Voice Trials

Contact Us

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

[email protected]
+44 (01392) 255 298

Voice Trials are for girls and boys currently in school years 2-5 who wish to audition for the chance of becoming an Exeter Cathedral School Chorister.

Mr Timothy Noon, Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral, would be pleased to hear prospective Choristers for a preliminary audition at any stage of the year and this can be arranged by contacting Exeter Cathedral School via: [email protected] | 01392 457 072


This year’s Voice Trials will take place on:
  • Saturday 27 January 2024 (External pupils)
  • Saturday 3 February 2024 (Current Exeter Cathedral School pupils)
All candidates and parents/guardians are asked to arrive at the main entrance of the Cathedral during the morning (the time 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 (Exeter Cathedral’s Director of Music) and the Assistant Director of Music.

Applications are now closed.

What will the assessments involve?

  • 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.


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 two to three weeks 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.

The deadline to apply for Voice Trials is Saturday 13 January 2024. Please expect to hear from us regarding the specific details of your Voice Trial shortly after this deadline date has passed.

Voice Trials are open to pupils, external and internal, who are currently in the following year groups: Years 2, 3, 4 & 5

Please click here to read about our admissions process, and the steps to enrol as a pupil at Exeter Cathedral School.

If you are a family not currently at Exeter Cathedral School, a member of our friendly admissions team will contact you ahead of the candidate’s Voice Trial to arrange a tour of the School for your family, as well as a taster day for the candidate. It should be noted that the School and Cathedral are not able to offer Choristerships to external candidates unless a tour and taster day have already taken place.

Voice Trials applications are only open to children in Year 2 and above.

We’d recommend parking in The Cathedral and Quay Car Park.

A clearly named water bottle.

No, children do not have to attend a ‘Be a Chorister for a Day’ event to submit an application for Voice Trials.

If successful, a chorister place is offered on the condition that the child becomes a pupil at Exeter Cathedral School (that is, if they are not already).

Yes, every child who accepts a place as a chorister receives a scholarship to Exeter Cathedral School. A Choristership allows for a 25% reduction on day school fees.

New entrants to the Choir are admitted as Probationers: they receive specialist musical and voice training, attend Cathedral services and occasionally sing with the Cathedral Choir. The length of the probationary period is not fixed; it varies according to the age of the Probationer and how quickly he or she learns the repertoire. When they are ready, Probationers are installed as full Choristers.

All Choristerships are offered on the understanding that children remain in the Choir and at the School until they reach the normal age of leaving – the end of Year 8 (13+). In addition to the Cathedral Scholarship, each Chorister/Probationer receives free instrumental tuition on one musical instrument and some voice coaching.

At the age of thirteen, pupils move on to a range of leading senior schools. The School has a proven record of scholarship success to many senior schools and a number of senior staff are in place to advise families on the next steps. Often, Exeter Cathedral Choristers receive offers of music scholarships/awards to a number of top senior schools.

Exeter Cathedral School is in the process of discontinuing its boarding facilities – all choristers from September 2024, therefore, will be ‘day pupils’.

Certainly! The School and Cathedral requires that parents/guardians have toured the school and candidates have had a taster day before candidates can be offered a Choristership. 

To arrange a private tour and taster day, please contact our friendly admissions team on: [email protected] | 01392 457 072

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