Chorister admissions at 8+
A world-class musical and academic education, with up to 100% off fees
Every September up to six choristers join Westminster Cathedral Choir School in Year 4. Becoming a chorister offers boys the opportunity to sing in a world-class choir, and to join a top independent prep school for 265 boys, age 4 – 13.
All choristers receive generous scholarships, supplemented by means-tested bursaries where needed.
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.
All choristers leave WCCS for leading schools at 13+, normally with music scholarships and awards.
*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.
What kind of music does Westminster Cathedral Choir sing?
Westminster Cathedral Choir occupies a unique and enviable 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 draw 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 the finest choral 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, they become immersed in a living musical tradition. 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+.
Applying for a chorister place
Applying is simple and there’s no commitment until you’ve accepted an offer.
Stage 1 – informal voice trial
No need to prepare. Boys do some simple ear tests and scales, and read a paragraph of text. This happens in person, or over Zoom.
Stage 2 – formal voice trial and assessments
Boys simply prepare a hymn or song to sing and, if they play an instrument, perform a prepared piece. Watch a short video de-mystifying voice trials here.
Boys also do some straightforward assessments in English and maths – sample papers here.
Informal voice trials are easily arranged, in person, or over Zoom.
Simply contact Lucy Auger, Director of Admissions, to arrange one, or with any other queries.
Tel 020 7798 9081
Contact the Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral – Simon Johnson
Answer all your questions on chorister life at WCCS here.
- For a detailed overview of the 8+ assessment arrangements, click here
- For specimen 8+ maths papers, click here and here
- For specimen 8+ comprehension & composition papers, click here and here
- For specimen 8+ punctuation papers, click here and here
- For specimen 8+ spelling papers, click here and 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.