2020 federation Festival

We are delighted to announce that Chester Choristers’ Association will be hosting the 2020 Federation of Cathedral Old Choristers Festival. It will be held on the weekend of 11th-13th September 2020. You will find links to the Booking form under the “2020 Federation Festival” heading at the top of the page.

If you have any questions that are not answered on this website, please feel free to contact us and we will answer your query as soon as possible.

We look forward to seeing you during this weekend!

WELCOME FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC, PHILIP RUSHFORTH

I would like to offer members of the Federation a very warm welcome to Chester for the 2020 Festival. Music is at the very heart of our worship at the cathedral ever since the monks of the Monastery sang their chants under the Benedictine Rule more than 900 years ago. Henry VIII re-established the former Monastery as a cathedral in July 1541 complete with a Choir School. Some musicians associated with the cathedral over the centuries have included the Tudor composer Robert White; Peter Stringer shortly after the Restoration; Charles Hylton Stewart in the 1930s; George Guest was a chorister at Chester and Sub-Organist and pupil of the cathedral organist, Malcolm Boyle, in the 1940s; John Sanders, before his appointment to Gloucester Cathedral in 1967, was organist and was succeeded by Roger Fisher who, through his many recordings and broadcasts, made the glorious organ of Chester Cathedral so famous.

In 1976 the Choir School was closed down and, since then, all the choristers have been recruited from schools all over the city and the surrounding area. In 1996 the Girls’ Choir was founded. Singing eight choral services each week, shared between the boy and girl choristers and the lay clerks, this level of commitment from parents and the choir enables us to maintain consistently high musical standards. The choir rehearses weekly in the magnificent purpose-built Song School, which is built on the site of the old Monk’s Dormitory above the cathedral cloisters. I hope that you will quickly feel part of our rich heritage and enjoy being with us.

Details of the weekend events can be found below

Friday 11th September

We welcome our guests

12:30 – 15:00 Arrival & Registration
16:00 – 17:15 Tea/ Coffee/Biscuits
17:30 – 18:30 Choral Evensong
19:00 – 20:45 Hot Buffet Reception
21.00 – 21:45 Compline

Saturday 12th September

Main Festival Day

09:30 – 10:15 Holy Communion
10:30 – 12:00 Optional Tower/ City Tour/ Town Cryer
12:15 – 13:30 Civic Reception (attended by Lord Mayor)
14:30 – 15:15 Rehearsal for Choral Evensong
15:15 – 16.00 Federation Photograph & refreshments
16:15 – 17:10 Choral Evensong
17:30 – 18:00 Organ Recital
19.00 – 19:30 Drinks reception
19.30 – 22:00 Banquet

Sunday 13th September

We say farewell to our guests

08:00 – 09:30 Holy Communion
10:00 – 11:15 Cathedral Eucharist
11:30 – 12:30 BCP Matins
12:45 – 14:00 Soup & sandwiches/ Farewell to our guests