Before leaving St. Alphege Choirs for university, three of our singers attained singing diplomas over the past two years. This has contributed towards their success in being awarded choral scholarships, but could not have happened without tuition from professional singing teachers. Often younger choristers still at junior school are awarded choral scholarships at secondary schools, and tuition helps towards this goal.
In both the above cases, extra paid tuition would normally be involved, over and above what we can offer under the occasional ‘Vocal Support’. So there are two ‘pathways’ we offer to young singers in the St. Alphege Choirs. Both of these pathways will serve to build our choirs into a top cathedral quality over the next few years. But they will have differing benefits to our young ones, and to the families involved.
Goal: choral scholarship or choral bursary at secondary school and university. Among the many private schools offering this are Solihull School, KES/KEHS , Warwick School.
Method: weekly singing lessons, IN ADDITION to the help in Pathway Two.
Stages: ABRSM grades 1-8 Singing and Theory exams, Diplomas.
Cost to parents: £22 per lesson (may vary), 30 lessons per annum.
Assistance: FoSAM bursary, reducing fees by 25% (available following a successful application, families must be FoSAM members, paying a family subscription of £25 p.a.)
Goal: RSCM Gold/Silver/Bronze Chorister Awards
Method: weekly help in Friday practice breaks and sermon sessions, and occasional Vocal Support sessions from our music staff.
Stages: RSCM light blue, dark blue, red, yellow ribbon awards; Bronze, Silver and Gold awards; participation in all rehearsals and services; all cathedral visits; all summer cathedral residencies; all deanery and diocesan festivals.
Cost to parents: nil
ost to FoSAM: approx. £500 p.a. is invested in each chorister, by paying for individual and small group Vocal Support, robes, medals and other materials, subsidy for cathedral residencies, socials, refreshments and more. This amounts to approx. £5,000 per young singer over a typical ten years in the choir.
In both Pathways, the benefit to each child, each family, to the church and local culture, is potentially enormous. Although immeasurable, the effect will be felt in terms of emotional well-being, academic progress, team building, motivation, and above all, being part of ‘something beautiful for God’.
Whilst continuing to offer monthly Vocal Support, we welcome any requests for more information about paid singing lessons, which can be provided by our staff or other recommended singing teachers.
Please note that we also offer tuition up to diploma on piano and organ, both of which have a singing component. One of our pupils recently attained distinction in Grade 8 piano, and is now working at a performance diploma, while still in year 11. Between us we also teach recorder, cello and theory.
Our hope this at, at this crucial time in the development of our choirs, we have given you food for thought, and we look forward very much to hearing from you.
Organist and Director of Music