Christ Church Cathedral Choir
"To hear a choir like this is to hear a quality of musicianship with no equal anywhere in the world."
- Sunday Independent
Although Christ Church Cathedral Choir is nearly 500 years old, it is justly famous for the youthfulness of its sound and its daring and adventurous musical programming.
Throughout its history, the Choir has attracted many distinguished composers and organists, from its first director, John Taverner, appointed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1526, to William Walton in the 20th century. In recent years, the Choir has commissioned and recorded works by composers such as John Tavener, William Mathias, Robert Saxton and Howard Goodall (pictured right).
There are 12 men (six are professionals and six undergraduates) and 16 boys in the Choir along with 2 Organists. The boys are selected for their musical ability and attend our School.
For the talented singer and musician Christ Church Cathedral Choir offers chances second to none to learn and perform with a world-class ensemble. The opportunities afforded by a Choristership are unique, unforgettable and include:
- Membership of a world class choir;
- Musical training of the highest quality;
- Understanding of what it means to be part of a team;
- The building of self-esteem and self-confidence;
- Tours, both in this country and abroad, CD recordings and radio broadcasts;
- The best possible preparation for music scholarships at senior schools.
In recent years the Cathedral Choristers have performed in some of the country’s leading venues, toured internationally (to Bermuda, Canada, China, Germany, Jamaica, and the USA), and made recordings which have been lauded by the critics. They have also sung for Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at St James’s Palace.
It is usual for boys to gain major awards to their senior schools on leaving us. In order to fulfil their commitments all Choristers live together in the School’s main building where they have charming dormitories and pleasant communal areas. They are cared for by a resident Housemaster and Matrons.
All Cathedral Choristers receive a bursary equivalent to two thirds of fees to support their education at Christ Church Cathedral School and in cases of genuine hardship additional, means-tested fee remission may be available up to 100%. The Bursar can also provide information about a range of charities (such as the Ouseley Trust) willing to support Choristerships by means of annual grants.
On joining the School and the Choir, boys become probationers in the Cathedral Choir, attending all practices and services but going home after school on Friday (3.50 pm) each weekend, to return by supper time on Sunday (i.e. by 6.00 pm). Probationers are usually made up to Full Choristers after a year after joining in the Michaelmas (autumn) term.