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Opera - Musical - Choral - Solo - Choristers

Principal study singers are welcomed into Chetham’s from Year 9 up to Sixth Form. 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 Man for the People concert featuring semi-staged scenes from Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Haydn’s Creation with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, Paul McCreesh and members of Gabrieli, and regular choral concerts at Chetham’s, Manchester Cathedral and The Bridgewater Hall. The first Manchester Vocal Weekend, held at Chetham’s in 2019, offered students masterclasses, performance opportunities and free access to concerts by leading soloists.

“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

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.

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 from Year 9 upwards, if they wish to do so. There are numerous opportunities for Junior choir members, who recently sang with Brendan Cole at The Bridgewater Hall and regularly perform classical and festive repertoire at School concerts, as well as exploring harmony, sight reading and performance skills through regular ensemble rehearsals.

We are delighted to extend our Vocal programme to students from Year 9 upwards, beginning in September 2019; previously singing as a first study was limited to Sixth Form students. 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.


  • Mr Marcus Farnsworth

    Head of Vocal and Choral Studies