Chichester and Durham Choral Fundraisers

29th December 2021

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing all ye citizens of heaven above!

Chichester Cathedral invites girls into its choir for the first time, and Durham Cathedral launches a fundraiser to support more young people from across their region to be able to join their choral foundation.

Durham Cathedral has launched a Christmas Appeal to raise funds to provide help for more young people from across the north east to be able to join their choral foundation – and a donor has promised to match the first £1,500, pound for pound – if they reach their target before Epiphany.

Durham Cathedral has been singing sacred music and inspiring others to sing for nearly 1,000 years and the ambition for this year’s appeal is to remove the school fees altogether for those pupils most in need, using the proceeds from this appeal which will provide means-tested bursaries as well as fund the choir’s outreach work.

The Cathedral wants to enable more young people from its region to realise their potential by becoming part of the choir and experiencing a life-changing education within the Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation.

A spokesperson for the cathedral said:

“We are incredibly grateful that one of the Cathedral’s generous supporters, a longstanding friend of the choral foundation, will match the first £1500 raised through this appeal, £1 for £1.”

You can help Durham cathedral’s appeal – Donate here.

Chichester Cathedral has announced it will be inviting girls to join the choir to sing side by side with the boys for the first time in the Cathedral’s history.

From the start of the next academic year, September 2022, girls as well as boys will be able to audition for places in the Cathedral Choir.

The Dean of Chichester, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, said:

“Music lies at the heart of the spiritual life of Chichester Cathedral and we remain committed to the ongoing provision of financial, educational and pastoral support for our choristers giving them a rare musical, educational and Christian experience that will remain with them throughout their lives.

“We are delighted that this opportunity will now be available to girls as well as boys, broadening participation in the great tradition of cathedral choirs.”

Choristers attend the Prebendal School, a co-ed, independent prep school next to the Cathedral, and receive a generous scholarship towards their school fees.  They spend about 18 hours each week rehearsing and singing services, as well studying two instruments and following a full school curriculum of academic work, sport and drama.

Charles Harrison, Organist & Master of the Choristers, said:

“We are delighted now to offer the chorister experience to girls as well as boys. Having one team of choristers singing seven services each week is a wonderful, immersive training for the children and it plays to the high musical standards that we aspire to. 

“Rather than running two choirs, we will continue with one, inviting girls and boys to work side-by-side on equal terms.”

Louise Salmond-Smith, Head of The Prebendal School, said:

“This is a marvellous development for the Choir, and I am overjoyed that girls will be able to take advantage of the immeasurable musical and non-musical benefits that arise from being part of such a prestigious ensemble. 

“The Cathedral Choir will, in turn, benefit from being able to recruit choristers of the very highest calibre regardless of gender. 

“At The Prebendal School we work exceedingly hard to promote equal opportunities to all of our pupils, and I could not be more delighted by this significant and most welcome change.”

The Cathedral provides a minimum 25% scholarship for all choristers, with further support available on a means-tested basis.

The next open day will take place on Saturday 5th March 2022.

Further details will be posted on the Cathedral website.