Our vocal department offers unrivalled opportunities to develop as a singer, both as soloists and as members of our world-class choirs.
Each pupil’s voice is nurtured at an appropriate level according to their vocal maturity, with a strong focus on technique, communication and interpretative insight.
At the core of our ethos is an emphasis on the importance of good vocal health and supporting each unique voice at every stage of its development, through a programme individually tailored to support the needs and aspirations of each pupil. The training and experiences we offer prepares pupils for music conservatoires and university choral scholarships; as well as equipping our pupils with the musical skills and mental resources that are needed to be successful in their chosen future careers.
I have always enjoyed my visits to coach individual singers at the school and it goes without saying that the standard is extremely high; but it’s also a strikingly creative and happy atmosphere, and I cannot think of a better place for aspiring singers to grow, first their musicianship, and then their voices, at a natural rate.
Emma Kirkby DBE, soprano soloist
There are two programmes designed for vocalists at Wells:
Specialist Scheme: For pupils of remarkable potential, with appropriate vocal maturity and a desire to dedicate themselves to the study of classical singing. This pathway is predominantly aimed at pupils in the Sixth Form. In exceptional cases, we will consider applications from pupils from age 14 upward.
Vocal Scholar Programme: For pupils who are serious about singing but who are younger or less experienced performers – this programme is particularly suited to former choristers, whose ensemble skills will be extended whilst allowing time and space for their own voice to change and blossom. Vocal Scholars will have a nurturing and supportive programme constructed to match their specific interests and level of vocal maturity to best develop their voice. There will be an inevitable emphasis on choral music, but singers with all aspirations and interests, including music theatre and commercial/jazz performance, will be welcome.
In addition to these specific programmes, we actively encourage pupils from any area of the school to engage with singing, through individual singing lessons and/or membership of an appropriate choral ensemble.
What makes this chorus special is the vitality and joy that illuminates its singing.
It’s impossible to express too emphatically just how good the girls of the Wells Cathedral School Choralia sound.
The ensemble for young men in Years 7-10, to support and encourage them through vocal change.
The Wellensian Consort (alumni ensemble)
Uniquely the vocal department also runs an alumni ensemble, The Wellensian Consort. Founded to celebrate the school’s 1100 year anniversary in 2009, it offers support to a number of vocal pupils in the early years of their careers. Since winning BBC Choir of the Year in 2010, it has forged a reputation as one of this country’s leading young chamber choirs.
Christopher Finch, Co-ordinator of Vocal and Choral Studies
Gareth Rhys Davies
In the last few years vocal pupils have been successful in gaining places at the following institutions, at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Juilliard School New York, Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Trinity Laban (Jazz course), Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Royal Northern College of Music and Drama (voice and commercial courses), Amsterdam Conservatorium
University Choral Scholarships
St. John’s College Cambridge, Trinity College Cambridge, King’s College Cambridge (King’s Voices), Jesus College Cambridge, King’s College London, Royal Holloway London
Cathedral Choral Scholarships
Manchester, Durham, Truro, Portsmouth, Hereford, Worcester, Norwich