Girl Choristers to join Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum

Dean Close Preparatory School, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Abbey have announced a historic change to their chorister programme. From September 2021, chorister places in Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum will, for the first time, be open to both young girls as well as boys. This exciting step presents an equal opportunity for young boys and girls of all ages and backgrounds to have access to the outstanding musical training that being a chorister brings, alongside a first-class education at Dean Close Preparatory School.

Raffi, a pupil at Dean Close Preparatory School, hopes to makes history!

This year, opportunities are open for girls and boys to begin as choristers in Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum in years 4, 5 and 6 in September 2021. In a significant first for both Tewkesbury Abbey and Dean Close Preparatory School, the change will mean that boys and girls will have the opportunity to sing alongside one another on a daily basis.

Choir with a national reputation

Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum has a national reputation for the quality of its singing. It has won numerous accolades for its CD recordings; the choir broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio, and two of our former choristers have held the coveted title of BBC Young Chorister of the Year. The choristers are accustomed to working to professional standards in a focused environment alongside adult musicians, and gain life-enhancing skills on their musical journey.

This is supported by a quality independent education from one of the region’s most esteemed preparatory schools. Each chorister receives a choral scholarship towards their fees; tuition in music theory and singing lessons are also included in the chorister provision.

“Hallelujah, on we go!”

Director of Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum of Dean Close Preparatory School, Mr Simon Bell, said: “It has long been an ambition of mine to see girl and boy choristers having the same opportunities within the choir. Having worked with girl choristers in three previous roles, I am excited that we have been able to make this significant change as we come out of the end of the pandemic, building on the successes of the choir over the past decades.”

The Reverend Canon Paul Williams, Vicar of Tewkesbury Abbey, said: “As we celebrate 900 years of Christian worship and witness at Tewkesbury Abbey, I am delighted to welcome this new initiative. As we move into the future, it builds on all that has gone before and strengthens the already significant partnership between Tewkesbury Abbey and Dean Closes Preparatory School. Hallelujah, on we go!”

Mrs Emma Taylor, Warden of The Dean Close Foundation, commented: ‘This exciting joint venture brings together two things we care about deeply at Dean Close; equality of opportunity for boys and girls, and musical excellence. We are proud of the choir’s history and look forward to its next chapter with eager anticipation.’

How can boys and girls sign up?

For more information on how to apply for a choristership for your daughter or son, you can contact the Admissions department at Dean Close Preparatory School on 01242 258001 or email . For more details concerning girls joining Schola Cantorum please get in touch with Katie Azam, Senior Marketing Coordinator, Dean Close Preparatory School on 01242 258000 ext.127 or email