This year marks 20 years since Chester Cathedral’s Girls Choir was first founded.

And to mark the occasion, a special service will be held on Saturday, May 21, for the public to enjoy, sung by the Girls’ Choir and former girl choristers.

The English choral tradition is described by the cathedral as ‘the lifeblood’ that turns cathedrals from silent spaces into resounding places of glory, providing some of the greatest music from the fourteenth century to the present day.

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At Chester, there is no choir school and choristers are recruited from schools all over the city and surrounding area. The cathedral itself provides bursaries for the choristers and this level of support, together with the commitment of the choir members, is absolutely vital to ensure consistently high musical standards.

Chester’s Girls’ Choir was founded in 1996 in order to give them the same opportunities as the boy choristers to sing some of the greatest music ever written.

Boy and girl choristers generally sing separately but occasionally sing together with the men of the choir which enables the choir to perform larger works, sometimes with instrumentalists, which enhances the musical and worshipping life of the cathedral considerably.

Some former girl choristers from Chester Cathedral have even gone on to sing professionally and work with professional ensembles like the BBC Singers.

The special anniversary performance of the Girls Choir Festival Evensong takes place at 4.15pm on May 21. Tickets are not required.