Girls' Choir

'an exceptional girls' choir' The Observer

Founded in 2008, the St Catharine's College Girls' Choir was the first college-based choir for girls in the UK, breaking with 900 years of tradition and setting a precedent which has been followed by several other institutions both here and abroad. The choir provides a unique and invaluable musical experience for girls aged 8 to 15; with many girls going on to sing in choirs at University level and beyond. 

The choir sings weekly in the College Chapel, as well as giving regular concerts and its repertoire extends from the early Middle Ages to the 21st century, including music both sacred and secular.

About the choir

The choir is currently made up of 28 girls, aged between eight and fifteen (school years four to ten), drawn from local schools. The choir meets twice a week - on Monday and Tuesday afternoons after school - and sings a service in chapel every Tuesday, as well as participating in special concerts.

The Girls' Choir is semi-independent of the mixed-voice student College Choir, though choristers leaving the choir at age 15 may, by audition, be invited to sing as a full member of the College Choir. Members of the Girls' Choir also receive regular tuition in music theory and vocal technique. The ethos of the choir differs from many other choirs of its type. St Catharine’s Girls’ Choir is not a school choir; nor is it limited to traditional Church repertoire. We are always looking at ways to expand the musical experience and vision of choir members, and this is reflected in the diversity of the choir’s activities.

Girls' Choir Friends Scheme

The Girls' Choir Friends Scheme was launched in 2018 with the ambition to support the choir's many activities through the endowment of choristerships. You can read more about the scheme here.

To donate to the Friends Scheme, please visit our online donation page, click 'Other' in the drop-down menu entitled 'I would like my gift to support', and enter 'Girls' Choir' into the box provided.

Past successes

The choir has given performances in such distinguished venues as St Paul's Cathedral, St David's Hall, Cardiff and St John's, Smith Square, and has sung services in the Cathedrals of Ely, Lichfield and Gloucester.  The choir has toured to the USA and throughout Europe. and is regularly asked to participate in major choral/orchestral works such as Bach's St Matthew Passion, Mahler's Third Symphony, Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius and Holst's The Planets. The girls have made several appearances on BBC Radio, including a special edition of Radio 3's The Choir with opera star Sarah Connolly as part of the celebrations marking International Womens' Day; and a former head chorister of the choir was awarded BBC Young Chorister of the Year. The choir have made a number of commercial recordings, released under the Resonus Classics label. See Recordings Page for details.

The choir has also been involved in special outreach and educational projects, most notably STEM in Song, the most recent in collaboration with the London Science Museum.

Weekly Schedule

  • Monday: 16.30-17.00 Probationers only; 17.00-17.30 Full Choir; 17.30-18.30 Choristers only
  • Tuesday (outside University terms): as Monday
  • Tuesday (during University term): 17.00-18.00 rehearsal for Full Choir; 18.30-19.10 Service

For information about auditioning for the choir, please contact Edward Wickham.

Contact details

Director of Music
Dr Edward Wickham
01223 337746