THE MUSIC team at the Salisbury Cathedral has turned their thoughts to finding future choristers with auditions taking place this month. 

Separate voice trials will be held for boys and girls and is a way for the director of music David Halls, to get to know and hear each individual child sing, testing their natural musicality.

The audition starts with each candidate asked to sing a song of their choice.  

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David Halls said: “The song doesn’t need to be complicated, just something that has been sung at school, with friends or at church. A hymn or a carol will do - or a popular song. The important thing is that the youngster enjoys singing it and feels confident doing so.”

The voice trials include aural tests where the child claps back a rhythm, picks notes out of a simple chord and sings back a melody played on the piano. The music team runs the auditions in a relaxed environment because they are looking for potential talent rather than seasoned performers. 

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The aim is to get to know the child as an individual and being enthusiastic and keen to be part of the team are as important as the singing.

David Halls added: “I always tell children that being member of the choir is like being on a sports team. You train together, you perform together, and you get together in the ‘club’ room – or school and Cathedral in this case. It’s a group effort, it can be hard work, but it is great fun.”

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Any child lucky enough to be offered a place in the choir receives a bursary and a place at the Cathedral School, and both the school and Cathedral work hard to ensure that no child is prevented from taking up a place in the choir because of lack of funding.

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Susie Lamb is a director of music at the cathedral and both her children sang with the choir. 

She said: “The musical education offered here and as part of the Cathedral Choir, is second to none. We have a wide range of instrumental as well as vocal specialists, and of course David, and his team are experts in their field.

“Singing with a choir develops a lot of other skills too – organisation, concentration and the ability to collaborate. Choristers learn very quickly not to be afraid to stand up and sing confidently in front of a congregation of up to 1,700 people. That is quite something.”

Voice trials for girls will take place on Saturday, January 20 and boys voice trials take place eon Saturday, January 27. 

For more information, contact Catherine Mitchell at