History of Choirs

The Choirs of Washington National Cathedral are living embodiments of a tradition that extends back many centuries in the English Anglican Church.

Learn more about the choir’s role of choral music in Cathedral services.»

The Washington National Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys

Founded in 1909, this choir is currently one of very few cathedral choirs of men and boys in the United States with an affiliated school, in the English tradition. The 18–22 boys singing treble are ages 8–14 and attend St. Albans School, the Cathedral school for boys, on singing scholarships. The choristers sing 9–15 hours each week in rehearsals and services, in addition to their regular academic schedule. The men of the choir are professional musicians from the greater Washington area and sing countertenor, tenor, and bass to complete the choir.

The Men and Boys sing for the principal Cathedral services, radio and television broadcasts, and concerts. Each year the choir participates in special services of national and ecumenical importance, such as the memorial service for Princess Diana. The Men and Boys have made a dozen recordings for various labels, and have toured and performed nationwide.

The Washington National Cathedral Choir of Men and Girls

This choir was instituted in the fall of 1997, after several years of careful preparation by the Cathedral and its sister institution, the National Cathedral School for Girls. The 22–24 choristers attend the school on scholarship and are drawn from the seventh through twelfth grades. In the brief time of their existence, the Girl Choristers have already made their mark on the worship lives of both the Cathedral and the school and, as of the 2000–2001 school term, are singing as many weekday and Sunday services as the Boys Choir.

Along with the Choir of Men and Boys, the Men and Girls sing for Cathedral services, radio and television broadcasts, and concerts. They participate in special services of national and ecumenical importance, and have made nationwide appearances as well as recordings.

Parking at the Cathedral

Parking in the Cathedral’s underground garage is free on Sundays for services and organ recitals; parking for concerts and programs is available for an event-parking fee. Learn more about parking options for individuals and groups.