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Choral Scholarships 2024 – 25

The Diocese of Manchester Choral Scholarships offer a programme of stimulating and educative choral training, working across churches in Manchester with the music team from St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. The scheme is aimed at choral singers wishing to embark on a professional career in singing. The Choral Scholarships provide an opportunity for up to ten singers to enjoy an intensive, focused period of development alongside others of a similar standard and interests whilst building on a tradition of musical excellence in churches in the city centre and beyond.

The Choral Scholarship programme 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, supported by the Church of England Strategic Development Fund.

As well as their regular commitments, the Manchester Choral Scholars have sung for broadcasts of Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3, taken part in Church of England online services for Christmas and the Platinum Jubilee, and participated in concerts in London and Manchester, including a collaboration with vocal ensemble I Fagiolini. They have taken part in workshops with choral leaders including Neil Ferris, Jamie Wright, Robert Hollingworth and Stuart Overington.

In 2024-25 the Choral Scholars will be based at St Paul’s Church, Withington, South Manchester, singing for services on Wednesday evenings, alongside some Saturday performances in St Stephen Audenshaw, Oldham Parish Church and other churches throughout Manchester.

Term Dates

Autumn Wednesday 2nd October – Saturday 7th December 2024 (inclusive)


Wednesday 22nd January – Saturday 5th April 2025 (inclusive)
Summer Wednesday 7th May – Saturday 21st June 2025 (inclusive)


The regular focus of the scholarship is Wednesday evenings during term time, at St Paul's Withington, from 6.15pm until 9.00 pm. This includes a service of Choral Evening Prayer alongside rehearsals and workshops.

Typical Wednesday Schedule

6.15 pm - 7.45 pm Rehearsal / workshop
8 pm Choral Evening prayer
8.30 pm Refreshments

In addition, the choral scholars will sing on some Saturday mornings (four to five per term) for Great Sacred Music (a sequence of words and music on a theme) and other choral events in churches around the diocese.

Each term also includes approximately three additional events outside the normal Wednesday and Saturday schedule – e.g. concerts and recordings, and potential December engagements. Choral Scholars will be notified of these additional dates in writing before the start of each scholarship term.

Since the pandemic, churches have been moving to a hybrid model of in-person and online worship and other events. All of the Choral Scholarship events may also be either live-streamed or recorded for future broadcast on our social media channels and other digital platforms.


Choral Scholars receive a remuneration of £2,000 per annum, paid in three equal instalments at the end of each term.

Choral Scholars are allowed to be absent from one Wednesday (or other agreed date) per term with no money deducted from their Choral Scholarship remuneration, providing this absence is agreed in advance in writing. If it is necessary to arrange any additional absences, these must be requested and agreed in writing as far ahead as possible. For any absences exceeding the allowance of one date per term, a deputy fee of £50 will be deducted from the Choral Scholarship remuneration at the end of term.

Choral Scholarships will be tenable for one year only and will only be renewed in exceptional circumstances. Throughout the scholarship period, you will be a scholar at The Diocese of Manchester and not an employee. Nothing in this programme is intended to create a relationship of employer and employee between you and The Diocese of Manchester.

Eligibility and requirements

Candidates for Choral Scholarships must be aged 18 and over and should have a confident singing voice and good standard of sight-singing ability. Enthusiasm for singing as a member of a team, together with a willingness to develop their musical talent, will be determining factors in the appointment of Choral Scholars. Applications are welcome from all singers at the beginning of their choral music careers, including current students, graduates and singers with an equivalent level of choral experience.

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 complete this application form and send, along with a current CV, by email to Phoebe Palmer (St Martin-in-the-Fields Music Administrator) at

The closing date for applications is  5pm on Tuesday 28th May 2024.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an audition, during which they will be asked to perform a solo piece of up to 5 minutes in length and undertake sight-reading, aural tests and a short interview.

Auditions for shortlisted applicants will take place in-person in Manchester or London. Planned audition dates are:

Tuesday 4th June 10.00 am – 2.00 pm (St Paul’s Withington, Manchester)
Wednesday 5th June 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm (St Paul’s, Withington, Manchester)
Friday 7th June 2.00 – 6.00 pm (St Martin-in-the-Fields)

Please indicate your availability for these dates on your application form. It may be possible to arrange an alternative audition date, so please apply even if you cannot attend on the dates listed above.

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