Read an article by Alexander Armstrong, the Classic FM and Pointless presenter, about the value of singing in a cathedral or church choir.
The Cathedral Choir, one of the finest in the country, comprises three sections (men, boys and girls) who perform both separately and in various combinations, of which the most frequent is the traditional formation of men and boys, though the girls also sing regularly with the men. Between them, they sing services in the Cathedral several times each week during school term time, give concerts in the Cathedral and perform at parish churches and other venues in the Midlands and beyond. They tour regularly, and in 2014 had a very successful tour to Paris. Their repertoire extends from plainchant to recent compositions, some specially commissioned for the choir.
Former boy choristers include David Briggs, the international concert organist, while several recent choristers have won choral scholarships at Cambridge and Oxford colleges.
Canon Marcus Huxley, the director of music, is always pleased to hear of people interested in joining any of the Cathedrals choirs. In addition Choral Scholarships are offered to university and conservatoire students for both the mens choir and the girls choir. Canon Marcus can be contacted by email or by telephone on 0121 262 1846. Application forms can be found here and please include your CV.
CDs available from the Cathedral shop include A Song of the Light (Music by Canon Marcus Huxley, performed by the Cathedral Choir,released in December 2010) My Dancing Day (released December 2004), On Christmas Night and a CD of Victorian organ music by Wesley, Smart and Stanford played by Canon Marcus Huxley (all Regent Records).
Read an article about the Choir's Christmas 2015 on birminghameastside.
Not only is the Cathedral an active place of worship, it is also a popular venue for concerts and recitals. The Cathedral Choir gives concerts termly (usually on the last Friday of January, April and September at 7.45pm), while the Cathedral Chorus (open to all singers) gives Saturday concerts, once or twice a year on a "Come and Sing" basis. For further details, see the Events page.
The Cathedral also plays host to many choirs and ensembles throughout the year, including, for example, Ex Cathedra, the Birmingham Bach Choir and the University of Birmingham Singers and Orchestra. Details of these concerts can be found on the events page or directly via the promoters' websites.
Friends of Cathedral Music
On Sunday 6 March 2016 the cathedral welcomed Peter Toyne, Chairman of the Friends of Cathedral Music, to present a
£30,000 endowment to help fund our music. The FCM relies on the generosity of regular givers, one-off donations and legacies to continue to support the English Choral Tradition. Find out more on their website.
The organ dates in part from 1715 and is therefore contemporary with the building. Originally built by Schwarbrick, it has since been moved from its original position in a West end gallery, enlarged and modernized, most recently by Nicholsons in 1993. A full history and specification is available from the Cathedral shop.