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Associate Choral Leader (Children's Choirs)

September 2024 – July 2025

This new training programme provides an opportunity for an emerging choral conductor or vocal leader to help establish new young singer initiatives in the Diocese of Manchester whilst being offered regular intensive support and training with the music team at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

The Associate Choral Leader (Diocese of Manchester Children’s Choirs) is aimed at choral conductors or vocal animateurs who are in the first few years of a professional career, and wish to develop their skills to a high level. This will include developing stand-alone children’s choirs in St Stephen Audenshaw and Oldham Parish Church, and relationships with local primary and secondary schools.

This is part of a wider project called ‘Sing my Soul’, which aims to develop new music and faith initiatives in a number of churches in the Diocese of Manchester.

St Martin-in-the-Fields Associate Choral Leader Training Programme

Approximately six times a term, you will receive professional development training alongside other Choral Leaders from around the UK. Over the past year, workshops have included conducting technique training with Eamonn Dougan and Neil Ferris, working with children’s voices with Laurel Neighbour, vocal health workshops with Charlotte Mobbs and programming for liturgy with Tim Ruffer. This programme is overseen by Assistant Director of Music, Olivia Tait. This programme is a hybrid model of online and in-person, with approcimately three online workshops and three in-person workshops each term.


We wish to appoint a Choral Leader for 2024-25:

  • To develop standalone children’s choirs in St Stephen Audenshaw and Oldham Parish Church
  • To develop musical relationships with local primary and secondary schools through leading 3-4 workshops and rehearsals each week, working with the St Martin’s music administrator
  • To encourage the integration of this new musical outreach with the wider life and mission of the different churches.
  • To attend St Martin-in-the-Fields for training and development on approximately six afternoons each term (on Tuesday afternoons)

There will be the opportunity to shape the work around the skills of the Associate Choral Leader, working alongside the needs of the project as a whole.


The main schedule revolves around a weekday or two half days (in agreement with the schools and the Associate Choral Leader), some Sundays and Tuesday afternoons.

Six times a term (three online, three in person) on Tuesday afternoons between 2.00 and 5.00pm you will be based at St Martin-in-the-Fields for development and training.
Daytime rehearsals/workshops in local schools, approx. 1 day per week (may be 2 half days, in agreement with the schools and the Associate Choral Leader)
Some Sunday morning and lunchtime commitments at Oldham Parish Church and St Stephen Audenshaw
There may be the potential for other project-based work, to be agreed at the start of each term

Through and since the pandemic, St Martin’s and Diocese of Manchester have established a hybrid model of in-person and online worship. All of the services and events may also be either live-streamed or recorded for future broadcast on our social media channels.

Term dates

This is a ten-month programme running from September 2024 to early July 2025, with breaks at half term.

Autumn Sunday 16th September – Sunday 1st December 2024 (inclusive)
Spring Sunday 12th January – Sunday 6th April 2025 (inclusive)
Summer Sunday 4th May – Sunday 6th July 2025 (inclusive)

There will be a half-term break in each of the terms.

Other dates required may include carol services in December, and services during Easter and Holy Week. These dates will be confirmed before the start of each term.

Honorarium and conditions

We envisage this being a two day a week role in term time. The Associate Choral Leader receives an honorarium of £7,500 paid in three equal instalments in December, April and July.

The costs of travel down to London for the in-person workshops will be covered by St Martin-in-the-Fields. In addition, a travel subsidy of up to £500 per year is offered for travel to Oldham and Audenshaw.

Throughout this period, you will be an Associate Choral Leader and considered to be a freelancer and not an employee. Nothing in this programme is intended to create a relationship of employer and employee between you and St Martin-in-the-Fields or the Diocese of Manchester.

The Choral Leadership will run from September 2024 to July 2025. It will be renewed in exceptional circumstances subject to re-interview. You will work under the supervision of the Director of Music and Assistant Director of Music of St Martin-in-the-Fields.


The scheme is aimed at choral conductors who are in the first stage of a professional career and wish to develop their skills to a high level, particularly in working with children’s choirs. In particular, we are looking for:

  • Relevant vocal leading experience, and some choral conducting experience
  • Experience of working with children and enthusiasm for children’s choral singing
  • Enthusiasm for working as a member of a team, together with a willingness to develop their own musical talent
  • Understanding and commitment to relevant safeguarding requirements
  • Experience in administration and organization, working alongside the St Martin’s Music Administrator and local clergy to develop relationships with schools
  • Ability to work in sympathy with the aims and the ethos of the Church of England and Diocese of Manchester
  • A basic level of keyboard skills is required (e.g. to be able to lead a rehearsal from the keyboard).


The Associate Choral Leader will work within the Church of England’s safeguarding framework. They will need to adhere to the safeguarding requirements of the Diocese of Manchester, including undertaking all training required by the diocese and cooperating with the clergy and safeguarding officers. An enhanced DBS will be required.

Our ambition is to work together to promote a more inclusive environment, which attracts all candidates and signals our commitment to celebrate and promote diversity. We particularly encourage applications from those who are currently underrepresented within choral music.

To apply

Please return this application form, along with a current CV, by email to Phoebe Palmer, Music Administrator at by Monday 3rd June at 12 noon at the latest. 

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to direct a short choral rehearsal, and undertake an interview. Auditions will take place Friday 7th June (London) and Wednesday 12th June (Manchester). 


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