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  • Which British boarding schools are best for singing in a choir? | Dickinson School Consulting
  • Which British boarding schools are best for singing in a choir? | Dickinson School Consulting

Which British boarding schools are best for singing in a choir?

Did you know that, just like exercise, singing is good for you? Any singing can lift your mood, while singing in a group could even improve your mental health and boost your immune system. All our partner schools have brilliant provision for the full range of music, and here we are focussing on the best British boarding schools for singing in a choir.

The Purcell School is specifically for young musicians, so naturally it offers plenty of opportunity for singing. The Senior Choir is for all students in Years 9 to 13 and performs twice each year, the second performance being a major choral work in St Albans Cathedral with organ or orchestra. The Chamber Choir is an auditioned, mixed voice choir of about 30 members drawn from Year 11 (occasionally Year 10) and the Sixth Form, and gives several concerts each year.

Chetham’s is another dedicated music school at which every student is involved in choral singing, aiming to progress their ensemble work, ensure a strong sense of harmony and give them the groundwork to explore vocal opportunities within the school. Those who then successfully audition for Chamber Choir have the chance to develop their musical skills by performing everything from renaissance choral works to jazz arrangements. Chamber Choir also combines with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra to put on large-scale concerts.

We work closely with several British boarding schools that are associated with cathedral choirs – for example, Durham School, St Edmund’s School Canterbury and Wells Cathedral School – as detailed in this blog last year.

External ecclesiastical connections aren’t essential, however. The Royal Hospital School (RHS) has an 80-strong choir for its own chapel, as well as a chamber choir. The Chapel Choir performs at weekly services and four major concerts each year in the school chapel. Due to the school’s naval heritage, it also gives annual performances at high-profile naval services in St Paul’s Cathedral and St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. The Elite Chamber Choir is made up of 20 hand-picked singers, the cream of the RHS vocal crop, who perform a wide repertoire of sacred and secular, classical and contemporary works at frequent concerts. Enjoying strong links with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, the school’s most promising singers are actively encouraged to audition, and many are successful.

Dean Close is another fantastic British boarding school for singing in a choir. It has a Chapel Choir with approximately 55 auditioned members, which leads the music for school chapel services, sings Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey annually, and gives regular concert performances. The school’s 20-voice Chamber Choir provides the most experienced singers with an opportunity for extension, with regular trips to sing Evensong in Oxbridge Colleges, and annual concert performances of sacred and secular repertoire at school and in various local churches. Dean Close Harmony is an a cappella group of up to 16 experienced singers, who perform a diverse repertoire both in and out of school. Then, there is the Choral Society, comprising pupils, staff, parents and friends of the school, which gives one performance of a major work each year in the Pittville Pump Room, Tewkesbury Abbey or Dean Close Memorial Chapel. Finally, Dean Close Voices is a non-auditioned choir for younger singers with a focus on popular music, jazz and music theatre. Really something for everyone to get involved in here!

If your child loves to sing, or it is something you would like to encourage, why not seek the advice of an English boarding school consultant? I’d love to help you find the best British boarding school for singing in a choir for your child. Please contact me to start the process.