Chapter House Singers

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About Chapter House Singers


The Chapter House Singers is a choir of around 38 amateur singers based at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. We are always happy to welcome new members and at the moment we have room for more altos and tenors. We rehearse on Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the Song School of St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place. Usually the best way to join is to come along to come along to one or two rehearsals (and the pub afterwards, if you like). The final decision about joining the choir rests with the musical director. We can take more singers in all parts – we are especially keen to recruit tenors. 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 the most beautiful music composed for the Anglican 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 present two choir concerts a year in Edinburgh. Past concerts have included Brahms’ Requiem in the composer’s version for two pianos; Britten’s St Nicholas; “Otcenas” by Janacek and a rare performance of Haydn’s Salve Regina. 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, and our summer concert in 2015 was Songs of the Seasons, which we repeated at the Fringe in August 2015. The idea is that you do not have to be a committed believer to have fun singing with us. We also perform outside Edinburgh. We sang the services for a weekend at Durham Cathedral in March 2015. Some of these events, such as the 2012 Remembrance Sunday performance in Boness, 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.

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