St Andrew's Cathedral School

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Cathedral chorister scholarships

Choristers reap huge personal benefit, both in musicianship training, self-worth, teamwork skills and interpersonal communication.

Be part of history as a chorister at Australia’s oldest cathedral. Choristers have the chance to perform in a wide variety of state and national events including royal visits and play an important role in the cultural and religious life of Sydney.

Choristers also have the opportunity to be part of the International Chorister Tours which are typically run every two years. In the past, our choristers have performed in Venice’s Basilica of San Marco, Notre Dame Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.

Choristers of St Andrew’s Cathedral form the treble line of the internationally renowned St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir of men and boys. Choristers of St Andrew’s Cathedral attend St Andrew’s Cathedral School. After a probationary period, choristers receive a scholarship, currently worth 50 per cent off the tuition fees in return for singing at Cathedral services (probationers receive a 25 per cent discount). 

Choir commitments

There is one choral service each Sunday morning and two evening services on Mondays and Thursdays (over by 7.30pm). Choristers practise before school on Tuesdays to Fridays. The Choir observes the normal school holidays but is required to sing up to Christmas Day each year and also Easter Day. Other duties, such as concerts, recordings and big state services are also a feature of Choir life. 

Chorister requirements

Choristers need to be of Junior School age when joining the choir and they normally stay in the Choir for as long as their treble voice lasts or until the end of Year 8 or 9 (whichever comes sooner). It is not necessary to be a member of the Anglican Church, but obviously there needs to be a commitment to the Cathedral during the time in the Choir, and we encourage parents to get involved where they can. 

Auditioning for the choir

At the audition, potential is looked for rather than achievement. This includes a clear and pleasant tone, a good musical ‘ear’, and a satisfactory range. The ability to read music is not a prerequisite because this is taught in the probationary period. In this regard, learning a musical instrument is a definite advantage and is strongly encouraged. Students may bring a song or two to sing at the audition (with its accompaniment) but it is not essential. Good reading ability for the student’s age is essential and at the audition, the student will be given a passage to read out loud, as well as some aural tests. As parents have such a key role in the success of their child’s time in the Choir, it is essential that they are part of the interview process. 

Other skills

Choristers need to have concentration skills, to be alert and to be quick learners. They also need to conduct themselves in a mature manner when on duty. At the very least, empathy for Christianity is desirable. Social skills are also important because the members of the Choir spend a great deal of time together, working as a team. If you have any questions or would like to arrange a chorister audition, please let us know by submitting an enquiry.