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Cathedral Choristers

cathedral choristersChristChurch Cathedral Choir

The Cathedral Choir is older than the Cathedral itself, being founded six months before the Cathedral’s consecration in 1881. This Anglican school was “Established for the purpose of training boys for the Cathedral Choir, and preparing them for Higher Schools.” (New Zealand Church News 1881)

Based on the traditional choirs of the great English cathedrals, the choir is made up of up to 24 boys and 16 men, with a repertoire ranging from the 16th century to contemporary works.   The boys all receive valuable scholarships to The Cathedral Grammar School, one of only two choir schools in the Southern Hemisphere.

The ChristChurch Cathedral Choir is the only professional choir for boys in New Zealand, and provides them with a superb training in music with world-class directors and performers.  It can provide life-long benefits; teaching team-work, leadership and self-discipline. The choir sings at a range of events outside the Cathedral, in other centres, local, national and international, and on television and radio.


In addition to its regular commitments of three weekly Evensongs and two Sunday services, the choir also sings on special occasions, such as ordination services, funerals, recitals and recording sessions. 

The choir usually has two Sundays off during school holidays but remains on duty at the end of Term IV, until Christmas Day. Choristers are free from Boxing Day until the beginning of the new school year. The choir sings on Good Friday and Easter Day, even when these fall in the school holidays. They usually have another Sunday off in lieu. Morning rehearsals are held at school while evening and Sunday rehearsals are held in the Cathedral.

Social activities

A number of recreational activities are organised throughout the year, in term time and holidays. All boys are encouraged to participate in these events, to develop team spirit and camaraderie. A choir camp is held in January in the week before school starts.

Scholarships and funding

Every boy entering the choir receives a Choral Scholarship to subsidise the tuition fees at The Cathedral Grammar School. The scholarship levels vary between 15% and 100% according to experience and ability.

Find out more about our Chorister School Scholarships

Our Location

To arrange a visit please contact the School:

Street Address

The Cathedral Grammar School
26 Park Terrace
Christchurch 8013

Phone: (03) 365 0385
Fax: (03) 365 0384

Postal Address

The Cathedral Grammar School
PO Box 2244
Christchurch 8140