The Cathedral Choir is as old as the Cathedral itself and is one of the city's most important cultural assets. The present choir consists of 24 boys and 16 men and is the only professional choir for boys in New Zealand. The boys are educated at The Cathedral Grammar School where they all hold special Choral Scholarships, which pay for their tuition. Some of the men are paid Lay Clerks and some are voluntary singers.
The Choir has a wide and varied repertoire, ranging from the sixteenth century to the present day. Along with the cathedral and collegiate chapel choirs of Great Britain, it is a part of a unique, centuries-old tradition that has no equivalent outside the English-speaking world. Christchurch Cathedral shares with the Cathedral of St Andrew, Sydney, the distinction of being the only cathedral outside Britain to have its own Choir School. Auditions for boys are held during the year.
ChristChurch Cathedral Choir, New Zealand by Roger Couper. The Cathedral Grammar School is unique among the Independent Schools of New Zealand, because it is a Choir School in the tradition of the English Cathedral Choir Schools. The history of the School cannot be written without tracing the history of the Choir and its Choristers as well. The School opened its doors six months before the opening of the Cathedral, to train the first Choristers ready for the occasion.
This is the story of the people who have brought the School from its foundation in 1881 to the present day (2006): the pupils, the choristers, the headmasters, and teachers, the parents, the men and women of the boards and the Cathedral authorities. It is an impressive story of 125 years of dedication, faith and loyalty to the vision of the founders.