Becoming a Chorister

The College Director of Music, Andrew Nethsingha, is pleased to receive enquiries from the parents of boys and girls interested in joining the choir. Please contact him on 01223 338683 or by email – choir@joh.cam.ac.uk.


Admission to the St John’s College Choir and to St John’s College School takes place annually in September. The number of choristers accepted each year varies, but the maximum places in any one year is unlikely to be more than 5. 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 College Director of Music is very willing to hear children aged 6+ informally, prior to a formal voice trial, to offer parents an indication of their child’s prospects and advice about any preparations that might be appropriate.

Following an informal meeting with the College Director of Music, parents may be asked to put their child forward for a formal voice trial. This 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 a piece on any instrument they may be studying. The audition is held in as much of a relaxed atmosphere as possible. 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.

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 exams for senior schools and a preparation for the next stage of the children’s education and beyond.

If successful, a Chorister Scholarship of two-thirds of the full 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 and bursaries are also available for families who need further financial assistance.

Further details of the Voice Trials are available from:

The Registrar
St John’s College School
Grange Road
Cambridge CB3 9AB
01223 353652
admissions@sjcs.co.uk

Further information about Choristership and Probationership is available in the Chorister and Probationer Handbook.