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Cathedral Choirs

761 of 1160 nominations

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Cathedral Choirs

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Cathedral Choirs

What’s a cathedral without a choir, or a choir without a cathedral? The acoustics and the atmosphere of English cathedrals seems perfectly suited to choral voices - a match made in heaven, you might say. Many cathedrals were built in the 12th and 13th centuries, and their choirs were often established soon after. Cathedral choir schools were set up for the young male choristers and some, like St Paul’s Cathedral School in London and the Pilgrim’s School in Winchester, still survive.

When Oliver Cromwell took office in 1653, after the Civil War, the cathedral choirs disappeared. The new commissioners declared, “Those servants of the church whose duty it had been to perform the most solemn services should find some employment less offensive to God than singing his praises.” But they re-emerged with the Restoration and haven’t looked back.

These days, the best cathedral choirs are stars in their own right, filling their opulent buildings with the beautiful sound of human voices. Many can be heard on CD.

NOMINATION 761 OF 1160

Your comments

The high quality and unbroken tradition of cathedral choirs over several centuries. Other nominated icons may indicate transient fashion, but cathedral choirs are a unique and thriving survival from medieval to modern times.

stephen chater


Let me start with Cathedrals, Churches, minsters, places of worship. Every village with a Church. This forming a landmark. A sense of community identity. Choirs enhance ones experience. In my opinion, in times of distress, todays society do not know where to turn to. They look outside the UK to import other religions, beliefs. This should be of concern. We are diluting our heritage.
Stella H Howell


I have not yet had a chance to visit England, but any mention of this country brings up in my head a few things, and the first of them is the unique and wonderful sound of its cathedral choirs, with that clean, pure, yet piercingly intense top line composed of well-trained boy choristers set against the backdrop of men in the other three voices. No other country in the world has preserved this tradition as well as England has. I hope to be able to visit England some day, to enjoy this sound live and in its correct environment.
Manfred Mornhinweg


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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye

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