RSCM Voices West

RSCM Voices West (VW) is an adult training choir, which sings approximately five services per year in cathedrals and major churches across the West of England and South Wales. Most events take place on Saturdays (or occasional Bank Holidays and full weekends) and singers come from across the region to rehearse before the service at the end of the day. The choir is currently directed by George Castle.

Learning new repertoire and developing vocal and musical skills is at the heart of the choir’s work, so the music list for the year includes a wide range of styles and periods which present different challenges and teaching points.

Voices West currently has spaces in all voice parts but is particularly keen to hear from prospective sopranos and basses.

Dates for 2023/24:

Saturday 2 December – Christchurch Priory
Saturday 13 January – Bristol Cathedral
Saturday 17 February – Wells Cathedral
Saturday 27 April – Brecon Cathedral
Saturday 15 June – Hereford Cathedral


Q.  Who can apply?

A. Membership is open to adult members of RSCM-affiliated churches and choirs, or Individual/Student members of the RSCM. Admission to the choir is by audition. The standard expected of applicants is roughly equivalent to that of RSCM Silver Award level. All members must comply with RSCM Safeguarding requirements.

Q.  How much does it cost?

A. Standard membership - £105 (either payable in full at the start of the academic year or as three payments of £35 spread across the year)

Singers are responsible for providing their own music. Bursary funding is occasionally available; please contact the choir administrator for further details.

Q.  What happens at the audition?

A. As well as preparing a piece to sing (the RSCM Silver Award syllabus contains examples of possible repertoire), you will be asked to demonstrate some vocal exercises to test range and tone quality, and given some sight-singing to test your ability to tackle new music. Some auditions may be conducted online.

Q.  How do I apply to join?

A. Email to request an application form.

George Castle - Director of Voices West

George Castle’s musical education took him through singing as a chorister at Durham Cathedral, where he also started to learn the organ, school in Bedford and a year as Organ Scholar at Worcester Cathedral. Following this, he studied for a degree in music at Oxford University, where he held organ scholarships concurrently at Trinity and Worcester Colleges and was accompanist for the Oxford University Press Choir. Having graduated in 2008, George returned to Worcester Cathedral for four years, where he accompanied and helped train the various choirs and, from 2011, directed the Voluntary Choir. He was then Assistant Director of Music at Winchester Cathedral until 2021 where, alongside playing the organ he directed the Cathedral Chamber Choir and the Girl Choristers. Through his work in cathedral music, George has been organist for the Southern Cathedrals Festival in Winchester and was one of the organists for a number of Three Choirs Festivals between 2005 and 2012.

George lives in Hampshire and is currently a Visiting Music Teacher at The Pilgrims’ School, Winchester and works at Winchester College and Charterhouse as an organ and piano teacher and performance coach. He combines this with a busy freelance career as an organist, continuo player, repetiteur, accompanist, occasional Celesta player, and choral conductor around the south of England. He has played alongside many of the UK’s leading orchestras including the Philharmonia, Florilegium, BSO, ECO, CBSO, BBC NOW, and The London Mozart Players and regularly gives solo organ recitals. He is accompanist for The Waynflete Singers, based in Winchester and works regularly with the Vasari Singers. He has featured as an organist on various recordings and broadcasts, regularly playing for BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong broadcasts as well as a fleeting appearance playing for Lord Mountbatten’s funeral and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on Netflix’s The Crown, and had brief spell in the top 10 of the Italian pop charts.