Bilton Grange Preparatory School (part of the Rugby School Group) will be the first prep school to start its own independent chorister programme - for girls and boys.

Already a pre-eminent prep school for music, Bilton Grange will now provide children with the opportunity to become part of separate chorister teams of four boys and four girls from each year group (years three to eight).

Alongside Bilton Grange’s full academic and co-curricular provision, the choristers will have high-level training, including instrumental studies, music theory, aural training and vocal coaching. Their schedule will comprise a daily morning rehearsal plus a service - Evensong or Eucharist - in either Bilton Grange’s or Rugby School’s Chapels on four afternoons a week. In time, a schedule of extra commitments, including concerts, tours, recordings and broadcasts, will be an essential component.

The chorister programme will not involve weekends - unlike cathedral chorister programmes - allowing children to go home for weekends. Full boarding, flexi-boarding, weekly boarding or day pupil options will be available.

Music scholarships, with means-tested bursary support of up to 100 per cent of fees will be available, as they are at Rugby School.

Richard Tanner, Director of Music at Rugby School, added: “I was fortunate to grow up as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral where I was lucky enough to enjoy a world-class musical education through the discipline of singing at the highest level every day.

“I’ve always been passionate about creating opportunities for children to be inspired by similar experiences, regardless of their personal circumstances and background. The new Chorister Programme at Bilton Grange will afford children a pathway for excellence in music on a par with the very best cathedral and collegiate choral programmes in the world."

Rugby School, which a large number of Bilton Grange pupils join for their senior schooling, has an extensive music provision and a strong choral programme, with Chapel services at its heart.

Children between the ages of six and 11 who love to sing are being invited to attend a Chorister Experience Day on 7 November. For more details, visit: rugbyschool.co.uk