Manchester Cathedral’s choirs are internationally renowned and there are many opportunities to engage with their music. Whether you are interested in becoming a chorister, a lay clerk, a member of the voluntary choir or simply hearing a spectacular Choral Evensong, you can read all about our choirs below.
The Cathedral Choir consists of up to 20 choristers of mixed genders and six Lay Clerks, who are all professional singers from across Greater Manchester. The choir is directed by the Organist & Master of the Choristers, Christopher Stokes.
During a normal term time week, choristers should expect to perform at Choral Evensong from Monday to Thursday at 5.30pm and at Sunday morning Eucharist at 10.30am.
Life as a chorister is highly rewarding. It provides great opportunities for a child’s musical and academic development and is lots of fun. Through this experience, choristers will also learn social skills, how to work with others as part of team, gain confidence in performance skills and develop an appreciation of the Cathedral’s musical heritage.
Applicants do not need any prior experience to audition for the Choir. We are looking for children who enjoy singing, have vocal potential, good natural aural ability and enjoy working as part of a team and who, with their parents, will commit to a demanding but immensely rewarding schedule.
Auditions are held throughout the year and applications are welcomed from anyone between the ages of 7 and 10.
For further information about choristerships, please view and download our brochure.
Opportunities are also available for singers to join our list of deputy Lay Clerks.
For an informal chat or to arrange a preliminary informal audition, please contact the Organist and Master of the Choristers, Christopher Stokes.
The Voluntary Choir is an auditioned adult choir which includes young professionals and also university students from across Greater Manchester.
The Choir rehearses each Friday evening from 6.30 – 8pm and sings Choral Evensong each Sunday at 5.30pm with a rehearsal starting at 4.30pm.
The Choir sings a broad range of choral music from Palestrina via Stanford and Howells to Forbes l’Estrange.
Throughout the year, the Choir also participates in a number of additional services and events within the Cathedral and throughout the Diocese, including special services at Harvest, Advent, Epiphany and in Holy Week.
For several decades, the Voluntary Choir has sung for services in various venues around the UK during the late August Bank Holiday weekend. Recently these have included Norwich, Peterborough, Ely, Glasgow, Newcastle and St Edmundsbury Cathedrals.
The choir also enjoys an active social life.
If you are interested in joining the Voluntary Choir, or simply want to make an enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of the Voluntary Choir, Geoffrey Woollatt.
The Cathedral Junior Singers meet on Fridays at 5pm in the Cathedral Song School.
There have been numerous studies over the last few years celebrating the fact that learning to sing in a choir can help children in many ways, including improved social skills and wellbeing.
In our sessions, children learn and have fun through singing and musical games. The children will learn to sing a wide variety of songs and play music games to encourage social interaction, physical co-ordination and self-confidence. They learn to pitch and perform simple melodies and grasp basic rhythms and pulse. We aim to have one concert per term to show family and friends what we have been learning.
Any child from aged 6 to 11 can take part, no experience is needed and the sessions are completely free.
For more information about the Children’s Choir or to book your child’s place, email our Music Department .
Manchester Cathedral welcomes Visiting Choirs for Choral Evensong on Saturdays and Sundays at 3.30pm during the month of August.
They are welcome to sing at the Sunday Eucharist, which starts at 10.30am.
There is also an option for Visiting Choirs to offer a concert on the Saturday evening.
Please contact Geoffrey Woollatt for more details.