Meet Kieren, one of our choristers. We invited him to give us a ‘taste’ of a typical day for a boy in the choir. It’s a busy job being a chorister … but fun and very rewarding!
Being a chorister means an early start for me each weekday. I usually eat breakfast at 7.20am so I have time to get to morning practice in the DCPS music school by 7.45am. When I first started, this felt very early, but it has quickly come to feel like part of my normal routine!
Before school starts, at our morning practice, Mr Bell rehearses the week’s music and introduces exciting new pieces regularly. We practise hard because we enjoy the music and want the choir to sound the best it can. The practices are very quick-paced as we sing a huge amount of music each week.
Even though choristers have a busy day, we still take part in the full range of school activities – lessons, music ensembles, sports, etc. Gym club is my favourite because I like learning new skills in trampolining. Here is one of my fellow choristers, playing rugby. Three times a week, the School has games sessions where we play rugby, hockey, cricket and other sports. This is good training for the chorister football tournament that happens every year in which we play other choir schools.
At 4.10pm when lessons end, all the choristers meet at the music department to pick up a packed tea. I always go for a ham sandwich and green apple! It’s very important that we eat before Evensong to keep us going. Then we all get the coach to Tewkesbury Abbey. The 20 minute bus journey gives us to time to relax and chat to our friends.
Before Evensong we have a short rehearsal in the Abbey to go through all the music for the day with the lay clerks (the men of the choir). This is our last chance to make sure the music is perfect, so we all concentrate very hard. Evensong is very special and it’s important that we do the best we can.
When I get back, I have some time to have dinner and get some homework done before play time begins with my other friends in the boarding house. It’s great to have time to run around at the end of a long day.
MY FAVOURITE PIECES
‘The Twelve’ by William Walton
‘The Jesus College Service’ by William Mathias
‘In Manus Tuas’ by Thomas Tallis
‘Look at the World’ – John Rutter
BEST THINGS ABOUT BEING A CHORISTER
“We regularly go on tour to different countries. I’ve already been to France and this year we are going to Holland. Performing to foreign audiences is always very fun and they are really welcoming.
We also go on a few trips a year. I’ve sung in St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Merton College Oxford, Winchester Cathedral and Eton College Chapel.
Christmas is a very special time as a chorister. Each year we sing several carol services as well as a concert of Handel’s Messiah in Tewkesbury Abbey.”