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Musical World

Eton College Choir

  • Vocal Ensemble

Biography

Eton College Choir: The Foundation Charter of 1440 provided for six choristers to sing in the daily services. By 1452 this had been increased to sixteen, all boarders. One of the clerks was responsible for teaching them and they had a special claim for consideration at elections for scholarships to the College. After Henry VI’s death in 1471 their numbers were cut to ten as an economy measure, and during the Commonwealth (1649–1660) they disappeared altogether.

The choir started again at the Restoration (1660), but increasingly its members also sang at St George’s Chapel Windsor and the boys were educated there. Although Eton contributed to the costs, the services at St George’s always took precedence and a choir of charity school children had to be paid to sing on Sunday mornings when the regular choir was busy at St George’s Chapel.