The Chapter House Singers is a choir of around 38 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 altos and, particularly, tenors. The final decision about joining the choir rests with the musical director. We rehearse on Wednesdays at 19.30pm 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, because 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. Past concerts have included Brahms’ Requiem in the composer’s version for two pianos; “Otcenas” by Janacek and in 2018 we gave the first Scottish performances of John Joubert’s St Mark Passion. At Christmas 2009 we gave the first Scottish performance of The Far Theatricals of Day by Jonathan Dove. In June 2010 we sang Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Both these last works are secular rather than church music, as was our summer concert in 2015, Songs of the Seasons, which we repeated at the Fringe in August 2015. You do not have to be a committed believer to have fun singing with us.
We also occasionally perform outside Edinburgh. For example, we sang the services over a weekend at Durham, and a Nine Lessons and Carols in Melrose. Some of these events require all of the choir. Other events, such as Burns songs in Stirling Castle or carols aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, need smaller groups of volunteers. Many singers are active in other groups and 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.
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.
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