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The Nave Choir


The Cathedral Nave Choir was founded by Dean John Saul Howson on Advent Sunday 1867, making it the longest running voluntary choir in the country. The original Nave Choir consisted of 150 voices and the first service was attended by a congregation of 2,000 where “The crowds were unable to gain entrance”.

Times have of course changed and today, the choir numbers at approximately 25 singers. Whilst still entirely voluntary, it maintains a very high standard of singing and, together with the main cathedral choirs, the Nave Choir forms a fundamental part of the cathedral’s musical offering. They sing weekly Sunday Complines, as well as many major liturgical services throughout the year such as the Ash Wednesday Eucharist, Maundy Thursday Eucharist and Midnight-Mass on Christmas Eve to name just a few. The Naves also sing the main services on Sundays and other days when the Cathedral Choir is away in term time. Alongside this, they also manage to sing a programme of concerts both within the cathedral and out in the diocese, where they also go out to sing services at churches where they perhaps don’t have access to sung services any more.

As well as the regular day-to-day life of the cathedral, the choir enjoys an annual summer tour. Recent visits have included Edinburgh, Southwark, Westminster Abbey, the Isle of Man, Ripon and most recently Worcester and Malvern. The choir has toured internationally as well to Munich and Hildesheim where they were warmly received.

The choir’s director, Andrew Wyatt, is always keen to hear from people who are interested in joining. Experience of singing in a small choir is desirable, and a degree of sight-reading and vocal technique is essential. Please contact Andrew via email:
andrew.wyatt@chestercathedral.com or phone: 01244 500956