The Role of a Chorister

The Chapel Choir is based on the University's Streatham Campus in Exeter, and is an auditioned ensemble of 24 students:

  • 6 sopranos
  • 6 altos
  • 6 tenors
  • 6 basses

Being a member of the choir means receiving a choral scholarship, and having the opportunity to sing high-standard choral music as part of one of the finest musical ensembles in the south west of England. Every week we sing services in the beautiful Mary Harris Memorial Chapel on the University's Streatham Campus in Exeter, a chapel which boasts a stunning acoustic for music. We also sing occasional services (e.g. Carol services) at St Luke's Chapel on St Luke's Campus, and at least twice a term at services in Exeter Cathedral.

As well as providing music at services, we also give concerts around Devon, and sing at the University's graduation ceremonies in Devon and Cornwall. We tour annually, both nationally and abroad, and provide choristers with solo opportunities.

The recreational life of the choir mirrors its musical vibrancy; working and singing together creates a close-knit group of good friendships and we enjoy many social events.

Expectations of a Choral Scholar

Choral Scholars are expected to attend all rehearsals and choral services in the Chapels and to maintaining the prestige and reputation of the Chapel Choir.

The Chapel Choir is free to join and you do not need to be a member of the Students' Guild to do so.

You do not need to be religious or a person of faith to be a member of the choir, we simply ask that you are respectful of the places of worship in which you are singing.

During Term Time

Wednesday* (every week)

4.00pm - 4.50pm Rehearsal
5.00pm - 5.45pm Choral Evensong

Thursday (every week)

7.00pm - 9.15pm Rehearsal
9.15pm - 9.30pm Choral Compline

Sundays (three per month)

6.00pm - 6.50pm Rehearsal
7.00pm - 8.00pm Choral Service

* The University timetables Wednesday afternoons as free to enable students to participate in societies, sporting events and other groups, so as a chorister you would not need to worry about the Wednesday rehearsal and Evensong clashing with your academic timetable.

Choral scholars are also expected to participate in the Choir's:

  • Occasional weekend tours to other cities in the UK
  • Concerts (and additional rehearsals for these)
  • Special services (e.g. Remembrance and Christmas)
  • CD recordings

During 2019-20 this will include:

  • Performing Haydn's Creation in Exeter Cathedral
  • Performing an Orchestral Evensong in Exeter Cathedral
  • Performing J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass at Buckfast Abbey
  • A weekend trip to sing at two services in Bath Abbey
  • Performing Handel's Messiah in the University Great Hall
  • A carol service in London for University of Exeter Alumni

Outside Term Time

  • Singing at the Winter 2019 Graduation Ceremonies at Streatham Campus, Exeter
  • Singing at the Summer 2020 Graduation Ceremonies at Streatham Campus in Exeter, and at Truro Cathedral in Cornwall.
  • One tour abroad in Summer 2020, which will be to Brittany. This will take place in the week just after the end of the Summer Term.

There is no requirement to perform at Graduation Ceremonies in order to be a choral scholar, but it is required to receive the payment of £350 that forms part of the full scholarship (naturally this requirement is waived when scholars are attending their own Graduation!). Scholars who do not sing at Graduation will simply receive the two instalments of £150.

See Graduation Ceremony dates

Funding

Some of the choir's concerts and special events, such as weddings, will provide choristers with opportunities for additional payment to supplement their scholarship.

Where trips involve an overnight stay, accommodation will be provided free of charge.

We regret that travel expenses are not covered, but these will be kept to the minimum possible.

Think You Could Be a Chorister...?

...we would love to hear from you!

If this sounds interesting, please see how to join the Chapel Choir for details of auditions.

Find Out More

You may like to hear some video and audio examples of our performances.

You can also hear the Director of Chapel Music, Michael Graham, along with choir members Jessica Brown, Kitty Bishop, and Simon Clark, as they talk about their musical and academic life with presenter Luch Càise-Dearg. Recorded at Phonic FM for Classical Journey, 20th January 2015.