Joining the choir

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If you are interested in learning more about joining the choir, please contact the Senior Organ Scholar, Robin Pillinger,or Ralph Allwood who would both be delighted to provide more information, discuss entry into the choir and arrange an audition or informal meeting as you wish.

We welcome strong singers of any musical background. Solid sight reading skills and an ability to listen to your fellow singers and fit into the blend are key, but don't worry if you haven't had much experience of choral singing before; our pre-term rehearsals and regular performances from the very beginning of term get everyone up to speed rapidly. What matters most is your potential as a choral singer. When applying you will be asked to sing a piece of your choice and will be tested on your sight reading and aural skills. It's a relaxed and friendly process where we'll all be focused on getting the best that we can out of you. We're also happy to arrange informal auditions ahead of the official one, so get in touch if you fancy dropping by sometime.

Types of membership

Choral scholarships

There are three types of membership in our choir, which combine to form a group of approximately twenty-four singers.

The majority of the choir is drawn from the university-wide Choral Award audition process, which allows prospective undergraduates to apply before starting their studies at Cambridge. If you enjoy singing and are planning to apply to Queens', we strongly recommend trying out for a Choral Award. More information can be found on the music awards website here.

Those who audition successfully through the Choral Award scheme are then offered a grade-dependent Choral Scholarship at Queens’ College. They receive the standard financial scholarship for the University (currently £100).

The title of Choral Scholar requires membership of the Choir for the full duration of the Scholar’s academic course (which one may apply to have renewed if pursuing a further course in the University). Choral Scholars are also expected to play a large role in the musical life of the College.

Choral exhibitioners and volunteers

​Queens' also welcomes singers studying at other colleges, undergrads and postgraduate singers who were unable to use the central Choral Award system, and other talented singers studying locally.

The are for such singers and are appointed at the beginning of the academic year (or occasionally at another point in the year), namely Choral Exhibitioners and Volunteers.  A Choral Exhibitioner has a position similar to that of Choral Scholar, holding the position for the full duration of their academic course after appointment, but is from another College. A Volunteer may be from Queens’, from another College or occasionally from the city more generally, for example from Anglia Ruskin University. These positions are reviewed on an annual basis.