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.
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 3 live radio broadcasts. They rehearse up to 5 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 6 probationers. Probationers join usually around the age of 8/9. Recent tours have included Worcester Cathedral in 2006, the full choir tour to Florida in October 2007 and Paris in 2009.
The boys’ choir attend rehearsals up to 5 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 roughly at the age of 7/8, usually becoming choristers after 2 years and leave the choir when their voices break. In previous years boy choristers have gone on to become Choral Scholars, singing along side 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 Cotswold in 2005, the full choir tour to Florida in October 2007 and Paris in October 2009.
The Lay Clerks are six professional singers, who live in the Chester area, who sing with the girls’ or boys’ choir 5 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 Clerks.