Exeter Cathedral has a proud musical tradition, dating back to the 11th Century. Today this heritage is demonstrated in the very high quality of both choir and organ music, and the Cathedral is widely recognised as a centre of musical excellence in the South West. However, music is a very vulnerable element of Cathedral life and sadly, due to inflation and rising costs, the tradition of musical excellence at Exeter Cathedral is today under threat.
The present choir has 20 boy and 20 girl choristers, 6 Choral Scholars and 6 professional singers who form ‘the back row’. Together they sing over 300 services each year, alongside regular broadcasts, and national and overseas tours. We are fortunate that Exeter continues to attract more applications for choristerships than we have places available. There is a strong relationship with the University of Exeter as students take up the six choral scholarships each year.
The Cathedral Liturgy and Music Department are working with the Cathedral School and other organisations, such as the Royal School of Church Music, to provide music to the local community and to churches across Devon.
Our school outreach project brings the joy of singing into schools and at the end of each term those involved give a concert in the Cathedral; a rare opportunity for the children to perform to such a large audience. We are very keen, not just to maintain our musical heritage, but to expand the work of our professional musicians in supporting schools as they seek to develop their musical education and performance.