RSNO Junior Chorus

The RSNO Junior Chorus is one of the leading children and youth choirs in the UK, with over 400 members aged seven to eighteen.

It was formed in 1978 by Jean Kidd and is directed by Patrick Barrett. From 1994-2017 it was directed by Christopher Bell, with Anne Murphy is taking on the role of Interim Junior Chorus Director from 2017-2019.  It has built up a considerable reputation singing under some of the world's most distinguished conductors and appearing on radio and television.

RSNO Junior Chorus members sing regularly with Scotland's national orchestra in major concert halls and festivals throughout the country. The Junior Chorus has also sung at BBC concerts and regularly appears at the Edinburgh International Festival.

The RSNO Junior Chorus follows the Kodály method of training and links closely to the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) musicianship curriculum. Through this course, the young singers are taught to read and write music notation and our staff work hard to increase the confidence and self-esteem of the talented young musicians.

The RSNO Junior Chorus is a highly competitive choir and members are re-auditioned at various points throughout their time singing with the group. To provide the highest level of training and guidance as the singers progress, the Chorus is divided into six groups: the Training Choir; Probationary Choirs 1, 2 and 3; the Changed Voices group; and the RSNO Junior Chorus.

The RSNO Junior Chorus gratefully acknowledges support from The Meikle Foundation and The W. A. Cargill Fund.

The Training Choir

The Training Choir takes in children from Primary 4. This allows staff to nurture their voices and build from the roots to produce the best singers and musicians. Using the Kodály method of training, which incorporates games and patterns and takes learning at the child's pace, the youngest choir is taught musicianship in a fun and engaging way to develop talented and enthusiastic singers.

Probationary Choirs 1, 2 and 3

After about a year children progress to the Probationary Choirs. The aims of the RSNO Junior Chorus have always been to encourage singing at the highest level, to learn to read music and to develop and train the voice. By including a probationary period, children are encouraged to work hard and continuously improve, while maintaining interest and goals. This nurturing of artistic excellence has proven to foster confidence-building and teamwork amongst young people.

RSNO Junior Chorus

The RSNO Junior Chorus proper is the largest choir in the group. At the end of Probationary Choir 2 and 3, children will be re-auditioned to move into the Junior Chorus proper. This usually happens at the end of Primary 6. Depending on the progress of each individual, this can sometimes happen earlier or later.
RSNO Junior Chorus offers young people the exciting opportunity to sing weekly within a highly-trained group and to present concerts and make recordings.

Changed Voices

Changed Voices is a choir for young people whose voices are changing. The Changed Voices coaches are experienced in working with young singers' voices, at a time when range can be limited and singing can become very challenging. The staff identify the correct repertoire and singing styles needed to help keep it as easy and enjoyable as possible, whilst giving the voice time to develop before they move into adult choirs.


When can my child audition to join the RSNO Junior Chorus?

We are not currently auditioning for new members of the Junior Chorus. Applications are accepted and auditions are held typically in June.

What will my child have to do in an audition?

Primary 3 children will attend a workshop* led by RSNO Junior Chorus staff where they will participate in musical games to test both rhythm and pitch. Children work in groups of 15 during the workshop and the emphasis is on fun singing activities. Older singers are asked to prepare a solo piece and will have their vocal range tested through some simple singing exercises. An accompanist will be available. *Please note that due to the Coronavirus pandemic this year's auditions will be held digitally on Zoom. 

Where and when are rehearsals held?

The RSNO Junior Chorus meets once a week during term time. The rehearsals take place on a Monday evening in the RSNO Centre, 19 Killermont Street, Glasgow*. Choirs are spread between 5pm and 9pm. For children and young people who do not live within weekly travelling distance of Glasgow, please click here to access the website for the National Youth Choir of Scotland's Area Choirs. *Please note that due to the Coronavirus pandemic all rehearsals and workshops are currently being held digitally on Zoom.

What is the required level of commitment?

There is an expectation that members will attend weekly choir rehearsals during school term time from September through to May. In the lead up to concerts, choir members will be expected to attend additional rehearsals. Dates of rehearsals are available annually and any issues which may prevent your child from attending a rehearsal should be raised as soon as possible. All performances are compulsory. Older members of the Junior Chorus are also expected to attend a residential weekend in September.

What does membership cost?

There is an annual membership fee of £200. Members of the Junior Chorus (11yrs+) are also asked to pay an additional £130 for the annual residential. Bursaries are available – please contact chorus@rsno.org.uk or phone 0141 225 3553 to discuss.

Does my child need to be able to read music?

It is not necessary for children in Primary 3 to read music as this will be taught in musicianship classes. Older singers (12yrs+) do need to be able to read music and should ideally be at at least ABRSM Grade 3 standard, or equivalent.

Will my child receive singing lessons?

Members in Probationary Choirs 2 and 3, Junior Chorus and Changed Voices all receive group singing lessons on a rotational basis throughout the year. The number of lessons received increases as the child/young person progresses through the choirs.

2020:21 Term Dates


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© Royal Scottish National Orchestra 2021