Choral Scholarships

Saint Michael & All Angels is delighted to announce that applicants are now invited for its Choral Scholarship scheme for up to four singers (SATB), to commence in September 2020 (or as soon thereafter as possible) until July 2021. It may be possible for some Choral Scholars to stay for a second year, by mutual agreement.

Saint 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.

Full details can be found below and the advertisement can be found here.

Music at Saint Michael’s

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

Here at Saint Michael’s, music is at the heart of our worship and we are fortunate to have a robed choir of some 12-16 singers from all walks of life and a mix of ages. The Choir sings a wide range of music including congregational mass settings, psalms to Anglican chant, hymns, choral anthems and motets. The Choir’s repertoire is extensive, ranging from Tallis and Byrd to Bob Chilcott and James MacMillan, via Purcell, Bach, Wesley, Mendelssohn, Faure, Bruckner and others. The Choir strives for high standards and is one of the best church choirs in the area.

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 at Saint Michael’s from September/October 2020 – or as soon thereafter as possible,  January at the latest – and can commit until July 2021.

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 Saint Michel’s Choir sings usually every Sunday during term time at the 10am Sung Mass. In addition there are a small number of Choral Evensongs through the year and other choral services such as occasional 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 year.

We expect choral scholars to sing for at least 70% of services. This enables flexibility for half term and other absences 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 9.15am rehearsal that precedes 10am services on Sundays and at 4.30pm for occasional 6pm 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 Saint Michael’s to benefit from the expertise and experience of the distinguished musician, Dr Martin Neary, former Master of the Choristers and Organist at Westminster Abbey and Winchester Cathedral. He has a lifelong passion for sharing his love of music with young singers and our choral scholars will be able to benefit from Dr Neary’s  guidance and support during their time with us.

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

During 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 include the possibility of rehearsing in the church, church diary commitments permitting.

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

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.

The Choir
The Saint Michael’s choir is a friendly group of singers of a variety of ages, who enjoy welcoming new members and socialising together. We hope that scholars will benefit greatly from joining this supportive and encouraging community.

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 complete the Choral Scholarship Application form, which can be found here, 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 by:  THURSDAY 4TH JUNE

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