Choral Scholarships

We are delighted to announce our new Choral Scholarship Scheme for up to four singers (SATB), which commences in September 2019 and concludes in mid-July 2020. It may be possible for some Choral Scholars to stay for a second year, by mutual agreement.

St Michael’s is keen to invite a varied field of applicants, but the role may particularly suit GCSE and A-Level students who are studying music, and perhaps hoping to apply for a university choral scholarship in the future.

Singing is an activity proven to bring joy, increase well-being and reduce stress. We hope that you will consider joining us as a Choral Scholar and becoming part of a vibrant community.

Please see Choir Leaflet here.

Please view  Choral Scholarship Application form here

MUSIC at SAINT MICHAEL’S

‘Music is the very soul of a great church’ – Hector Berlioz.

Here at St Michael’s, music is at the heart of our worship and we are fortunate to have a robed choir of some 15-20 singers from all walks of life and of a range of ages. The Choir sings a diversity of music including congregational mass settings, psalms to Anglican chant, hymns, choral anthems, and motets. The Choir’s repertoire is wide, ranging from Tallis and Byrd to Bob Chilcott and James MacMillan, via Purcell, Wesley, Mendelssohn, Faure, Bruckner, and others. The Choir strives for high standards and is one of the best church choirs in the area.

REQUIREMENTS

Essential qualities for the role include:

  • At least some experience of singing in a choir.
  • An ability to read music
  • A positive attitude to working with others.
  • A commitment to the choral scholarship scheme across the year as described below.
  • Able to commence singing from September/October 2019 – January at the latest.

Desirable qualities for the role include:

  • Sight-reading skills.
  • An existing interest in choral music, particularly liturgical music.
  • Demonstrable enthusiasm for developing their musical skills for the future.

EXPECTATIONS and ATTENDANCE

 Services

The St Michel’s Choir sings usually every Sunday during term time at the 10am Sung Mass. In addition to this, there are a small number of Choral Evensongs through the year and other choral services such as mid-week feast days. Naturally, Christmas, Holy Week and Easter are important times of the year that fall in the school holidays, and preference will be shown to candidates who can sing at either or both of these times of the year.

We expect choral scholars to sing for at least 70-80% of services. This enables flexibility for half term and other occasions that may arise connected with education or family events. Times away will need to be agreed at an early stage with the Director of Music.

Rehearsals

Choral Scholars will be expected to attend the rehearsal that immediately precedes services on Sundays (9am) and other services (e.g. 4.30pm for 6pm occasional Choral Evensong). The Choir also rehearses on a Wednesday evening from 8.15-9.30pm. We expect Choral Scholars to attend the majority of Wednesday rehearsals, subject to discussion with individual candidates and taking into account their musical abilities and other commitments.

Other opportunities

We are fortunate at St Michael’s to benefit from the expertise and experience of distinguished musician, Dr Martin Neary, former Master of the Choristers and Organist at Westminster Abbey and Winchester Cathedral who has a lifelong passion for sharing his love of music with young singers. Our choral scholars will be able to benefit from his guidance and support during their time with us.

By custom, the St Michael’s Choir sings with the English Chamber Singers in a significant concert during the Barnes Musical Festival. Choral scholars will have the opportunity to take part, if they wish, and are able to attend the relevant rehearsals.

In addition to this, St Michael’s choir are a friendly group of singers of a variety of ages, who enjoy welcoming new members and socialising together. We hope that scholar scholars will benefit greatly from joining this supportive and encouraging community.

Through the year there may be opportunities for some choral scholars to receive additional fees for singing at wedding and funeral services – however this is entirely at the discretion of the Director of Music. Other benefits might include the possibility of rehearsing in the church, church diary commitments permitting.

Honorarium

The honorarium for the year is £750 – payable in three installments, once at the end of each term, subject to a satisfactory report from the Director of Music (Those beginning in January would receive £500).

An award of an additional £250 is available, at the discretion of the Director of Music, to those who have shown commitment to the Choir and particularly for attendance at Christmas and/or Holy Week and Easter.

SAFEGUARDING

Safeguarding procedures are in place for those below the age of 18, with all relevant church officers having an enhanced DBS check in place. There is also a dedicated Safeguarding Officer.

HOW TO APPLY

Please fill out the attached application form and return it to:

Saint Michael’s Choral Scholarships
The Parish Office
c/o Saint Michael’s Vicarage,
39 Elm Bank Gardens
London, SW13 0NX

Or by email to: admin@stmichaelbarnes.org

Please return your application as soon as possible for Autumn 2019.

Shortlisted candidates will receive an invitation to come for a short audition and a conversation with the Director of Music followed by an interview. Dates to be announced.