing alongside the adult members of the choir, benefitting from world-class musical coaching and unparalleled opportunities. Through their education at School and in the Choir Stalls, our Choristers develop habits and skills which will last them a life-time, as well as a thirst for high standards and a deep appreciation of the spirituality to be found in music, in silence, in collective worship, and in stillness.

Voice Trials

Applications to become a Chorister through Voice Trials 2024 are now open.
Click the button to find out more about Voice Trials and how to apply:

A day in the life of a Chorister

All of the Choristers meet in School every day and are walked across to the Song Schools for their daily rehearsals (Wednesday is a day off). They join their classmates for the start of lesson 1, and take part in all of the activities and lessons of our normal school day. 

After a break at the end of school, the Choristers on duty gather together (boys and girls tend to alternate – allowing after-school clubs to be enjoyed on their ‘down days’), put on their gowns, and process to a rehearsal and Evensong in the Cathedral. 

Then it’s home time, and those who are boarders will return to School for supper, prep, activities, hot chocolate and bed.
Would you like your child to experience first-hand what it’s like to be a Chorister?

Choir term

During Choir Term (a busy and exciting few days over Christmas and Easter), the Choristers have the School to themselves, and enjoy trips out, activity days, movie nights, and – of course – lots of singing. 

We find that Father Christmas never forgets to visit the boarding house, and our Choristers continue the centuries-old tradition of waking up the Dean and the Director of Music on Christmas Morning by singing early-morning carols underneath their windows!
Timothy Noon (Director of Music, Exeter Cathedral)

Want to explore Choristership further?

If you are interested in exploring Choristership for your son or daughter, ‘Be a Chorister for a Day’ events take place in November or December each year, followed by Voice Trial Days every January or February. 

The School is always happy to help arrange informal pre-audition assessments with Exeter Cathedral’s Director of Music. Please contact our Admissions Manager to find out more: [email protected] | 01392 457 072

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