Our Choir

at Belfast Cathedral

Choral music has always played a significant and central role at Belfast Cathedral, since its consecration in 1904 when there was a cathedral choir of 48 voices (ladies, gentlemen, and 24 boy choristers). Since then, the choir has undergone various transformations, most latterly in the late summer of 2019, when it became an all-adult, fully professional vocal ensemble.

Belfast Cathedral Choir

The cathedral choir brings together some of the finest singers in Northern Ireland who lead the liturgy and worship of Belfast Cathedral, known locally as ‘St Anne’s’. Under the direction of Matthew Owens, who took up the post of Director of Music in September 2019, the choir has sung a wide and diverse range of works from the Mediaeval period through to the present day, including world premiere performances of works by Judith Bingham, the late John Joubert, and Philip Stopford.

A number of world premiere performances of newly composed works for the Cranmer Anthem Book are scheduled from the autumn 2021 to the summer of 2022, by Richard Allain, Luke Bedford, Michael Berkeley, Richard Causton, Naji Hakim, Gabriel Jackson, Philip Moore, and Philip Stopford. In addition, Howard Skempton begins as Belfast Cathedral’s first ever Composer-in-Association, in September 2021.

Under Owens the cathedral choir has broadcast (live and recorded) on both BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Ulster. The choir now records exclusively for Resonus Classics.

Belfast Cathedral Choir sings services on Sundays (11.00 Eucharist and 15.30 Evensong) and other special days throughout the church’s year, as well as concerts and broadcasts.

Enquiries about auditioning for the cathedral choir or booking the choir are welcome; please contact music@belfastcathedral.org for more information.

Belfast Cathedral Children's Choir

Belfast Cathedral has a long history of having young choristers in its choirs. Currently, boys and girls aged 7-13 sing in the Belfast Cathedral Children's Choir, formed in October 2019.

The choristers come from across Belfast and much further afield to rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 17.00-1830 and then sing during the morning Eucharist on alternate Sundays. This makes it a very manageable commitment for children and their families. Alongside this, the Children's Choir also sings at some of the major services at Christmas, Easter, and other times during the year. Choristers also receive tuition in music theory.

Please contact music@belfastcathedral.org for more information.

Hire the Choir

The cathedral choir is often asked to sing at weddings, funerals, concerts and other events, and is available for hire both in the cathedral and in other venues. To discuss the possibility of the choir singing at your event, please fill out the form below or contact music@belfastcathedral.org

Join the Choir

The Director of Music, Matthew Owens, is always pleased to hear from prospective choristers, choral scholars and Lay Clerks. Choristers normally join the choir aged 7, but applications are welcomed from children up to age 12.

Each year, the cathedral choir appoints a number of Alto, Tenor and Bass Choral Scholars, and these posts are advertised here and on the Vacancies page. Informal enquiries may be directed to the Director of Music at any time.

Occasionally, the cathedral has a vacancy for a singer to join its team of Lay Clerks, and these posts are also advertised here and on the Vacancies page. The Director of Music is always glad to hear from prospective Lay Clerks, or singers who may wish to be considered for the Deputy list.

Anyone wishing to contact the cathedral about singing as a chorister, choral scholar or Lay Clerk should do so via music@belfastcathedral.org