11 Plus Exams Forum

any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?
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Author:  Snowybird [ Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?

My son (9) is going to St Olave's next week for the first stage in the chorister entry tests. He is quite nervous and it would really help if anyone can tell me how many other boys are likely to be there, and what the school is really looking for at this stage. THe school tells me the written test is easier than the usual St Olave's test, but beyond that I am clueless.

Thanks for all and any info!


Author:  bondgirl [ Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?

Hi Snowybird

I probably can't provide you with any more information than you probably already have. Just to say, that your chances of getting a place are greater going this route than sitting the test with everyone else on 14th September. DS's tutor had suggested it for him (she's an ex-StO's teacher) as she said the number of applicants are far fewer than the usual route (sorry - can't remember the numbers :oops: ). Unfortunately, altough DS is a member of the school choir and is quite musical (he plays trombone), he certainly isn't chorister material - especially having heard the angelic voices of the boys at the open day. Also, it is a huge commitment if they get one of the chorister places and DS would be loathe to give up his Sunday morning rugby.

As you say, they still have to pass the test, but it's not at the same level as the main one in September.

Good luck to your DS x

Author:  Mungo [ Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?


There are pros and cons to the choristership scheme.
There are only about 10-12 applicants most years so the odds are much better.
The test is a 10 plus exam so shorter (rather than easier) than the one all the other boys take in Year 6.
If he can sing with a pure voice he has a good chance as the maximum number of boys they can take a year is 4.
If he doesn't pass it will be a good mock.
If he does pass you will be in an enviable position of getting your son into an excellent school without the stress of the entrance exam at 11.
He will gain an excellent education in music.
Very religious songs according to Christian faith, perfect for Christians.
Big commitment, rehearsals Wed pm, Fri am and pm and Sun am before the service.
He will be expected to sing in all school choirs so not just Savoy, but Chamber and School too (two lunchtime clubs a week and associated concerts).
If his interest in singing changes he will have to continue regardless.
You will miss Christmas morning and Good Friday/Easter Sunday mornings at home as he will need to attend Savoy.
Very religious songs (as opposed to hymns sung at school), may not be suitable for non-Christians/ agnostics.

I think it would be a good idea to attend a service before going for it to get a feel of what will be expected of you and your son every Sunday between October and July until his voice breaks (most boys stay on till they are in Year 9 or 10.

I hope this helps,
Good luck whatever you do,


Author:  Snowybird [ Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?

Thanks very much Mungo - your comments are very kind and helpful.

My son did the first test on Friday and I have no idea whether he did well enough so we will have to wait and see.

If he succeeds we will then go to the Chapel for a service so that he can see the reality. I am wary of taking him until this gets a little closer to reality for fear of disappointing him again. (We already went to three cathedrals, two which proved unfeasible because of costs and one which turned him down).

As a matter of fact there were only eight boys there; apparently last year there were 15.

Author:  plusMum [ Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?


My son is planning to sit in this year's exam; we have just submitted the form and awaiting confirmation.

As there is hardly any information available about this on the web, was quite excited to read this post here, so thought of dropping a line.

It would be of great help if you anyone could share any information on this, particularly on the standard of the exam, how different it is from the main one, duration of gap between the academic and the vocal exam etc.

Many thanks in advance,

Author:  Mungo [ Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?


I think the exam is about an hour but not sure. They are similar questions to the Year 6 test. The old Deputy Head used to write the exam but he has retired and not been replaced. The vocal test is quite soon after the written test. I think they are now ranked on vocal skill not academic ability if there is a tie. I think that is a change to previous years. They are also keen to stress that it is up to them when a boy can leave. There was one boy who was still in the choir in Year 11. That is a very long haul in terms of commitment - 6 years! You never know when their voice is going to break.

Some boys sing very classic songs (Ava Maria etc), others sing 'any old song' that shows off their voice (from musicals/ productions). Having said that it doesn't really matter as if the boy can sing in a pure, clear voice it will be recognised.

The other thing is you can join this choir as a club if you are good enough. This means you can choose to leave when you want.

Good luck!

Author:  Longtime_Lurker [ Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?

One thing that hasn't been mentioned the kids get paid for attending and travel costs.

Author:  Mungo [ Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?

That's really nice! With all those rehearsals they deserve something.

My friends DS was in a dilemma as he has chorister commitments and couldn't go on tour with cricket club. He was very unhappy they did n't make an exception. If your DS has other interests apaprt from singing, then that may be a thing to consider too.

Also new Head isn't everyone's cup of tea, most parents haven't been as enthusiastic about him as the last one.

Author:  Snowybird [ Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?

One year on, my son is a very happy Savoy chorister and I would really recommend this for any boy who loves music.

If anyone is interested, please send me a private message and we can talk.

Author:  Mungo [ Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: any knowledge of the St Olave's chorister scheme?


Congratulations! I hope your son is enjoying the Savoy. We went up to see a Christmas carol service once as we knew someone in the choir, and it was fantastic.

Well done!

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