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More about Durham Cathedral's choir of adult volunteer singers

Why was it formed?

Music has been at the heart of the Cathedral’s worship throughout our history. A choir of men and boys have been singing the daily services almost without a break since the Reformation.

In the 1990s we wanted to expand the number of musicians performing in the Cathedral. As a result we founded the Consort of Singers in 1997.

Who is in the Consort of Singers?

The choir consists of roughly 24 adult volunteer singers.

How often does it sing?

The choir normally sings about four services in the cathedral during each University term. It sings services at times when the Cathedral Choir is not available. This includes evening Eucharists on major feast-days such as Candlemas and All Saints’ Day.

Members are normally expected to commit to attending all rehearsals and services.

Broadcasts and concerts

Its main function is to sing the liturgy. However The Consort of Singers also appears in concert, both on its own and with the Cathedral Choir.

2008 – performed in the Cathedral with James Bowman

2009 - appeared at The Sage Gateshead

2014 – performed at Alwinton Church, Northumberland

2018 – performed with the Cathedral Choir and Durham University musicians in a concert marking the centenary of the death of the composer Hubert Parry.


Current vacancies

There are usually vacancies for sopranos, altos (contralto or countertenor), tenors and basses opening up in October each year.

What experience do I need?

Previous experience of singing in a small choir is not a prerequisite. However importance is attached to vocal ability and sightreading.

What do auditions involve?

  • scales
  • ear tests
  • sight-reading
  • a short prepared piece of your choice – please bring a copy for the accompanist

How to apply

Auditions are open to everyone over the age of 18. If you’d like to audition please contact:

Rebecca Dodd
Music Administrator
The Cathedral Office
The College
Durham DH1 3EH

0191 374 4066 or