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Principal study singers are welcomed into the Sixth Form at Chetham’s, whilst younger students can engage with vocal music as choristers, as a second study, or through vocal ensembles.
All first-study singers receive individual vocal tuition and classes each week. In addition, they are offered workshops in performance, aural, language skills, repertoire, drama, movement and communication, vocal and close harmony ensembles. Singers perform regularly in Vocal Concerts within and beyond the School, and work regularly with the Outreach department to share their repertoire with a wider audience. Recent highlights have included a ‘Night at the Italian Opera’ concert featuring semi-staged scenes from well-loved works; Haydn’s Creation with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, Paul McCreesh and members of Gabrieli, and semi-staged musical theatre performances connected to the WWI centenary and The Bridgewater Hall’s International Concert Series.
“Being part of the vocal department at Chetham’s has opened up more opportunities for me than I could have ever imagined, while giving me a chance to learn with so many like-minded people” – Molly, singer, Year 13
All Chetham’s students are invited to audition for the Chamber Choir, which performs regularly under chorus director Stuart Overington, whilst non-orchestral players often perform with Chetham’s Chorus, ensuring that our largest scale concerts bring together senior students from across the School. Every student in the School is involved in choral singing throughout the week, helping them to develop a strong sense of harmony and ensemble working, and giving instrumental players the groundwork to switch to first study singing at Sixth Form, if they wish to do so.
Singers work with a superb team including international mezzo-soprano Margaret McDonald, and alongside leading artists including Kitty Whateley, Ruby Hughes, Sarah Connolly and Marcus Farnsworth.
We are sometimes asked why Chetham’s does not accept first-study singers below Sixth Form. The voice goes through many changes as young people grow, and we wish to be careful not to damage their delicate vocal cords before they fully mature. Younger boys and girls aged 8-13 may also consider becoming choristers at Manchester Cathedral; all choristers receive their education at Chetham’s, and enjoy instrumental lessons as well as singing regularly at the Cathedral.