Reigate St Mary’s is one of an elite group of fewer than 40 schools who can claim full membership of the Choir School Association (CSA).
Led by RGS Head of Choral Music, Mrs Talitha Glynne-Jones, the Choir sings regularly in school and church services and performs in concerts nationally.
Choristership is challenging and exciting. Choristers train hard to achieve an international standard, rehearsing for over 10 hours each week during term time. Care is taken to ensure that singing fits in with each chorister’s academic studies and sporting fixtures.
The extra-curricular achievements of the pupils are excellent and their standards in choral music are exceptional.
The Choir consists of 20 Choristers, and the Lay Clerks, professional altos, tenors and basses. Boys and girls are normally accepted into the Choir between the ages of 8 and 10 ½. Auditions may be arranged by contacting the Head of Choral Music, Talitha Glynne-Jones. The choristers sing Morning Prayer and Evensong each week in St Mary’s Church, rehearsing most mornings before school.
Successful candidates are awarded scholarships which can continue to the age of 13. Choral scholarships are offered by the Godfrey Searle Choir Trust. The Trust, established by Godfrey Searle in 1940, has the objective of maintaining a choir and educating the choristers. He bequeathed his house and its grounds to the RGS Godfrey Searle Choir Trust and provided it with an endowment to finance choral scholarships, a legacy which ensures that a great heritage is preserved.
I owe my entire career to my experience as a chorister. It was where I learned to perform, where I learned to use the full range of my voice; where I learned to listen, where I learned to write comedy – but most importantly it was where I learned the wonderful truth that something quite exceptional can be created just by you and your friends.
Alexander Armstrong: actor, presenter, comedian and singer. Former Chorister, St Mary’s Edinburgh