The Boys at Jesus College operate as a friendly, committed and professional team. Our aims for the boys are both musical and social: musically, education and fulfilment to the highest level; socially, friendship and enjoyment. The Choir’s ethos is nurtured by a code.
Every boy is encouraged to recognise, from his first arrival, that the choir depends on the contribution made by every single chorister – including himself – to the choir’s music, organisation, supportive friendship and smartness. The senior boys are expected to act as ‘buddies’ to the junior boys, helping the younger members learn and develop. They in turn will become seniors, and the experiences enjoyed as a junior can then be shared with new juniors when boys move up.
The Choristers’ Code
When boys are admitted to the choir, it is understood that they will abide by the following rules:-
- Support, help and praise all other choristers.
- Respect and listen to the adults who are in charge, and do what’s asked, when it’s asked. This includes no talking or disruption during a rehearsal or service.
- Report any bullying to an adult, always.
- Respect and listen to the advice and instructions of the Head and Deputy Choristers.
- Be kind and helpful to younger boys.
- Co-operate when older boys are trying to teach and help younger ones.
- Share food and drink, ensuring there’s enough to go round.
- Make sure that no one is feeling left out.
- Look after cassocks and surplices; always hang them up on your own hanger, tidily.
- Be responsible for (and clear away) own mess.
The Boys must know that there is to be no:-
- bullying, physical or verbal:
- pushing, hitting or other aggressive behaviour
- insulting language, including swearing and name-calling
- shouting (except in an emergency)
- running inside College buildings and anywhere in the grounds
- running out of East House without looking to see if cars or cyclists are coming
Choristers have targets to attain during their chorister career, and there are rewards for achievement. There is a clear ladder of progress: from Junior Probationer to Senior Probationer to Junior and Senior Choristers. A Chorister’s rise up the ladder marks his progress in musicality, singing, music theory and responsibilities.
Promoting Good Behaviour
The Choir’s ethos as a team is immeasurably strengthened by the support of the parents. We are very grateful to all those parents who are able to give time to the Choir’s supervision here and on outings away from College. We are grateful to all the parents for the support and encouragement that they give to their own and to other boys.
Parents and boys will realise how important it is for the Choir, its progress and its teamwork that every boy is here for all rehearsals, services and concerts that are scheduled for him. Ideally, boys will be in attendance ten minutes before the prescribed starting time for any rehearsal or service. As agreed at the Parents’ Evening, boys may expect to take two absences per term for suitable reasons (school trip, concert, play etc). Parents are reminded that any requests for absence should be made in writing to the Director of Chapel Music immediately following the distribution of the termly schedule. He may wish to discuss things with you further before responding. It is not fair to him or to the other Choristers just to declare an absence in passing, at the start or end of the rehearsal, a day beforehand. Exceptional circumstances do of course arise, to which we are very sympathetic. However, it is always easier if everybody abides by the same guidelines.
It is usual in any choir, and a matter of courtesy, to ask the Director of Chapel Music’s permission if your child is intending to take part in any musical activity which might reflect on the Chapel Choir, for example, invitations to sing a solo in a wedding or a concert. The Director is always pleased to coach boys for such occasions.
Please remember that uniform for services is important. White shirts and choir ties are expected, along with dark grey or black trousers, and clean black shoes. Please make sure you do not leave jumpers, coats and other garments on the floor in either East House or the chapel vestry.
Cassocks are fitted at the start of each year, and should be named by parents, and hung on named hangers in the chapel cupboards. Each boy is responsible for his own cassock and surplice. The cupboards should be left tidy, and the last boy to hang his cassock up should see that the doors are closed and that nothing is left on the floor.