The Civic and Parish Church of Bournemouth

Frequently asked questions about choir membership

Does it cost anything?

No. Choir membership is free of charge, and each chorister receives pocket-money pay in line with their attendance and seniority. Some of the social activities may require choristers to have spending money, and residential trips will have an all-in cost. In these cases, where possible, the Choir Association will subsidise the cost, particularly where the need is greatest.

Izzy truly loves being a part of it. It’s really enriched her life outside of school, and has been such a good thing for her to get involved in.
A choir parent

What is a chorister expected to do?

Choristers are expected to attend rehearsals on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and to sing services on some Sundays. There are a few festival services each year, including our renowned Christmas Eve Carol Service. As we are Bournemouth’s civic church, the choir is sometimes needed for services marking important occasions in the town, county or country.

Optionally, choristers can often sing for Saturday weddings, for which they are paid. They can also take part in various social events, choir activity days, and day and residential trips.

Is there a certain level of commitment expected?

Yes, this is very important. We know that this commitment is significant for chorister and family alike, but it does make a big difference. Absences for illness and important events are inevitable, but good attendance lets the choir work as a team.

What does each chorister receive in return?

Every chorister receives:

  • essential life skills, such as confidence, team work, self-discipline, responsibility, and concentration
  • a safe and friendly environment in which to flourish and make friends
  • a first-class practical education in music
  • experience of performing with choirs and orchestras from the university and other churches
  • snacks and drinks during Wednesday rehearsals
  • pocket-money pay in line with attendance and seniority
Doesn’t the commitment mean that they miss out on other things?

Being part of the choir is a bigger commitment than dropping into a club or activity every couple of weeks. What the commitment means is that they can really become part of things, rather than just dipping in and out on a superficial level. Each year gives every chorister new challenges and the means to meet them, helping them to develop personally and musically. All of this takes part in a sociable environment, where each chorister will make good friends. Rather than missing out, they gain things they won’t find anywhere else.

Will my child be safe in the choir?

The safety and happiness of our choristers is our highest priority. We operate a Child Protection policy (copies available on request) and all music staff and others who work with children in the church undergo regular DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks to Enhanced level.

Interested? Go on to Joining the Choir.