Choral Scholarships Testimonials

Clare Whiting, Soprano, graduated with a First Class degree in Music from the University of Nottingham in 2014.
I could not have made a better decision than to apply for a Choral Scholarship at St Mary’s when I knew I had a confirmed place at the University of Nottingham. I have been a chorister since the age of 9 and knew that I wanted to continue with choral singing whilst at university; however I was originally worried about the commitment alongside my studies. I needn’t have worried though; St Mary’s never interfered with my work and gave me a whole new set of great friends, in fact the choir is like my second family. It is a choir of amazing quality, a huge range of repertoire across the ages from early music to newly written commissions and a continuously friendly and welcoming atmosphere both at rehearsals and numerous social events. I can only describe it as a complete and utter pleasure to be a part of St Mary’s and I know I will be back to sing with the choir as often as I possibly can because frankly three years just wasn’t long enough! I would recommend this amazing experience to anyone so don’t hesitate to apply!

Greg Link, Bass, graduated with a degree in Music from the University in Nottingham in 2014 and is now a professional singer in London
Singing at St Mary’s has been a fantastic experience and one I will always remember. During the time I held a choral scholarship, throughout my three year music degree, the choir has sung a huge amount of great repertoire across the UK and abroad, performed in countless concerts and services, and I have made many life-long friendships. The broad musical variety, combined with unrivalled performance opportunities and a welcoming atmosphere, make the musical experience at St Mary’s Nottingham’s finest and one of the best in the UK. Excellent music making, lovely people, and all in the oldest and most beautiful church in the city. What’s not to like?

Paul Suter, Bass, studied English at Cambridge University and came to Nottingham to study for a Graduate Diploma in Law in 2008. He now sings with a number of choirs in London, including St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
“I was a choral scholar at St. Mary’s for only one year, but left wishing that I had been there for so many more. The Director of Music, John Keys, expects the highest standards from his singers, and achieves this without fail. The repertoire explored is challenging, ranging from the sixteenth century to the present, and is performed in the weekly round of three services and various concerts that pepper each term. This commitment reaps fruit from the standard of performance and the social camaraderie that pervades the choir. From Tallis to Pärt, via Bach’s Passions, the musical experience at St. Mary’s is unrivalled. It is a joyous opportunity to be a part of this rich tradition, and to have your contributions sincerely appreciated by all.”

Marc Finer, Tenor, graduated in Geography from Cambridge University and came to Nottingham in 2005 to complete his Graduate Diploma in Law at the Nottingham Law School.
“I came to Nottingham to study a law conversion course. I wanted to find somewhere to sing in Nottingham, and a friend at university recommended St Mary’s. St Mary’s is more than just a choir. The choir is undoubtedly one of the region’s best, blessed with a fine Director and a challenging and diverse repertoire. But as rewarding as the music is the choir’s social dynamic. The choir is made up of locals of various ages as well as student choral scholars, and I’ve never had so much fun with a choir or so missed a group of people after leaving. A St Mary’s scholarship is much more than just cash in bank. It’s a musical and social experience not to be missed – apply now!”

Leonie Cormack, Soprano, graduated in Music & German from the University of Nottingham in 2003. She now studies singing at Birkbeck College, London
“St Mary’s was a brilliant and challenging experience for me, having arrived at university completely clueless about the ways of the cathedral/church musical tradition. Singing in such diverse and talented company improved both my liturgical and oratorio repertoire, general musicality and sight-reading beyond all expectation. The choir provides a professional and supportive environment in which inexperienced soloists can grow into confident performers. But the best part is the lasting friendships and regular after-service socialising.”

Joe Payne, Bass, graduated from the University of Nottingham in Mathematics & Physics in 2003. Joe has gone on to sing with the choir of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh.
“I was initially sceptical about joining the scholarship scheme; I didn’t really know any other singers and wasn’t sure if I could balance the commitment with my others as a student (both academic and social!). However, I found the choir extremely welcoming, right from day one, and the great social life meant that I always had a choice of whom to go drinking with! St Mary’s is a magnificent building to sing in; the Director of Music, John Keys, is legendary; and the music week in, week out is varied and challenging and always enjoyable. As a budding organist I was also permitted to practice on the Marcussen organ, and, having enjoyed myself so much, even sang with the choir for two years after graduation!”

For further information about Choral Scholarhsips, contact John Keys, Director of Music, by email:

2020/21 Choral Scholarships

Nottingham choral scholarshipsGoing to university in September?

St Mary’s Choir Nottingham is currently recruiting paid choral scholars for the academic year 2020/21. Vacancies for soprano, alto, tenor and bass choral scholars.

Click here for more information.

Upcoming Events

For details of all events at St Mary’s, including concerts performed by the choir visit St Mary’s Church website

Music List
For this term's music list, which includes details of all the regular services at St Mary's, click here
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