The Parish Church of All Saints became the Cathedral for the new Diocese of Wakefield in 1888. Wakefield Cathedral has developed a splendid tradition of liturgy and music which attracts congregations from a wide area. Wakefield has long had a traditional choir of men and boys. In 1992 we became only the second Cathedral in Britain to establish a girls choir.
The Cathedral Choir consists of boys, girls and men. Most of the boys are educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar school, and the girls at Wakefield Girls High School. Both receive choral scholarships. The boys are aged from 8 to 13. Girl choristers were introduced in 1992, shortly after their introduction at Salisbury Cathedral, and they are aged from 8 to 18. The boys and girls who don't attend the two schools above, come from various schools in the Wakefield district.
The men who sing the alto, tenor and bass parts are termed lay clerks and in some cases travel vast distances in their devotion to the musical worship and liturgy for which the Cathedral is famed. The Choir sings choral evensong on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and occasionally Friday. Sunday sung services are the Parish Eucharist, Solemn Eucharist and Evensong. Usually the boys and girls sing separately, either by themselves or with the men. On very special occasions we can amalgamate all our resources. The boys, girls and men undertake a full programme of services, concerts, recordings and TV appearances. Recently they produced their first CD to feature the whole choral foundation. Despite the various extra activities outlined below, which enable the Cathedral's ministry and worship to be spread more widely, the Choir's primary work remains, and will always remain, the offering of the highest standards of music in the regular services of the Cathedral.