The Cathedral Voluntary Choir is a chamber ensemble who meet every Friday evening, and sing on some of the Sunday services throughout the year when the Cathedral Choir is unavailable. It performs a wide range of sacred music, from the renaissance polyphony of William Byrd, to works by living composers written specifically for the choir. As well as supporting the musical worship at the Cathedral, the Choir also performs in other locations around the diocese and country, and also appears regularly on local radio. The choir is a very sociable group, and sings to a very good standard. They are directed by the Cathedral’s Assistant Director of Music, Edward Turner.

Anyone interested in joining the choir should contact Edward on We currently have a vacancies for Basses and Tenors, though enquiries from prospective Sopranos and Altos are also warmly received. Entry to the choir is by audition, for which we ask you to bring a short piece or extract of a piece (c.3 minutes) and we will then give you a short, friendly piece of sight-reading.

The Cathedral Choir comprises girl and boy Choristers (who sing separately) and 12 semi-professional Lay Clerks. As well as singing the regular routine of weekly services at the Cathedral, the Choir has made numerous recordings and appearances on national radio, as well as tours abroad to France and Belgium. The choir occasionally collaborates with other musicians, notably The Sixteen and Jethro Tull.



Being a Cathedral Chorister is a remarkable experience for a child. All our choristers receive a world-class musical education, including free one-to-one singing lessons and music theory lessons. Furthermore, all our Choristers are paid for their work at the Cathedral. Throughout their time in the choir, a Chorister can expect to: be trained in professional music-making; receive a unique all-round cultural education; acquire a sense of self confidence and purpose; develop lifelong friendships; and have plenty of fun in the process! We encourage all our Choristers to work their way through the Royal School of Church Music’s Voice for Life scheme, with most Choristers leaving with either a silver or a gold award. Many of our former Choristers have gone on to very successful careers – both in music and other spheres – and most of them agree that it was their rigorous training as a Chorister that gave them the skills and confidence to succeed! All our choristers are drawn from a variety of local schools, and the choir terms usually respect school term dates. Notable exceptions to this are the Christmas Carol Services, and Services at Easter. Boys begin in the Cathedral Choir as early as school year 3 and continue until their voices change (around school year 8). Girls begin at school year 5 and continue until they leave school in year 13.

The Choristers’ weekly schedule looks like this:




Either 1000-1200  or  1710-1910     









Either 1000-1200 or  1710-1910    







We’re not quite sure – are we able to bring our child to see what it’s like?

We hold an annual ‘Be a Chorister for a day’ event, usually in February. More information about this can be found here .

 My child isn’t a musical genius – is there any point in sending him/her along to a voice trial?

We aren’t looking for geniuses, nor are we looking for children who already display musical talent – we do all the musical training here! All we are looking for is an eagerness, a team-player, and a child who we feel would suit the Chorister lifestyle.

We’re busy on the dates advertised for the Voice Trials – is there any other time we could come along?

Almost certainly! Send us an email ( and we’ll see if we can arrange a better time for you.

Lay Clerks

Lay Clerks are expected at both Sunday services (1000-1200 and 1710-1910) and on Thursday Evenings (1755-1930). All our Lay Clerks are accomplished musicians and excellent sight-readers. Anyone interested in becoming a deputy Lay Clerk at the Cathedral should contact


There are currently vacancies for two tenor Lay Clerks/Choral Scholars.


Be a Chorister for a day is an annual event to give children (and their parents) the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes in the Cathedral Choir. During the afternoon, children (boys and girls in years 3-6) will sing alongside the Cathedral Choristers for a fun afternoon singing workshop, get to hear the Cathedral Organ, have tea with current Choristers and sing as part of the choir for the evening  service. If you/your child enjoys what they see and hear, you should seriously consider signing them up for a voice trial to become a Cathedral Chorister.


Saturday 6th July 2019, 7.00 pm

Derby Cathedral welcome Sam Callahan.

Sam is a 24 year old singer/songwriter from Essex. 

 He’s been performing since he was eight and he started writing his own music when he was just twelve. Intent, even then, on pursuing a career in the music industry.

 In 2013 Sam made it through to the live finals of the UK's X Factor and after getting to the final six he earned his place on the X Factor Arena Tour. 

 Sam says “The X Factor was an incredible experience but it wasn’t an entirely true representation of who I really am. Now I need to show the world what I’m really about and who I am as an artist in today's music industry”.

 Since then, Sam has been performing as an artist non-stop to packed venues all around the world. 

 Sam says, "My music comes straight from the heart, all written and composed by myself, there couldn't be a better representation of myself as an artist.”

 Planning to release new music after selling out Headline gig in London in November 2018, Sam's had a busy holiday season and has big things planned for 2019.

Tickets £14 available from Derby Live at

Music at Derby Cathedral

Derby Cathedral has a rich musical heritage, and sung worship is offered here most days. A copy of the monthly music scheme can be found here. The majority of the services are sung by the Cathedral Choir, which is made up of two independent treble lines (boys and girls) and 12 semi-professional Lay Clerks. You can read more about the Cathedral Choir, including details of how to join, here. 

On a weekly basis, the Cathedral Choir can be heard as follows:

 Sunday 1045 Cathedral Eucharist

Boys/Girls and Lay Clerks

 Sunday 1800 Evensong

Boys/Girls and Lay Clerks

 Monday 1715 Evensong


 Tuesday 1715 Evensong


 Thursday 1830 Evensong

Boys and Lay Clerks


The Cathedral Voluntary Choir is an all-adult chamber group who rehearse on Friday evenings and cover for the Cathedral Choir in its absence. You can read more about the Voluntary Choir here.

The Junior Choir is a choir for young children (7+) which engages young musicians and seeks to build their musical confidence. Singers in the Junior Choir are often recruited into the Cathedral Choir. The Junior Choir is currently not meeting as the Cathedral is without a Director of Music. More details will be posted here when it resumes.

Visiting choirs are warmly welcomed to the Cathedral, particularly to cover Sunday Services through the Summer Holiday. More information about Visiting Choirs can be found here . 

 The Cathedral is used extensively as a concert venue. Those interested in organising a concert at the Cathedral are asked to get in touch with the diary and events co-ordinator, Natasha, on 01332 341201, or by emailing

Jasmine Gill,  Cathedral Apprentice

T: 01332 341201

Lynda Loveday - Operations Administration Assistant

T: 01332 341201

PA to the Dean and Residentiary Canons

T: 01332 341201

Derby Cathedral was visited by SCIE (the Social Care Institute for Excellence) for an audit of safeguarding provision in March 2019. The report from the Audit is published today. The Chapter of Derby Cathedral welcome the report, which will now form the basis of the Cathedral’s work on safeguarding for the future The Chapter are committed to safeguarding all at Derby Cathedral. An action plan will be adopted by the Chapter at its meeting in September. This will be published on the Cathedral website as soon as it has been adopted.

Download the report here

We are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Director of Music at Derby Cathedral. Alexander Binns is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and held organ scholarships at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, Marylebone Parish Church and Southwark Cathedral before taking up his present appointment as Assistant Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in 2016. Alex will be taking up his position at Derby Cathedral after Easter, when we look forward to welcoming him with his wife Dora and young son Peter.

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Centre 18-19 Iron Gate, 

Cathedral Office: 01332 341201

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