With the foundation of the Diocese of Liverpool in 1880 the Parish Church of Saint Peter became the first Cathedral of the new Diocese, and so the Cathedral Choir was founded. 1904 marked the beginning of work on Giles Gilbert Scott’s great new Cathedral and in 1910 the first portion, the Lady Chapel, came into full use. From this date regular choral services in the new Cathedral, sung by a choir of boys and gentlemen, began. They sustained daily worship in the Cathedral Lady Chapel for the next fourteen years, after which Choral services were able to take place in the newly completed first bay of the main Cathedral in 1924, Daily choral services were maintained until the outbreak of the second world war, at which time the number of choral services was reduced. The pattern of choral services six days a week was re-established with the boys and layclerks singing each day apart from Wednesday. In September 2003, to mark the centenary of Scott’s Cathedral in 2004, the Girls Choir was founded. Between them the boys, girls and layclerks of the Cathedral Choir sing seven regular choral services a week.
The choir’s prime function is to maintain choral worship during the thirty-eight weeks of term time. There is no dedicated choir school and the boys and girls of the Cathedral Choir attend different schools across the city and diocese. The choir also sings at numerous special services and concerts, and makes broadcasts and recordings. Membership over the years has included some 2000 boys, and a growing number of girls, many of whom have gone on to eminent musical careers.
The choir has worked with many famous musicians, including former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, who despite having failed his audition for the choir in the 1950s. returned to the Cathedral to collaborate with with the choir several times, most notably in performances of the ‘Liverpool Oratorio’ and 'Ecce Cor Meum'.
In recent years the Cathedral Choir has travelled throughout the world giving performances at many prestigious venues, in its own right and with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
- 2013 Carlisle (Boys & Girls)
- 2012 Estonia (Boys)
- 2011 Poland (Girls)
- 2010 Paris (Boys)
- 2010 Oxford (Girls)
- 2009 Oxford (Boys)
- 2009 Poland (Girls)
- 2008 Cologne (Boys)
- 2007 Riga (Boys)
- 2006 Venice (Boys)
- 2006 Cologne (Girls)
- 2005 Amsterdam (Boys)
- 2004 Cologne (Boys)
- 2003 Prague
- 2002 Catalonia Barcelona, Sitges & Monserrat.
- 2001 Belgium - Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent & Malines.
- 2000 Czech Republic - Dvorak Festival & the conclusion of Prague Spring Festival
- 1999 Paris area, incl. St. Louis en L’Ile and Chatres Cathedral
- 1995 Southern France concerts in LA Tour de France
- 1994 Lille, Concert Hall Lille
- 1993 Tokyo, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, accompanied with Paul McCartney
Alongside rehearsals and performances, the choristers enjoy a mixed programme of sightseeing and other activities, to broaden their knowledge of the country they are visiting. They are encouraged to experience the local culture and language, which contributes to their general and musical education.