Life as a Choral Scholar
The lower voices of King's College Choir are made up entirely of undergraduate singers at the College known as Choral Scholars. Despite the Choir’s renown, its Choral Scholars come from many different backgrounds, and it is always worth making an enquiry or application, whatever you (or your school!) think of your own ability. As a Choral Scholar you can expect:
- Seven services a week during term time, with a day off on Monday and two services on Sunday
- Regular television and radio broadcasts
- Concerts with leading orchestras and high profile solo opportunities
- Free singing lessons and consultations with leading singing teachers
- Expenses and fees for concerts and tours
- Free lessons in the Alexander Technique
- Masterclasses on many aspects of solo and choral performance
- A piano in your room and a grant to assist in the purchase of sheet music
- You can become a member of The King's Men (formerly 'Collegium Regale'), who have a concert, touring and recording programme of their own
- You join a close-knit group of people with a great social life
- You become part of the University music scene, where you can direct shows and put on concerts in a wide variety of musical styles
Life After King's
King’s Choral Scholars leave Cambridge to go into many different careers. Recently these have included teaching, professional photography, journalism, the law, the Foreign Office and the Civil Service. There are currently ex-King’s choral scholars working in 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace!
Many, of course, continue with music. The professional music scene abounds with King’s alumni, these include:
Conductors: Sir Andrew Davis, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Edward Gardner
Singers: Gerald Finley, Michael Chance and the late Robert Tear
Instrumentalists: Joe Crouch (one of the top continuo cellists in the early music scene) and Julian Perkins (harpsichordist/director of Sounds Baroque).
Composers: Francis Grier and Bob Chilcott
Many choral scholars keep up their singing by freelancing in London. Some go into various singing groups (the King’s Singers or the Swingle Singers, for example). Those wishing to enter the world of opera often take their studies further at music college, and there is a steady stream of former King’s Choral Scholars taking up scholarships at The Royal College, the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall.