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St Albans Cathedral Choir

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Title: St Albans Cathedral Choir  
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Subject: St Albans, St Albans Cathedral, The Zombies, Johnny English, Rod Argent, Alfred Victor Smith, Peter Hurford, Barry Rose, Andrew Parnell, Simon Lindley
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St Albans Cathedral Choir

St Albans Cathedral Choir
The Cathedral
Cathedral St Albans Cathedral
Cathedral Founded 1077 – Building started
1893 – Restoration completed
Master of the Music Andrew Lucas
Assistant Master of the Music Tom Winpenny
Gender Boys
Chorister Ages 7–14
Lay Clerks Yes
Robe Colour Red     
Location Sumpter Yard
Holywell Hill
St Albans

St. Albans Cathedral Choir is an English Cathedral Choir based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. It is made up of around 25 boy choristers aged 7–14 and 12 adult Lay Clerks.[1] In 2003 it appeared in the coronation scene of the film Johnny English. In addition to the original boys-only choir, there is also the St Albans Abbey Girls' Choir founded in 1996.


Unlike many Cathedrals, St Albans does not have its own boarding Choir School (although the choir has strong links with many local day schools, including St Albans School and St Columba's College, St Albans), meaning that services and rehearsals have to be fitted around a normal school week. Choristers are therefore expected to sing at the Cathedral both before and after school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, on which days Choral Evensong is sung, in addition to an evening rehearsal on Friday and the commitment of up to four services over the weekend. A typical week will involve around 18 hours of singing, and over his seven year career in the choir a Chorister will spend approximately six months' worth of that singing in the Cathedral.[2]


The choir often tours other countries to perform concerts, with past tours including the United States, France, the Netherlands and Italy.


The annual Choir Camp was founded by Peter Hurford when he was organist at St Albans and held in the hamlet of Luccombe. The tents used by the choir remained the same since the first Choir Camp in 1958, with most being army surplus from the Second World War. On the Sunday the choir would sing Choral Eucharist in St Mary's, Luccombe for the parishioners, and on each day the choristers and layclerks would go on hikes, often over ten miles in length, around the Somerset countryside. The Camp celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008.

The Choir also holds an annual cricket match and football match using the grounds of local schools. The games are played between the two 'sides' of the choir, known in the English choral tradition as Decani and Cantoris.


The choir is directed by the Master of the Music, currently Andrew Lucas. The Assistant Master of the Music is currently Tom Winpenny.

Masters of the Music

Assistant Masters of the Music

The assistant master of music at St Albans may also be the Master of Music at St Albans School. For example, John Rutter's Donkey Carol is dedicated "to Simon Lindley and the choir of St. Albans School".

Notable Ex-Choristers

His citation reads:
For most conspicuous bravery. He was in the act of throwing a grenade when it slipped from his hand and fell to the bottom of the trench close to several officers and men. He immediately shouted a warning and jumped clear to safety. He then saw that the officers and men were unable to find cover and knowing that the grenade was due to explode at any moment, he returned and flung himself upon it. He was instantly killed by the explosion. His magnificent act of self-sacrifice undoubtedly saved many lives.[6]

He is buried in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery although the precise location of his grave within the cemetery is not known.[7]

  • Helen Charlston (born 1992)
  • Tori Cox (born 1993)


St Albans Cathedral Choir appeared in the 2003 film Johnny English starring Rowan Atkinson and John Malkovich as the choir of Westminster Abbey during the coronation scene.


External links

  • St Albans Cathedral Choir Website
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