Did you know…

…that these well-known personalities trained as choristers?

Some of our patrons (quoted below) were cathedral choristers and feel deeply that their choral background was transformative.


Alexander Armstrong, television and radio presenter, comedian, actor and singer, DFC Patron

“My background in choral music has meant everything to me. It’s a fantastic grounding in music but it’s a discipline as well. I think you learn gravitas as a chorister, there’s a great dignity to it.

“It brings you into contact with a colossal range of literature, it’s very good for your maths, it’s a grounding in performance. Any child who has been a chorister is destined to have an interesting and fulfilling life.”


Sir Alastair Cook, recent captain of the England Test Team (photo courtesy of Tatler)

Oz Clarke-PermissionPavilionBooks

 Oz Clarke, wine writer, television presenter and broadcaster

The Sixteen - Photographer: Simon Jay Price. Permission from The

Harry Christophers CBE, conductor and founder of The Sixteen

Land Rover

Rt Hon David Lammy MP

“Being a cathedral chorister literally changed my life.  It gave me the discipline and the taste for excellence to succeed. It’s vital it continues to do so for future generations of young people”

City Music Foundation

Simon Russell Beale CBE, actor, author and music historian

“Music has always stood at the centre of my life and it has brought me great joy. This is largely the result of my education as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. I cannot overstate its significance for me, nor the extraordinary part the intense training of boys and girls throughout our history has played in the musical life of this country.”

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Jon Snow, journalist and television presenter, DFC Patron

”I owe so much to my life as a cathedral chorister”.

Opera stars such as Iestyn Davies, Allan Clayton, Sir Simon Keenlyside and David Butt Philip acquired their skills through the cathedral music tradition, as did pop stars Chris Martin (Coldplay), Ed Sheeran and Rod Argent (The Zombies). Even Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones) regrets the time he parted company with his church choir!

There are of course many more successful choristers out there. They are neither celebrities, nor make a song and dance about their success, but quietly get on with whatever they have chosen to do.

Below is a list of jobs done by former choristers. We’d love to list more examples, so drop us a line at futureresources@cathedralmusictrust.org.uk if you are, or know, an ex-chorister.

  • A British Government Minister
  • A managing director at Deutsche Bank
  • A manager at Linklater’s, the City law firm
  • A company director in the music industry
  • A former director at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • A vice president of a music recording company
  • A master of a City livery company
  • A senior banker
  • A former BBC Science correspondent
  • A QC
  • A CEO of a major music conglomerate
  • A professor at Sheffield University
  • A former prep school headmaster
  • A former university Vice Chancellor