The Cathedral Choirs - Chester Cathedral

The Cathedral Choirs

Discover our choirs

Chester Cathedral is fortunate to benefit from two choirs; the Cathedral Choir and the Nave Choir. Discover our choirs below.

Chester Cathedral Choir 

The Choirs of Chester Cathedral have a long and rich history. The first monks of the Abbey of St Werburgh sang their chants under the Benedictine Rule more than 900 years ago, and a choir was formed in the newly formed Cathedral in 1541.  

Today, Chester Cathedral offers opportunities for boys and girls to audition for a place in the Cathedral Choir. After an initial training period as a Probationer, children are then admitted into the full choir when they reach a good level of musical proficiency. Choristers receive training throughout the week during termtime which ensures that our musical heritage is maintained and adds to their personal development with a unique education opportunity.  

Singing eight choral services a week – which equates to around 384 sung services each year, shared between the boy and girl choristers, lay clerks, and choral scholars - the Cathedral Choir sings music from the fourteenth century to the present day in a beautiful historic setting. 

The Cathedral Choir rehearses daily in the magnificent purpose-built Song School, which is built on the site of the old Monk’s Dormitory. In addition to the daily worship of the Cathedral, the choir performs at least three concerts a year, records CDs and regularly appears on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and television, and, when time permits, undertake tours to other countries.  In recent years the choir has visited Ireland, Belgium, France and Florida, USA. 

There is no choir school at Chester and the choristers are recruited from schools all over the city and surrounding area.  The Cathedral provides bursaries for the choristers to ensure that all musically able children have an opportunity.  

Do you know a child that loves to sing and is interested in joining the Cathedral Choir? Contact Organist and Master of the Choristers: 

The Nave Choir 

The Nave Choir was founded by Dean John Saul Howson in 1867 which makes it the country’s longest-running voluntary choir. 

Whilst still voluntary, we maintain a high standard of singing, and forms an important part of our musical offering.  The choir sings at the weekly Sunday services as well as major liturgical services throughout the year.  Alongside this, they also sing a programme of concerts within the Cathedral and out in the Diocese of Chester. 

Interested in joining? If you have choir, sight-reading and vocal experience get in touch with our Nave Choir Director:

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It costs £6,000 a day to care for our historic building and to maintain our worship and music tradition. We rely on the kindness and generosity of people like you to power our work.