Cathedral Choir

Musical Excellence

The Choir of 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; full equality of opportunity began in September 2021, with the award of the first choral scholarships for Girls.

The Cathedral Choir sings at seven of the eight choral services each week in school term time, as well as the major carol services at Advent, Christmas and Candlemas.

Gloucester Cathedral Choir also contributes to the world’s oldest choral music festival, the Three Choirs Festival along with the Cathedral Choirs of Hereford and Worcester.

Lay Clerks

Lay Clerks

Voices of experience

Lay Clerks are the professional singers of the choir who attend rehearsals and sing at six services per week. The Cathedral Choir has a large repertoire of music, and Lay Clerks are expected to arrive at rehearsal fully conversant with the music.

Lay Clerks are also required to sing at special services arranged by the Chapter on major festivals of the church and on national, diocesan or other special occasions. 

In addition to the main work of the daily Cathedral services the Choir receives many invitations for outside engagements.

The Cathedral Choir takes a major part in the renowned annual Three Choirs Festival, with Lay Clerks singing Evensongs and the Three Cathedral Choirs concert as well as being offered opportunities to sing with the Festival Chorus. 

Other engagements

Gloucester is situated within an hour’s travelling distance of Birmingham, Oxford, Bristol, Stratford, Cheltenham and Cardiff. This provides an excellent base from which to develop freelance work as a musician.

Outside engagements for present Lay Clerks have included solo singing with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players, as well as choral singing with the BBC National Chorus of Wales, Tenebrae and Ex Cathedra. Several current Lay Clerks have also found employment as singing teachers.