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 masterclasses with renowned soloists and experts, language, drama and movement classes, solo repertoire and choral performance opportunities, while also being involved in a variety of vocal ensembles. The solo performance opportunities are vast, recent highlights include a one-to-one masterclass with Quentin Hays, a solo concert at Leicester Art Gallery performing Clara Schumann songs, and termly solo Vocal Concerts in for all first study singers.
Singers perform frequently in Vocal Concerts within and beyond the school, gaining experience in venues such as The Bridgewater Hall and sharing repertoire with a wider audience. Recent highlights include Haydn’s Harmoniemesse performing with the BBC Philharmonic, William Walton’s Henry V with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, and opera scenes from Venus and Adonis.
Singers work with a superb team including Marcus Farnsworth as Head of Department and international mezzo-soprano Margaret McDonald, and alongside leading artists including Kitty Whateley, Ruby Hughes, and Sarah Connolly.
At Chetham’s students are invited to audition for Chamber Choir, directed by Stuart Overington. Chamber Choir is a chance for all students with an interest in choral music to develop their musical skills by the extensive range of repertoire, spanning from renaissance choral works to jazz arrangements. Chamber choir also performs with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra ensuring large scale concerts bring together students from every department.
Every student is involved in choral singing throughout the week, aiming to progress their ensemble work and ensure a strong sense of harmony. This gives all students the groundwork to explore vocal opportunities within the school, and especially younger students who may want to, can switch to first study vocal in Year 9.
Younger children aged 8-13 may consider becoming choristers at Manchester Cathedral; all choristers receive their education at Chetham’s, enjoy instrumental lessons as well and singing regularly at Manchester Cathedral.