The Chapter House Singers is a choir of around 40 amateur singers based at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. We are happy to welcome new members and at the moment we have room for more tenors. The final decision about joining the choir rests with the musical director. We rehearse on Wednesdays at 19.30 in the Song School of St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place. If you are interested in joining please email us using our Contact Page.
Hear us here . The recording is Sumsion’s anthem They that go down to the sea in ships sung in Durham Cathedral in March 2015.
We sing the Cathedral services about six times a year when the Cathedral Choir is on holiday. This is a vital part of our work. It enables us to sing a great range of music; on each of these Sundays we sing at the morning service and again at Evensong. Evensong allows us to perform some of the most beautiful music composed for the Church. In return, the Cathedral allows us to rehearse in the lovely Song School, with its famous murals by Phoebe Traquair. These important and glorious works are only very rarely open to the public. A very small section of the murals is in the image at the top of this page.
We usually give two choir concerts a year in Edinburgh. Recent concerts have included Messiah (2017) and Bach: St John Passion (2016). In 2018 we gave the first Scottish performances of John Joubert’s St Mark Passion, and our summer concert in 2017 was a presentation of songs to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday. Our concert range covers both secular and church music. Many of our singers are active in other groups so there are many opportunities to get involved in the musical life of Edinburgh and the wider area. If you are new to Edinburgh, the Chapter House Singers is a good way into the cultural life of this great city.
We also occasionally perform outside Edinburgh. For example, we sang the services over a weekend at Ripon Cathedral (2018), Durham Cathedral, and a Nine Lessons and Carols in Melrose.
We are available for hire (either the full choir or a sub-set of singers, depending on what is required). Past events include Burns songs in Stirling Castle, carols aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, and several weddings.
Rehearsal and performance terms run from early September to December and January to June with a long summer break: equivalent to university semesters. Our concerts usually take place in December and June. We sing the services in the Cathedral on various dates: usually in September, October, January, February, March and May.
There is a strong social side to Chapter House Singers and members can always be found in Teuchter’s bar on William Street after Wednesday rehearsals.
The Chapter House Singers is a member of Making Music, an organisation representing and supporting amateur music and promoting musical societies throughout the UK. See www.makingmusic.org.uk/ . Registered Scottish Charity. Ref: SC025545