Some say that Archbishop Theodore of Tarsus left evidence of singing boys at Rochester in 604 AD; another school of thought attributes it to Justus in the same year. Yet again that Putta who was bishop of Rochester in 669 AD was said to be well skilled in the Roman style of church music. A little later when Bishop Gundulph founded the Benedictine monastery and to be in line with other monasteries, a few singing boys would have been kept and given some education, singing instruction, also their board and lodging.
Not for about another 900 years is there any valid information when in 1540 the Priory of St Andrew was dissolved and two years later the new cathedral was given a fresh foundation by Henry the Eighth who provided for eight choristers. A document dated 27 November 1560 refers to their "feeding, lodging and clothing" also to "a teacher for the singing children" and "a master of the choristers".
There are two separate choirs at Rochester Cathedral, one formed from boys aged 7 - 13 and the other from girls aged 7 - 14, which was formed in 1995. The boy choristers sing the majority of the cathedral's choral services during the school term. All the boys attend King's School, Rochester.
The Choir of Rochester Cathedral The Gentlemen and Boys of Rochester Cathedral Choir/
Roger Sayer. Recorded in Rochester Cathedral on 28 January, 7 and 8 May 1996. Treble soloists: James Clements (4,9,10), James Shotter (5,10), Jonathan Mills (5), Matthew Osborne (9), Oliver Daffarn (9).
Tracks 19-28 are sang by the clerks only.
The Choir of Rochester Cathedral A recital of Christmas and Easter music by the Choir of Rochester Cathedral. Directed by Robert Ashfield. Principal treble soloist: David Cordier. Second trebles: Leopold Kroll, Robin Cooke. Recorded by BBC Radio Medway, transferred to LP from original tapes.