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Choristers and Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation

Our Choristers

The Cathedral Choristers provide the treble line of the Cathedral Choir, singing the highest notes.

There are two choirs of Choristers, the boys and the girls, aged 7 to 13. Each year we look for about four or five new choristers for each choir. Auditions are held with those chosen showing a love of singing, a good musical ear and the ability to work as part of a team.


We are looking for potential not necessarily a child who has had lots of experience of singing. We hold regular Chorister Experience Days when we invite children and their families to come and find out more about the life of a chorister and sing with the choir in the cathedral.


We hold informal voice trials with no obligation for children in Years 2-6 throughout the year. To sign up, please click here to download an application form and return it to Daniel Cook ( 

Where are they taught?

The Choristers are educated as Day pupils or Boarding pupils at Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation. Choristers in Years 3-6 attend The Chorister School and those in Years 7-8 attend Durham School. The Chorister School is on the site of Durham Cathedral, set in the ‘back garden’ of the Cathedral, in The College or Cathedral close and Durham School is just on the other side of the river.

Fees are part-funded by the Cathedral through a bursary worth up to two thirds of the yearly fees. Further means-tested financial support is available.

A full curriculum

In addition to their musical and academic commitments, Choristers play a full part in the life of the School. The timetable enables them to compete in sports matches, perform in the drama productions and join other co-curricular activities.  

Choristers receive free Music Theory and Piano lessons, and also learn a second, and even third, instrument. Many Choristers receive Scholarships and Awards to their chosen Senior School.

Like to learn more about becoming a Chorister?

Chorister Experience Days are a fantastic opportunity for girls and boys in years 2 to 6 to make music and sing Evensong with our Choristers.

The children will enjoy a craft activity, the chance to play the organ and a tour of Durham Cathedral. The day is free of charge.

Our next Chorister Experience day is on Saturday 24 September. For more information or a booking form please contact Daniel Cook on 

Our next Chorister Experience Day is on Saturday 24 September - book here

More about Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation

Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation was formed in 2021 following a merger between Durham School and The Chorister School. As a recognition of the history of the schools, the Pre-Prep is known as Bow School, the Prep is known as The Chorister School and the Senior School is called Durham School. 

The Chorister School is on the Cathedral site, in the College, and forms a part of the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bow School and Durham School are on Quarryheads Lane, a short walk from the Cathedral. 

Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation provides the security and intimacy of a school small enough for every child and family to be known and cared about. The Foundation is proud to be a close partner of Durham Cathedral, regularly visiting for services and concerts. Served by a committed, skilled and qualified professional staff, the Foundation strives to be a centre of excellence across the curriculum, with a particular speciality in music.  

Academic and personal excellence

Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation aims to prepare the groundwork to ensure that children are equipped with academic skills required. Pupils are also encouraged to develop the confidence, independence and curiosity to put them one step ahead for the rest of their education.

Who attends?

The catchment area for the Foundation is vast due to its reputation and newly refurbished boarding facilities. Many of the school’s day pupils come from across the county and beyond. 

Looking to the future

As a fully independent day and boarding school, Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation prepares children for entry to any one of a huge range of schools both locally and across the country. The staff offer support and advice in making that crucial decision about Senior Schools. Most pupils win scholarships, exhibitions or places at competitive entry schools.  


For more information please visit the DCSF website.