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As a Methodist foundation, singing plays a big part in Leysian life and forms the backbone of the music programme. The school comes together to sing hymns during weekly chapel services, and the annual House Singing Competition involves the whole community at the end of the Michaelmas Term. There are four choirs – the Chapel Choir, Chamber Choir, Junior Voices and Choral Society – conducted by the Director of Music, Max Kenworthy, and other ad hoc opportunities exist for pupils wishing to explore popular or contemporary styles.
The Chapel Choir is the largest ensemble and is non-auditioned – all pupils and staff are welcome to join. It rehearses twice a week and sings at school services in addition to visits to cathedrals and Cambridge colleges. Sacred music is at the core of the repertoire which encompasses a wide range of styles and composers across the genre. Two Head Choristers are appointed each year.
The Chamber Choir is a subset of the Chapel Choir and the only auditioned ensemble consisting of around 10-12 singers. It rehearses once a week and sings more challenging sacred and secular a cappella repertoire.
Junior Voices is for pupils in Years 7 and 8 and acts as a training ground for the main Chapel Choir. It rehearses once a week and performance opportunities include the Moulton Concert and the Christmas carol services.
The Choral Society is a larger scale symphonic choir that is aimed at parents, staff and friends of The Leys. It meets during the Lent Term only and rehearses on Tuesday evenings with one concert at the end of the term.
Newly created Choral Scholarships are now available. The Paul Crosfield Choral Scholarships will be awarded to promising young singers applying to study at The Leys School, for entry into Year 9 or Lower Sixth. The Scholars will enjoy free singing lessons and a sheet music allowance. In addition, thanks to a unique choral partnership with The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, Paul Crosfield Choral Scholars will have the opportunity to develop their musical potential and experience singing as part of a world-renowned choir.
In 2019, the Chamber Choir recorded a CD, entitled Earthly and Divine which features a selection of sacred and secular pieces. CDs are available from the school shop. Tracks and further details can be found below.