St Giles’ Choir
IN RECENT YEARS the St Giles’ Choir has established itself as lively and thriving institution. The all-male choir is the only one of its kind outside of the Oxford collegiate system. St Giles’ does not maintain a choir school, choosing to recruit choristers from a wide range of local schools. The St Giles’ Choir sings for one of the two Sunday choral services each Sunday, participating in services, events, and concerts outside of the usual weekly routine. We tackle music of all genres.
A choir is one of the few organizations where children work to a professional standard alongside adults. The skills acquired last a lifetime! In joining the Choir, parents/guardians and choristers make a significant commitment to themselves, their fellow team players, and the church: the achievement of goals is dependent on regular rehearsals. In return, a chorister will learn the importance of commitment and team work, self-discipline, and will receive an enriching musical education. They may, later on, move away from music, but the skills they will have gained from the choir will always be with them. Life as a chorister is thus challenging, rewarding, and exciting.
Commitment for trebles
Sunday 09:30 with Eucharist/Matins at 10:30 or
Sunday 17:15 with Choral Evensong at 18:30
Countertenors, Tenors, Basses
We are always delighted to hear from singers. We have a steady number of committed Gentlemen who meet each week for a practice on a Friday evening and another practice on a Sunday before singing for a Matins, Choral Evensong or Eucharist.
St Giles’ provides a safe and secure environment in which young people are happy and can flourish. Choristers are part of a supportive environment in which they feel valued and safe. All members of staff play an active role in protecting our choristers. Dr Sian Gronlie is our designated safeguarding officer. The recruitment and selection procedures for new staff complies with the Oxford Diocese guidelines for safer recruitment. Our staff and volunteers who work with children are provided with safeguarding training and support.
Entry for Trebles
Boys would normally audition for a place in the choir when aged between 6 and 9, but we are always delighted to hear from older boys, particularly those who have completed their time at one of choral foundations in Oxford. The Choir Director is looking for boys with an ability to concentrate and an interest in singing; he is not necessarily expecting a good voice – this will develop with our support.
Boys begin training as Probationers, attending rehearsals and services, but every year a few places are reserved for Pre Probationers (6 years of age) who follow a reduced timetable, eventually becoming Probationers. By meeting a series of targets, probationers are promoted to Junior Singing Boy, and eventually to Senior Singing Boy, with the possibility of becoming Head Chorister or Deputy Head Chorister. All promotions are at the discretion of the Choir Director and are made to boys who show musicality, maturity, and promise. Promotion to Junior Singing Boy takes places during a service at which the chorister is presenting with his surplice, a sign that the young musician is now a full member of the choir.