Join The Choir

Bradford Cathedral Choir is at the heart of the cathedral’s music making.

The Choir offers opportunities for boys and girls to sing as cathedral choristers, irrespective of family, educational, financial, or religious background, and a free, first-class musical education from our staff of professional musicians. Children also have the opportunity to work towards ABRSM singing and theory exams.

There are lots of opportunities to sing at the cathedral. We have two fully independent treble lines made up of boy and girl choristers. We recruit children from schools all across the region. They sing for the weekly services together with the adult lay clerks and choral scholars. We also have a fully voluntary choir, the Cathedral Consort, which sings for Sunday evensong every week and includes sopranos and junior choral scholars. Grace Notes, our community choir for children, meets once a week for a fun rehearsal.

The Director of Music, Alex Berry, is responsible for overseeing the music at the cathedral and trains the choirs. The music sung by the choir is varied, ranging from medieval plainchant to contemporary repertoire. The choir continues to establish an enviable reputation for the standard of its singing.

In addition to singing for cathedral services, the choir gives concerts, makes recordings, and broadcasts on national radio. They tour regularly both in the UK and abroad. Recent tours have included visits to Portsmouth, Oxford and Germany. Plans for future tours include East Anglia and Romania.

The choir also gives regular concerts, sometimes with leading orchestras such as the City of London Symphonia. Six times a year, we visit churches within and outside the diocese to sing ‘Safari Evensongs’.

How can families get involved?

We greatly value the support of all our chorister families, who become an important part of the cathedral community. You can help by becoming a chaperone for the choir, a cathedral volunteer, or a reader. These roles allow you to be directly involved with the day-to-day running of the choir and cathedral, and to see the children’s amazing work first-hand.

Boys’ Choir

Boys have been singing as ‘choristers’ in the choir here since well before St Peter’s Church became Bradford Cathedral, over a hundred years ago. Today, our current boys’ choir continues this tradition, singing every week during term-time. Being a cathedral chorister is a fantastic musical opportunity for boys aged 7 to 13. They lead an exciting life, and receive a first-class musical education. They make new friends, sing and have fun together, learning self-discipline, motivation, commitment and teamwork in the process. Our choristers are drawn from schools across Bradford and West Yorkshire. In addition to singing at regular services – which parents, families and friends are welcome to attend – the choir has a busy schedule of concerts, trips and tours in the UK and abroad.

When do we meet?

The boys meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school. They also sing on Sunday mornings every fortnight. The choir doesn’t meet during school holidays, except over Christmas and Easter, when choristers are expected to attend.
Boys start off as ‘probationer choristers’. This is a period of time when they can try choir out to see whether it’s the right activity. When boys are ready, they become ‘full choristers’, and are expected to stay in the choir until the end of school year 8 (aged 13) or until their voice changes.

Is there a cost involved?

There is no cost to being a chorister. Choristers receive choir pay (pocket money) at the end of each term in the form of a voucher. Choristers may opt in to free singing lessons which take place on Saturdays during term time. Choristers may also sign up for piano lessons, for which a small fee is levied.

How do I join?

Our Director of Music, Alex Berry, is pleased to hear from prospective choristers at any time. Please contact him at alex.berry@bradfordcathedral.org. Before boys join us, they come to the cathedral for a voice trial. This is a chance for us to hear them sing, and for you to ask us any questions.

“Having a child in the choir is hard work but the benefits are worth it, the musical knowledge and confidence my son has
gained make it worth the time and effort involved and we love to watch them develop at different services during the year.”

Karen

Chorister Parent

Boys Choir
Bradford Cathedral Choir

Girls’ Choir

In 1992, Bradford Cathedral was the second cathedral in the country to found a girls’ choir. Our girls sing every week during term-time, playing an integral role in the cathedral’s worship and witness.

Being a cathedral chorister is a fantastic musical opportunity for girls aged 7 to 13. They lead an exciting life, and receive a first-class musical education. They make new friends, sing and have fun together, learning self-discipline, motivation, commitment and teamwork in the process. 

Our choristers are drawn from schools across Bradford and West Yorkshire. In addition to singing at regular services – which parents, families and friends are welcome to attend – the choir has a busy schedule of concerts, trips and tours in the UK and abroad.   

 

When do we meet?

The girls meet on Mondays and Thursdays after school. They also sing on Sunday mornings every fortnight. The choir doesn’t meet during school holidays, except over Christmas and Easter, when choristers are expected to attend.

Girls start off as ‘probationer choristers’. This is a period of time when they can try choir out to see whether it’s the right activity. When girls are ready, they become ‘full choristers’, and are expected to stay in the choir until the end of school year 8, at the age of 13. 

 

Is there a cost involved?

There is no cost to being a chorister. Choristers receive choir pay (pocket money) at the end of each term in the form of a voucher. Choristers may opt in to free singing lessons which take place on Saturdays during term time. Choristers may also sign up for piano lessons, for which a small fee is levied. 

 

How do I join?

Our Director of Music, Alex Berry, is pleased to her from prospective choristers at any time. Please contact him at alex.berry@bradfordcathedral.org

Before girls join us, they come to the cathedral for a voice trial. This is a chance for us to hear them sing, and for you to ask us any questions. 

“Being a chorister at Bradford Cathedral is an amazing experience. It’s so much fun, you get to sing your heart out and the people there are really nice. The cathedral is an amazing place to sing because it has fantastic acoustics. Being in Bradford Cathedral is the best thing in my life!”

Frieda W-S

Current Chorister

Choir Rehearsal
Girls Choir

Grace Notes

Bradford Cathedral’s Grace Notes is our community choir for children, aged 6 to 12. It was founded in 2018, after the cathedral’s first CathedralSing! event, and has fast become a valued part of our musical foundation. 

The purpose of the Grace Notes is to have fun and enjoy singing. The children sing on their or with the boys’ and girls’ choirs at services around six times a year. 

When do we meet?

On Wednesday afternoons at 4.30pm during school term-time, for around one hour. 

How do I join?

Contact our Music Department Administrator, Naomi Reiss, naomi.reiss@bradfordcathedral.org

Gracenotes performing

Junior Choral and Organ Scholars

Junior choral scholars are talented young singers aged 13 to 18, who sing evensong with the Cathedral Consort on Sunday afternoons during school term-time. Many of our junior choral scholars used to be choristers in the boys’ and girls’ choirs. 

Being a junior scholar combines all the educational benefits of choristership with a lower commitment, tailored to the needs of young people doing public exams. The have the option of receiving singing lessons, and joining in with cathedral choir concerts, trips and tours. 

Our junior organ scholars sing together with the junior choral scholars, receive organ lessons from our cathedral organists, and also play the organ for cathedral services.

When do we meet?

The junior choral/organ scholars sing for evensong on Sunday afternoons during school term-time. They are also able to opt in to singing for other cathedral choir services, on Mondays, Tuesday and Sunday mornings. The choir doesn’t meet during school holidays, except over Christmas and Easter, when junior choral/organ scholars are expected to attend.

Is there a cost involved?

There is no cost to being a junior choral/organ scholar. Junior choral/organ scholars receive choir pay (pocket money) at the end of each term in the form of a voucher. 

Junior choral scholars may opt in to free singing lessons which take place on Saturdays during term time. Junior organ scholars receive free organ tuition from the cathedral organists, which usually takes place after Sunday evensong.

Junior choral/organ scholars may also sign up for piano lessons, for which a small fee is levied. 

How do I join?

Our Director of Music, Alex Berry, is pleased to her from prospective junior choral/organ scholars at any time. Please contact him at alex.berry@bradfordcathedral.org

Before junior choral/organ scholars join us, they come to the cathedral to have an informal conversation and to sing/play to the Director of Music.

Cathedral Consort

The Cathedral Consort is our adult voluntary choir. It meets weekly, singing for evensong on Sunday afternoon. It is a warm and inclusive group of singers who love to make music together. We have an ambitious repertoire of music drawn from the renaissance to the present day, and there is a lively social life around the choir.

We welcome singers of all voice-parts, but we are currently especially interested in hearing from sopranos and basses. 

When do we meet and what to expect?

The consort meets weekly on a Sunday afternoon at 2.15pm to rehearse for evensong at 3.30pm. There is no weekday rehearsal, so singers are expected to learn the music in advance or to be confident sight-readers. 

Unlike most church and cathedral choirs, the Cathedral Consort has a relatively low commitment, so is perfect for busy people who still want to sing regularly. 

How do I join?

Prospective choir members are very welcome to come along to try the choir out one Sunday afternoon. After this, we can arrange an informal conversation with the Director of Music about membership, during which we will sing something together. 

Please fill in the Choir Application Form and Confidential Self-Declaration to start this process. If you have any questions, our Director of Music, Alex Berry is always delighted to hear from prospective choir members. Please contact him at alex.berry@bradfordcathedral.org.

Lay Clerks

Bradford Cathedral has a talented and committed group of volunteer adult singers who sing alto, tenor and bass together with the boy and girl choristers. Many of our lay clerks also sing with the Cathedral Consort.  

 

When do we meet?

The lay clerks sing three times a week:

  • Sunday morning (9.45am rehearsal, 10.30am Eucharist)
  • Monday evening (4.45pm rehearsal, 5.30pm Evensong)
  • Tuesday evening (4.45pm rehearsal, 5.30pm Evensong)

Some of our lay clerks sing for all three services. Others sing for one or two. We always aim to have at least two voices on each part. 

 

What to expect?

The lay clerks are the backbone of the cathedral choir. They must be strong singers with a good tone, who are able to hold a part securely on their own. They should also be confident sight-readers and willing to undertake personal preparation. 

 

How do I join?

Prospective lay clerks should fill in the Choir Application Form and Confidential Self-Declaration to sign up for an audition. 

If you would like an informal conversation about being a lay clerk, please contact our Director of Music, Alex Berry at alex.berry@bradfordcathedral.org

 

Deputy Lay Clerks

In addition to our regular lay clerks we have a large pool of professional deputy lay clerks who cover absence and ensure that our back row is always quorate. If you are a confident sight-reader with a strong voice and good range who might be interested in singing at Bradford Cathedral from time to time, please contact Alex Berry via alex.berry@bradfordcathedral.org.

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