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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Chapter House Choir

Chapter House Choir 







This 35-voice chamber choir draws its membership from the City of York and the wider region. As well as presenting an annual concert season at York Minster, including the atmospheric and popular ‘Carols by Candlelight’ concerts, the choir supports fundraising activities throughout the county through concert-giving in smaller churches and venues.

The choir is committed to commissioning new choral music to add to the repertoire and has in recent years commissioned works by Gabriel Jackson, Bob Chilcott, Judith Bingham, Paul Mottram and Alexander L'Estrange.  The latter composer was commissioned to create a new choral cantata to celebrate Le Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire in June 2014.

The Chapter House Choir was founded by York-based composer Andrew Carter in the 1960s. As a member of the Minster Choir, he realised the potential for a concert to raise funds for a restoration appeal, and persuaded other Minster songmen and their wives to form a choir.  As a result the first ‘Carols by Candlelight’ concert was held in December 1965.  The choir has continued to contribute financially to York Minster in the intervening years.



Chapter House Choir



Chapter House Choir 50th Anniversary Season 

In December 2015 The Chapter House Choir was fifty years old.  To celebrate this milestone the choir presented a series of concerts packed with inspirational music.  The season started in November with a contemplative programme From Darkness to Light commemorating the dead of all wars.  At Christmas the Choir presented its ever-popular carol concerts, including one on 18 December in the Nave of York Minster where it premièred a new carol by founder conductor Andrew Carter written to mark its 50th anniversary.  Our February concert links with the York Mystery Plays and will include a rare performance of Francis Jackson's dramatic cantata Daniel in Babylon.  In April 2016 we perform a programme of South American baroque music and in June we will finish the season with a celebration weekend for former and current members of the choir.  We are also planning a special gala concert in November 2016 with the King's Singers in the Nave of York Minster.      


For details of our concerts and events please visit .

The Archbishop of York has been Honorary President of the Chapter House Choir since 2006.