Cathedral Choir

Gloucester Cathedral Choir

The Cathedral Choir at Gloucester Cathedral, originally consisting of Boy Choristers and Lay Clerks, was established on the orders of King Henry VIII in 1541. Girl Choristers were first recruited to sing in the Choir in 2016; for girls, full equality of opportunity began in September 2021, with the award of the first choral scholarships for Girl Choristers.

The Cathedral Choir has been known as one of the UK’s leading choirs for many decades. It has toured in recent years to the U.S.A., Canada, South Africa, Sweden, and Norway; and in 2019, the Choristers were invited to sing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, in the orchestra’s famous hall, the Philharmonie. The choir has made many commercial recordings. The two most recent CDs have been the Requiem of Ian Venables, on the Somm label-which reached the top twenty of the international classical CD charts in the summer of 2020; and the church music of Ian King, which was recorded in June 2021, and will be released early in 2022.

The Cathedral Choir sings at seven of the eight choral services each week in term time; the thriving Cathedral Youth Choir sings Evensong on a Thursday. The choirs also sing in the major carol services at Advent, Christmas and Candlemas and sing the Christmas and Easter services. At least once a year, the Cathedral Choir sings Evensong live on BBC Radio 3; it performed the BBC’s Parry Centenary Memorial Evensong in 2018, and it has been invited to perform a similar memorial evensong for Gloucestershire’s other great composer of choral music, Vaughan Williams, in 2022.The Choir regularly takes part in concerts with other prestigious choirs and orchestras, most notably the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom the choir has a close relationship. In 2018, the Choristers sang in a live broadcast of Britten’s War Requiem  as part of the BBC’s World War 1 festival of remembrance.

Gloucester Cathedral Choir is one of the three choirs – along with those of Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals- to contribute to the world’s oldest choral music festival, the Three Choirs Festival, which held its 293rd meeting in 2021. The annual week long festival, which takes place at each cathedral in turn will next be hosted by Gloucester Cathedral in 2023.


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