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Cathedral Music Staff and Choirs

Dr David Price(left) has been Organist and Master of the Choristers since 1996. Before he came to Portsmouth he was Assistant Organist of Ely Cathedral having previously held Organ Scholarships at Rochester Cathedral and Croydon Parish Church.

During his time at Ely he toured Germany, Belgium, Holland, Poland and the Czech Republic with the Cathedral Choir. The choir's 1995 Amner recording for Hyperion was critically acclaimed and Editor's Choir in 'The Gramophone' music magazine.

Since he has been at Portsmouth the profile of the cathedral's music has been raised to new heights through twelve international tours, recordings and regular work for BBC and ITV.

In addition to his duties at the cathedral, he is a member of Council of the Royal School of Church Music and on the Association of English Cathedral's Music & Liturgy Committee. He is Chairman of RSCM Portsmouth and President of Portsmouth and District Organists' Assn.

In 2007 Portsmouth University conferred David Price with an Honorary Doctorate of Music in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to the development of music at the cathedral and for his contribution to the cultural life of the city. In the same year he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of St Cecilia. Recital venues for David this year include Chambery Cathedral and Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps and Trinity Church, Copenhagen in Denmark. In 2009 his St John Passion for Good Friday was published in a series of the gospel passions alongside John Scott, Philip Moore and Richard Lloyd.

He can be contacted via Cathedral Organist or 023 9282 3300 (Ext. 228)

He is assisted by the Sub-Organist and Diocesan Music Adviser Marcus Wibberley. Marcus was a Chorister of Westminster Abbey, and held Organ Scholarships at York Minster and Chichester Cathedral. He joined the team at Portsmouth in 2005 following a year of freelance music-making in London and as Director of Music at St Laurence Church, Catford. He can be contacted by email or by phone on 023 92892966 (office) or 07946 159319 (teaching mobile).




The cathedral's vocal coach to the choristers, the scholars and leader of the Cathedral SingUp project is Dr Charles MacDougall. Charles is a member of Voces8, a leading UK chamber choir and is a regular lecturer both here and in the USA. Andrew Cleary (Director of Music at Portsmouth Grammar School) is Assistant Sub-Organist and directs Cantate, our resident youth choir. Will Drakett is the Michael James Organ Scholar of the Cathedral and for Portsmouth Grammar School. Rachel Richardson is Music Administrator. The department also includes a Gap Year Music Administration Assistant, James Wilder . As well as his office duties, James is a bass Choral Scholar in the Cathedral Choir whilst taking his gap-year here in Portsmouth. Up to seven other gap year choral scholars are employed at Portsmouth Grammar School and Portsmouth Music Service during their year in the Cathedral Choir (see information on our Gap Year opportunities below). Another of our gap years, Adrian Green helps to run the national SingUp! scheme for the Portsmouth area.


Choral Music at Portsmouth Cathedral

Newsletter links

Summer09 Cathedral Choir newsletter NEW

April09 Cathedral Choir newsletter

Winter 08 Cathedral Choir newsletter

Summer 08 Cathedral Choir newsletter

April08 Cathedral Choir newsletter


The Cathedral Choir......is made up of twenty-four boy choristers and fourteen gentlemen (made up of seven lay-clerks and up to seven choral scholars) who contribute to the pattern of daily cathedral worship. The choristers rehearse on weekday mornings at 8.00am before a normal school day in preparation for the week's music. In any normal week the Cathedral Choir sings for at least 5 services. Click here for 'A day in the Life of Chorister'. The Choral Scholars also form a close-harmony group who are available for bookings - please email for more information.

The majority of our choristers are educated at Portsmouth Grammar School that, as such acts as our choir school (also see Choir Schools Association). Opportunities exist for counter-tenor, tenor or basses who, having completed their school or university education, are looking for the chance to sing and work within a cathedral foundation for a year with a Choral Scholarship. Please see the page on 2010/2011 Gap Year Opportunities and e-mail the Music Office for further information.


The choir plays an important role in the life of the Diocese and City by singing at Ordination, Confirmation, Civic and Remembrance services. The choir is often invited to sing at churches throughout the Diocese of Portsmouth, and in 2009 we have sung concerts and services in St George's Waterlooville, St Jude's Southsea, St Peter's Swanmore, Holy Spirit Southsea and at Newport Minster on the Isle of Wight. The Royal Marines’ School of Music is now based in Portsmouth, and the choir and Orchestra or Band of the Royal Marines regularly work together.


The choir was invited to be at the heart of 2004's 60th Anniversary of DDay Commemorations in Caen and Bayeux in Normandy, France. The trip saw two BBC Radio broadcasts, a concert in Caen with the London Mozart Players and appearing at the International Service of Remembrance at Bayeux in the presence of HM The Queen, President Chirac and Rt Hon Tony Blair.

2005, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and death of Lord Nelson involved the choir performing at a number of international and national events. Notable amongst those was the International Drumhead Ceremony during in the International Festival of the Sea in June, and at events aboard Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, during Trafalgar Week (including three BBC radio and TV broadcasts). Our 'Nelson year' concluded with a live broadcast of Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3 on the day 200 years ago that Nelson's body sailed from Portsmouth to London for his State Funeral.


on tour

In August 1997 they undertook a week’s residence at Westminster Abbey and May 1998 saw a highly successful tour to Estonia. In 1999 and 2001 they toured Belgium & Holland. They sailed to Caen for a tour of Normandy in October 2000 and to Sweden in 2003. Another highlight was a tour to Antwerp and Holland. This was one of our most successful tours to date – with huge audiences turning out in Brussels for reconstructions of Nelson’s funeral. In 2004 we returned to Belgium and Holland as well as our DDay60 trip in June. We have just returned from a second visit to Estonia having sung at Tallin Cathedral and venues across the country as well as a tour of Denmark. The choral scholars and gentlemen also tour regularly in their own right and sang concerts and services in the French Alps at the end of April 2008 and again in 2009.

Our recent tours.........

1998 Estonia: Tallinn, Rapla, Viljandi, Parnu (men and boys)

1999 Belgium and Holland: Antwerp, Gent, Vlissngen (men and boys)

2000 France: Bec, Rouen, St Wandrille  (men and boys)

2001 Belgium: Antwerp, Brussels (men and boys)

2003 Sweden: Stockholm, Upsalla (men and boys)

2004 Belgium and Holland: Antwerp, Vlissingen, Arnhem  (men and boys)

2004 France: DDay 60 - Caen, Bayeux (men and boys)

2006 Estonia: Tallin, Viljandi, Parnu (men and boys)

2007 Estonia: Tallinn, Tartu (men)

2007 Denmark: Copenhagen, Roskilde, Aarhus  (men and boys)

2008 France: Alpe d'Huez, Chambery, Allemont (men)

2008 France: Paris, Rouen (Cantate)

2009 France: Alpe d'Huez, Chambery, Annecy (men and boys)


recordings and broadcasts

Our latest broadcasting project has been to be part of two BBC Songs of Praise programmes. The first was for Remembrance Sunday in 2003 and the second was broadcast in April of this year. BBC Radio 3 and 4 were with us in France for DDAY 60 for a 'Sunday Morning' broadcast as well as a Wednesday 'Choral Evensong'. (see BBCi for more information). This pattern was repeated for Trafalgar200 with a live BBCRadio 4  'Sunday Morning Worship' at 8.10am on Sunday 16th October, a Radio 4 Daily Service from HMS Victory on 21st October and a Radio 3 Choral Evensong at 4pm on 7th December.

The choir has also made a number of recordings, the most recent being a reconstruction of music from Admiral Lord Nelson’s Funeral released in 1999 year and ‘I look from afar’ – a recording of Advent and Christmas carols released in 2001- all of these are available through the HeraldAV label. We have just released 'Portsmouth Remembers' through Guild Records- a re-release of a 1984 LP recording with an extra half-an-hour from the present-day choir.

We have just completed a recording project with Clare College Choir, Cambridge, Mark le Broq and the Britten Sinfonia (under Andrew Parrott) of Harvey Brough's DDay 60 'Valete in Pace'.

Portsmouth Cathedral Choir is supported by a Choir Association that endeavour to raise support, finance and awareness of the work of the cathedral choir in Portsmouth and beyond. They contribute significant sums to enable the choir’s tours abroad.

We also take the opportunity to raise money for charity throughout the year, but especially at Christmas. Our most recent project was a Charity Calendar featuring the Choral Scholars from 2001/2 through which we raised over £3000 for charity in 2003 and £6000 2004.




ENQUIRIES: (023) 9289 2965 or music@portsmouthcathedral.org.uk

Think about the things that are true and honourable and right and
pure and beautiful and respected…And the God who gives peace will be with you.