Girl choristers to join St Paul’s Cathedral Choir

Plans to welcome girls as members of the Cathedral's internationally renowned Choir are hailed as 'an important milestone in the Choir's history'

Currently, the Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral consists of boy choristers who, with the Vicars Choral (all professional singers), enhance the daily liturgies of the Cathedral. The Chapter of St Paul’s has taken the decision to establish, for the first time in 900 years, a girls’ cohort of equivalent number and profile to the boys.

The first girls are expected to join the Choir in 2025 after both the Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral School have made the practical arrangements needed to provide ‘a truly equal offer’ for girl and boy choristers.

A full fundraising campaign will be launched so that both the School’s current boarding facilities and the Cathedral’s scholarship programme can be extended equally to boys and girls.

The Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison, said, ‘It has been a long-held ambition to introduce girls’ voices into the Cathedral Choir at St Paul’s. Doing this will create an exceptional new music opportunity for young people and will further enhance the contribution of our highly valued and much-loved Choir to the worship life of the Cathedral and the heritage of the nation.’

Both girls and boys will be led by St Paul’s Cathedral’s Director of Music, Andrew Carwood, and will play an equal part in the singing of services as well as at events of national importance. The existing Choir will shortly be performing at the Service of Thanksgiving for Her Majesty The Queen’s reign on 3 June 2022, part of the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

Andrew Carwood said, ‘Our Choir is a true family, built on the values of encouragement, kindness and support. Welcoming women alto deputies ten years ago, and appointing our first permanent female Vicar Choral five years ago, has thoroughly enriched the vibrancy of our choral and social life. Knowing that our incredible boys will be joined by young girl choristers in the near future is heart-warming, and an important milestone in the Choir’s history.

‘I look forward to working with the St Paul’s Cathedral School to move forward with pace and purpose to ensure that Chapter’s vision for the Cathedral Choir will become a reality as soon as is practically possible.’