Chorister admissions at 8+
A world-class musical and academic education, with up to 100% off fees
Becoming a chorister from Year 4 to Year 8 offers boys the opportunity to join a world-class choir, and a top independent prep school for 270 boys.
All choristers receive generous scholarships, supplemented by means-tested bursaries where needed, meaning an education at one of the best independent schools in London can be completely free-of-charge.
Boys board at the School during the week, going home to their families from Friday evening at 6.30 pm*, until 9.45 am on Sunday morning.
(*Boys in Years 4 & 5 go home a little earlier on Fridays – either after School at 3.50 pm, or after prep (homework) at 5.00 pm.)
All choristers leave WCCS for leading schools at 13+, normally with music scholarships and awards.
How to apply
Auditions take place throughout the year, and our process will give you and your family plenty of space to consider whether being a chorister is right for your son. There is no cost, and you will not need to make a final decision until after an offer is made.
1. Join a ‘Being a Chorister’ Zoom session
Every half term, we welcome families who are keen to explore what it means to be a chorister. We take a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a chorister, focussing on what it means to board, and we will teach you a song.
Our Zoom sessions in 2024 are at 6.30 pm on the following dates, each lasting 30 minutes.
Wednesday 31st January
Wednesday 20th March
Wednesday 22nd May
Wednesday 19th June
2. Practice one of our sample songs
Candidates can use our backing track to sing along at home to prepare. There are two options, so boys can pick their favourite.
3. Meet with us for an informal chat
Once you have joined us on Zoom, you and your son can come to WCCS to meet the Master of Music for an informal conversation. Your son can sing one of the songs he’s learned.
4. Go forward for a formal audition
The formal audition is not as scary as it sounds. No preparation is needed!
Boys also do some straightforward assessments in English and maths – sample papers here. They can play a piece on an instrument (although they do not need to be learning an instrument to become a chorister here). You can watch a short video on how auditions work in practice here.
What kind of music does Westminster Cathedral Choir sing?
Westminster Cathedral Choir occupies a unique position at the forefront of English Church Music, and remains the only Catholic Cathedral Choir in the world to sing daily Mass and Vespers.
The Choir draws on the finest music of the last millennium. Performances by composers like Byrd and Tallis, unheard for centuries, earned the Choir its reputation, and still feature today. Gregorian Chant, originating in the ninth century, and the works of Palestrina and Victoria from the Golden Age of Catholic Music, form the backbone of the Choir’s repertoire, but it also sings music from across the centuries, including the work of contemporary composers like Sir James MacMillan.
How do boys become such expert musicians so young?
Boys start with singing technique, sight-reading and music theory. Combined with tuition in two instruments, and playing in orchestras and chamber groups, music becomes part of their daily lives. Practising and performing every day except Saturdays makes boys expert and instinctive musicians.
Who makes a great Westminster Cathedral chorister?
A great Westminster Cathedral Chorister
- loves to sing
- has a passion for music
- has an inquisitive, engaging mind
- has energy and enthusiasm
- can concentrate
- can listen carefully
- enjoys a challenge
- loves being part of a team
Who makes a great chorister boarder?
A great chorister boarder
- loves to sing and perform to friends and family
- has bags of energy
- enjoys making friends
- is organised
- is on-time
- loves his food (ours is the best in London)!
Who makes a great WCCS boy?
A great WCCS boy
- works hard in class
- has stamina
- picks himself up after failure
- throws himself into new challenges in music, sport and drama
What does WCCS offer to chorister parents?
WCCS offers chorister parents a world-class musical and academic education for their sons, with up to 100% off fees, and a pathway to a top senior school at 13+
The Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral – Simon Johnson
Simon describes the work and ethos of Westminster Cathedral Choir in these words. .
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer all your questions on chorister life at WCCS here.
If your son is a lively, cheerful, musical boy, interested in exploring life as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, please contact Lucy Auger.
Tel 020 7798 9081
Register online for a chorister place here. There is no registration fee.