Admission to the St John’s College Choir and to St John’s College School takes place annually in September. Numbers vary according to the number of boys departing the choir, but the maximum places in any one year is unlikely to be more than 5.
The College Director of Music is very willing to hear boys aged 6+ informally, prior to the formal voice trials which take place twice each year, to offer parents an indication of their child’s prospects and advice about any preparations that might be appropriate. Children are not admitted under the age of 8 and it is rare that a child will be admitted over the age of 10 at the time of entry.
The formal Voice Trial takes the form of an audition, in which the children are given oral/aural tests, perform a prepared vocal piece of the candidate’s choosing and play any instrument they may have studied. The audition is informal and relaxed in atmosphere. A singing coach is in attendance and at least part of the audition may take the form of a lesson rather than a formal test. The Headmaster is also in attendance to ensure that the children are comfortable with the process.
In addition to the musical aspect of the Voice Trial, the children are assessed academically to ensure that they will cope happily with the demands of a curriculum that leads to Common Entrance or Public School Scholarship examinations.
If successful, a Chorister Bursary of two-thirds of the boarding fee (all Probationers and Choristers are boarders at the College School) will be offered by the College, in addition to which the College funds the cost of individual singing lessons and tuition on one musical instrument. It is the College’s intention that no child should be prevented from taking up a Choristership as a consequence of financial difficulty.
Further details of the Voice Trials are available from:
St John’s College School
Cambridge CB3 9AB
Further information about Choristership and Probationership is available in the Chorister and Probationer Handbook.