Chester Cathedral Choir is made up of four choirs; the girls’ choir, the boys’ choir, the lay clerks and the Nave Choir. The choir sing ten choral services each week, plus a wide range of special services, concerts and recordings. Chester Cathedral does not have a choir school and therefore all choristers are drawn from schools in (or near to) Chester. We have a large choral repertoire ranging from plainsong chant to spirituals, worship songs and modern music.
The choir is directed and accompanied by Philip Rushforth (Director of Music), Benjamin Chewter (Assistant Director of Music) and Geoffrey Woollatt (Assistant Organist).
Much of the Cathedral Choir's music can be found on the following social media and music sites:
Since 1997 the choir has recruited girl sopranos. The girls’ choir range in age from 8-18. In the past year, the girls have taken part in three live radio broadcasts. They rehearse up to five days per week and sing choral evensong every Tuesday, Friday and alternate weekends with the lay clerks. They have on average between 14 choristers and six probationers. Probationers join usually around the age of eight or nine. Recent tours have included Worcester Cathedral in 2006, the full choir tour to Florida in October 2007 and Paris and Bruges in 2009 and France in 2012.
The boys’ choir attend rehearsals up to five days per week and sing choral evensong every Monday, Thursday and alternate weekends with the lay clerks. They have on average between 16-20 choristers and probationers. Boy probationers join the choir at the age of seven or eight, usually becoming choristers after two years, and leave the choir when their voices break. In previous years, boy choristers have gone on to become choral scholars, singing alongside the lay clerks. Recent concerts have included singing in a performance of Britten’s War Requiem at the Bridgewater Hall in May 2009. Recent tours have included the Cotswolds in 2005, the full choir tour to Florida in October 2007, Paris and Bruges in October 2009 and France in 2012.
The lay clerks are six professional singers who live in the Chester area and sing with the girls’ or boys’ choir five days a week during term time. As music graduates, they also pursue careers as soloists and teachers. Each year the choir also recruits several choral scholars, who sing on a part-time basis with the lay llerks.
There are many ways to support the Cathedral from donations through to buying a gift or simply enjoying a coffee in the Refectory. We welcome your support in whatever form it takes.
The Refectory, built in the 13th century, was the dining hall for the 40 monks who belonged to the community at the time. The Refectory is open from 9:30 - 4:30 and a delicious lunch menu, fabulous cakes and free Wi-Fi!
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The Shop provides a full range of souvenirs, books, gifts, cards, CDs and jewellery, some unique to Chester Cathedral; it's even possible to buy postage stamps!» Read More