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Canterbury Cathedral Girls Choir

A girls’ choir provides a further dimension to the Cathedral’s worship and is an exciting addition to the Cathedral’s long history of musical achievement.

The Dean of Canterbury, The Very Rev’d Dr. Robert Willis

The Girls’ Choir

Canterbury Cathedral’s Girls’ Choir was founded in 2014. Their first performance at Evensong, on the occasion of the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, in January, was attended by more than 600 people and widely covered by the international press. A selection of the media response can be viewed here.

The Girls’ Choir has already performed at events of significance in the Cathedral. These include the service held to mark the twentieth anniversary of the ordination of women priests and that for the consecration of the Bishop of Europe. More recently they sang at a service of dedication and unveiling of two royal statues, attended by HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, and the consecration service for the first female diocesan bishop.

Typically, the Girls’ Choir performs at Evensong in the Cathedral twice every month, frequently with the lay clerks of the Cathedral Choir. There are currently 22 girls in the choir, all of whom are aged between 12 and 18. The majority attend local schools in Canterbury, though some come from further afield. The group rehearses in the Cathedral each Wednesday evening. In addition to their regular liturgical responsibilities, the Girls’ Choir will occasionally participate in other events both at the Cathedral and further afield.

About the Director

David Newsholme is the Director of the Girls’ Choir and Assistant Organist at Canterbury Cathedral. He is also Organist of the King’s School, Canterbury and Musical Director of the Canterbury Singers. David has previously held posts as a singer, organist and teacher at Worcester and Salisbury Cathedrals and Winchester College. He studied at New College, Oxford, York University and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. David is a qualified teacher of music at secondary school level, a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and holds a Doctorate in Music.

Joining the Choir

Voice trials for girls wishing to join the choir take place annually and the next round of auditions will be held on Saturday 21 November 2015. For further details or to apply online click here. Applications will be welcomed from girls who are in Year 8 from September 2015. Successful candidates will take up their place in January 2016. Membership of the choir is an exciting opportunity to join a group of talented and enthusiastic 12 – 18 year olds from Canterbury and the surrounding area, to sing some of the greatest choral music ever written in the magnificent, historic surroundings of Canterbury Cathedral. The interviews will be short, friendly and informal. For further information please telephone 62 or email

Our thanks go to

Canterbury Cathedral Girls’ Choir is generously supported by . The Foundation was established in 2012, following the death of its founder, Peter Cundill (1938-2011). During his remarkable life, Peter had many interests and was both an academic and an athlete. He was also one of the most successful investment managers of his generation and a philanthropist. He was passionate about supporting the young and often helped those with aspirations to better themselves and fulfil their potential in the fields of education and sport. The Foundation’s gift to Canterbury Cathedral for music and education was made in his memory, recognising Peter’s enthusiasm for choral music, history and supporting young people.

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