St John Baptist, Cirencester is recruiting choral scholars for all voice parts (SATB) and an organ scholar at an annual salary of £1,500 plus fees from occasional services (usually upwards of 10 per year). The scholarships are particularly suitable for music college students, young professional singers and those aspiring to university choral scholarships but equally are open to all ages and backgrounds.

The Choir

The Parish Church Choir of St John Baptist, Cirencester, sings for the 10am Eucharist and

4pm Choral Evensong (twice a month) Sunday services at the church and is regarded as one of the best choirs of its type in the area. At these services it performs a wide range of music, both well-known cathedral-style repertoire and more unusual music. The choir is directed by the Organist and Choirmaster Hugo Kennard. The choir is a hugely valued part of worship at St John Baptist and the congregation is extremely welcoming and appreciative of the rich and diverse music we provide. The clergy work closely with the music department and are extremely supportive of the choral tradition.

The choir is rebuilding itself after a dip in recruitment drive but still consists of 18 adults, of high musical ability, and a growing number of trebles. There are four paid choral scholars, one per part, who sing with the choir and also as a quartet at certain services.

Beyond the regular service schedule, the choir tours regularly to cathedrals in the UK. Other highlights will include an annual ‘Deanery Evensong’ many combined choir events and a busy social calendar. Highlights are the summer BBQ, Christmas Party and frequent other gatherings.

The Scholars

Scholars at St John’s provide leadership and support to their voice parts in rehearsal, services and concert engagements. Those applying should have good sight-reading skills and musicianship. Experience of church music and the Anglican choral tradition is useful but not essential.

Choral scholars at St John’s gain experience of a wide repertoire of sacred music, while developing their technique in solo work, small ensembles and with the full choir. Other opportunities include participation in choral concerts. It is a fine introduction to the choral scene, and provides useful training and contacts for those wishing to sing with professional choral ensembles.

The organist and choirmaster is keen to use the choral scholars’ skills in many ways, and there will be opportunities for them to enhance or develop skills in choral and instrumental arrangement or composition as part of the position, should they wish to. We support an active programme of encouraging young composers and, depending on schedule and suitability, have performed several compositions by members of the choir in recent years.

Regular schedule

The choir sings for Sunday services most weeks in academic term time. There are congregational services each term which provide a break in the schedule

Weekly rehearsal Thursday 7:30pm – 9.00pm Morning Eucharist Sunday 10am (rehearsal 9:15am)

Evensong (twice a month) Sunday 4pm (rehearsal 3pm)

In addition, the choir sings for festivals not occurring on Sundays including Midnight Mass, Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Easter, Ascension Day, and All Souls. Additional services beyond major festivals are usually paid an additional fee.


Choral and Organ scholars are paid an annual fee of £1,500 for the regular rehearsal and service commitment. This will be paid by BACS at the end of each month. Extra fees vary per service and are paid for weddings and funerals. There are usually upwards of 10 paid services per year, which adds a substantial amount to the basic salary.


Applicants will have a short interview with the Organist and Choirmaster to discuss their objectives and prior experience. The audition will comprise singing a piece of the applicant’s own choice and sight-reading of two or three choral pieces, usually including a renaissance piece and a more modern work.


Applicants should submit their CV and a brief letter of application by email or post to reach the Organist and Choirmaster. The Organist and Choirmaster is always happy to discuss the role and its requirements informally prior to a formal audition by telephone or in person.

By tel: 01285 659317
By email:
By post: The Organist and Choirmaster

The Parish Office Gosditch Street Cirencester

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