English Cathedral offers equal opps to girls

English Cathedral offers equal opps to girls


norman lebrecht

March 23, 2021

Message received:

Worcester Cathedral, in conjunction with The King’s School, Worcester, are thrilled to announce a significant change to the chorister programme that presents equal opportunities to boy and girl choristers. In a historic first, the change will not only see boys and girls taking an equal share in choristership, but also see girls join from a younger age and, like the boys, have access to scholarships at King’s Worcester.

Worcester Cathedral has long been a place where choral singing of the highest standards has thrived. Choristers have been educated exclusively at The King’s School since the Refoundation by Henry VIII in 1541, with each chorister receiving a choral scholarship towards their fees.


  • Gary Freer says:

    What isn’t clear is whether Worcester will be retaining separate choirs for boys and girls, albeit with the girls’ choir singing as often as the boys, or whether they are mixing the voices within one single choir. The former, I hope, from a musical perspective.

  • Emil says:

    Does the “historic first” refer only to Worcester? Durham has had girl choristers since 2009 on a fully equal footing to the boys (separate groups of choristers alternating, and combining for special services), and I doubt they’re the only ones in the UK.

    • Gary Freer says:

      Same goes for Salisbury, St Albans and no doubt others

    • Clare S says:

      No, they just mean it’s the first time in Worcester that girls have been offered the same options for choristerships – they’ve even had girl choristers themselves for several years, but they’ve been older and not awarded the same sort of scholarships towards their education. Most Church of England cathedrals now offer some sort of girl choristerships, but there are a lot of variations in the detail of how they are recruited and how many services they sing.

  • Gary Freer says:

    At least two Cambridge Colleges – St Catharine’s and Pembroke – have formed choirs for girls from the town.

    Great to see girls getting these opportunities, while taking care to preserve the priceless (and fragile) Anglican heritage of boy trebles, sadly becoming very rare in parish churches with choral traditions.