Being a chorister is a wonderful start to a young musician’s training, and an experience they will treasure for the rest of their lives. Training takes place during term-time after school; performance takes place in our worship every Sunday and in some mid-week services. In addition there are opportunities to take part in concerts and to travel further afield.
Being a chorister at St Mary-le-Tower means:
- Singing in the iconic town centre building of St Mary-le-Tower: the civic church of Ipswich. The choir frequently sings to hundreds of people, especially at Christmas time.
- The chance for young people in the town and its surrounds to sing as part of a cathedral-style chorister programme without being tied to any one school, and irrespective of family, financial or religious background.
- Receiving a first-class training in singing and choral musicianship from our staff of professional musicians. This training encompasses vocal technique, aural skills and music theory.
- Amazing performance opportunities: our choristers have sung in Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and around the world.
- Making friends and having fun: all our children are drawn from local schools across Ipswich and beyond. Apart from singing, the choristers regularly enjoy other activities, such as trips to the cinema, bowling and theme parks.
- St Mary-le-Tower has produced many successful musicians. Many choristers stay on as members of the adult section, as Choral Scholars. Former choristers have gone on to hold choral and organ scholarships at university and can be heard singing in Cathedral choirs across the country.
- Developing crucial life-skills, such as self-discipline, initiative, team-work and an expectation of high standards.
- Participating in the nationally recognised “Voice for Life” scheme and taking ABRSM exams, earning UCAS points at the higher levels.
Watch a video about being a chorister at St Mary-le-Tower:
What are we looking for?
We are looking for young people aged 7 or above with a good ear. Choristerships at St Mary-le-Tower are offered to young people from across the town and beyond, irrespective of family, financial or religious backgrounds. Your child does not need to play an instrument or to have any previous musical experience; they do need to be keen to sing, eager to learn, and ready to commit to a demanding but rewarding schedule.
How much does it cost?
The choir of St Mary-le-Tower costs nothing to join! In fact, all choristers receive pocket money in return for their attendance. All tours are heavily subsidised and additional financial support can usually be provided in case of individual need.
How is the choir staffed?
In addition to our team of professional musicians, we employ chorister assistants. Together, this group ensures the welfare of the choristers in their care and that appropriate safe-guarding procedures are followed. All of the music staff are checked with the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB). The safety of young people is a high priority for the Church of England and procedures are carefully overseen by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.
The Director of Music