He had ‘the best day’ at Abbey Chorister Experience Day

A group of boys had a day to remember at last weekend’s very successful Chorister Experience at Westminster Abbey and Choir School. During a tour they saw the Coronation Chair, the Grave of the Unknown Warrior and the Cosmati Pavement. Then it was time for a very special visit to the organ loft (right) with Peter Holder (Sub-Organist). The boys even tried out a few tunes on the mighty organ!

Westminster Abbey holds regular experience days for boys who might want to become choristers and go to the Choir School close by. After the tour was a rehearsal with the current choristers. They worked on the music for Evensong with the Organist and Master of the Choristers, James O’Donnell.

Time for a game of football…


Then on with a robe ….

Tea and cake at the Choir School was the reward for all their hard work, then after a quick game of football it was back to the Song School for robing and procession practice. A final rehearsal for Evensong followed by a chance to see the Lady Chapel and some Royal Tombs. After some last-minute cassock adjustments, the boys sang Evensong with the Abbey choir to a congregation of over seven hundred people. Music for the service included Sumsion, Parry, Byrd & Wood. One Chorister Experience Parent said: “[He] had the best day on Saturday, he totally loved the school and the experience and managed to talk to lots of the existing boys. He has told us he would love to become a chorister!”

He was literally beaming ….

For Jonathan Milton, Headmaster of Westminster Abbey Choir School, this was a particularly special Chorister Experience, being the last Experience before his retirement at the end of this term. Jonathan said, “Westminster Abbey is a remarkable place in which to live and work and it was excellent to be able to welcome a dozen or so boys and to give them a flavour of what it is like to be a Westminster Abbey chorister.  They had the chance actually to sing within the Abbey choir at Evensong.  As one parent said to me afterwards, ‘He was literally beaming when he came out; it’s truly a once in a lifetime experience and he absolutely loved every second.’ The school looks forward to welcoming another set of boys for a similar experience next term.”

Jonathan Milton with the boys. Don’t they look the part!

The next Chorister Experience takes place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 5th October 2019. More information can be found here: https://www.abbeychoirschool.org/admissions/chorister-experience-events/