Cathedral Music Trust

Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford, is nearly 500 years old and holds a unique place in the great English choral tradition.

Since 1546, the choir has been set apart from all other collegiate and cathedral choirs since it serves both an Oxford college and a diocese at the same time, in a unique and celebrated dual foundation. Despite the choir’s long history, it is internationally renowned for the youthfulness of its sound and its daring and adventurous musical programming.

Throughout its history, the choir has attracted many distinguished composers and organists, from its first director, John Taverner, appointed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1526, to William Walton in the twentieth century. In recent years, the choir has commissioned and recorded works by composers such as John Tavener, William Mathias, Robert Saxton, and Howard Goodall.

This ancient foundation, however, is increasingly under threat of erosion from the significant financial pressures placed on arts and education in the UK.

The Christ Church Cathedral Music Trust was established in 2013 to ensure the survival and success of the choir through the following aims:

1. To preserve, in perpetuity, a tradition of world-class music at Christ Church.

2. To make available 100% scholarship funding for choristers to ensure that the choir is accessible to quality musicians, regardless of background or circumstance.

3. To support, in partnership with the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral, appropriate facilities and worthwhile projects befitting a choir of such repute and quality.

We now seek the generosity of Members and Friends to help deliver this mission and invite donors and benefactors to engage with us in promoting this appeal.


Choir boy

A Choir Accessible To All

The current major aim of the Trust is to give children from any background the opportunity to sing at Christ Church. In order to achieve this goal, we still need to raise a substantial amount to endow the remaining majority of choristerships. This endowment would ensure ‘needs-blind’ access for the most talented to join the choir, greatly widening the cultural and educational reach of Christ Church and bringing choral music to the lives of many new families and communities. Our goal is to ensure that no one is excluded from being a part of the Cathedral Choir due to financial need.



Professor Steven Grahl conducting the choir at rehearsal From the Organist
Professor Steven Grahl


“It is a huge privilege to take over the direction of Christ Church Cathedral Choir, and I have already witnessed the excellence which this group achieves. Cathedral services are at the heart of our activity, but beyond that the choir enjoys an international reach through its broadcasts, tours, and recordings. The educative work that happens on a daily basis intersects directly with my post as a college tutor and university professor, and it is my job to inspire not only the choir members, but also, I hope, all those who hear the music of this vibrant ensemble.”


Making It Happen

The choir costs Christ Church over £500,000 annually, and it will take another £5m to endow in perpetuity.

Below are the individual costs for various components of the Choir’s activities:

Choristership £212k to endow
Choral or Organ Scholarship  £63.5k to endow
Lay Clerkship  £185k to endow
Choir tours   £50k per tour
Choir recordings      £15k per recording


Every gift, no matter how small, will help to achieve these goals. Please give generously to help preserve Christ Church Cathedral Choir for the next 500 years.

Click here to make a regular gift online, or make a single gift using the online form below.


For more information on how to give please contact Peter Varga or refer to our How to Give page.