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Voice Trials

What to Expect at the Voice Trial?

The 2021 Voice Trials will be held on Saturday 27th February. For more information please contact our Admissions Manager, Miss Katharine Pearce: admissions@exetercs.org

All candidates and parents/guardians are asked to arrive at the Chapter House (adjacent to the Cathedral). Exact timings will be confirmed nearer to the time, once final numbers are known. Candidates may wear any casual, comfortable clothes and should bring the music for their prepared song and any musical instrument(s) as appropriate.

The children will receive an individual audition assessed by Timothy Noon (the Cathedral’s Director of Music) and Timothy Parsons (Assistant Director of Music). This will include:

  • Singing a prepared song or hymn (this does not need to be anything complicated; it should be a song that your child is familiar with and really enjoys singing). It is extremely helpful if children bring the musical accompaniment for their prepared piece with them so that Mr Noon can accompany them;
  • Playing a musical instrument if applicable (this is not compulsory);
  • Ear tests e.g. singing notes played on the piano; tests of musicality;

We will do our very best to put the children at ease and make the occasion an enjoyable one for them as we want them to do their best and to be relaxed, happy and confident.

The programme for parents will include:

  • Introductory talks by the Headmaster, Cathedral Director of Music, a member of the Cathedral Clergy and some current Cathedral Choristers – an opportunity to hear and ask questions about the Choristers’ life;
  • A tour of the Cathedral, the Cathedral School and the Boarding House;

Children and parents are strongly encouraged to stay to attend Evensong at 17.30 as it is extremely helpful for the children to see and hear some of what the Choristers do each day. Evensong will finish at approximately 18.15.

The Decision Process

Following the Voice Trial day, the Cathedral Director of Music, the Headmaster, the Assistant Head and a member of the Cathedral Clergy will meet to discuss the results from all the assessments. We will hope to inform parents of decisions within one week of the Voice Trial day.

It is important to understand that auditions for the Cathedral Choir are necessarily a very selective process and not everyone can succeed. The number of places is strictly limited in any given year and younger candidates may be encouraged to return for a further voice audition the following year if their voices have not yet developed sufficiently. It is also perhaps worthy of note that several of our current and past Choristers had unsuccessful auditions here or elsewhere before they were offered a Choristership.