Canterbury Cathedral opens Boys' Choir to local school kids
Monday, February 13, 2023
The cathedral's girls and boys choirs will now be on equal footing
The Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral has today announced that membership of the Boys’ Choir will be open to children from any school, with compulsory boarding no longer being a requirement as of September 2023.
Part of looking to improve equality and inclusion throughout the cathedral, the change will see both the Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs are on equal footing. Founded in 2014, the Girls’ Choir is made up of girls aged 12-18 from local secondary schools. This change will see the Boys’ Choir, whose choristers are currently educated at St Edmund’s School, Canterbury, open up its membership to all boys from local schools aged 8-13.
David Newsholme, Director of Music Canterbury Cathedral, said: ‘We want music-making in our cathedral not just to survive, but to evolve and flourish, and we share the Cathedral Music Trust’s commitment to enabling children from a diverse range of backgrounds to experience the many benefits that come from being a chorister.’
Harry Christophers CBE, former chorister of Canterbury Cathedral and founder and conductor of The Sixteen shared his own personal journey through the choir: ‘I am very much indebted to the Choir of Canterbury Cathedral for the incredible experience it gave me as a chorister back in the 1960s…I came from a very humble background and without the inclusive recruitment policy that was practised during my tenure, my parents would not have had the means to fund compulsory private schooling, nor would they have wished me to board making joining the choir an impossibility. I am very much in support of this move to enable children from a diverse range of backgrounds to experience the many benefits that come from being a chorister.’
The Cathedral will continue financially to support all choristers currently studying at St Edmund’s School on a full choral scholarship until their tenure with the choir has finished.