For centuries, choral music has been at the beating heart of our services. Join us each week where our celebrated choirs add their joyful voices to Sunday worship. Or hear their beautifully accomplished arrangements at holy days throughout the year – from Christmas Eve to Palm Sunday. And for our friends who are further afield, world-class performances are recorded and broadcast around the globe.
The Abbey Choir brings together all ages - and all walks of life - to carry on a centuries-old tradition. Our choir is made up of three groups, Boys (from eight years), Girls (11-18 years) and Lay-Clerks (adult singers). Because we have no Choir school, our Boys and Girls come from a wide range of local schools - bringing together some of the most gifted young voices from in and around Bath. To further inspire the young voices of tomorrow, we spread a love of singing and draft in new talent through a singing programme for local schoolchildren and our children's choir, the Melody Makers (six to 11-year-olds), a wonderful stepping stone - and lots of fun.
If you're thinking of coming to one of our upcoming services, you can find out in advance about the music we will be performing on our our current music list.
How to hear the Bath Abbey choirs
Whether it’s an arrangement that’s rousing or reflective, traditional or modern, listening to the pure tones of a choir within the magnificent acoustics of Bath Abbey is awe-inspiring.
You can hear our Choir perform live at the Abbey every week. The Abbey Lay-Clerks sing at Sunday morning and afternoon worship, alternating with the Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs on a fortnightly pattern.
Our Choirs been incredibly proud to sing at services in iconic cathedrals such as Exeter and Canterbury, and are often invited to perform around the world: in Bath’s twin cities in France, Germany and the Netherlands, and beyond. Closer to home, their fondest memories include sharing the stage with the Three Tenors, a Christmas Day performance with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and singing for Her Majesty The Queen.
Each season brings a programme of recitals on the Abbey's magnificent Klais organ too. These take place on summer lunchtimes, autumn evenings and throughout the spring. Each shines a spotlight on a different performer, including scholars and world-class musicians.
Joining the Choir and scholarships
The Bath Abbey Choir is a little like a family - and, as well as learning the art of choral music, our choristers find they forge life-long friendships.
Right now we have scholarships for the following singers:
Learn more here or contact us using the details below.
Just as our Abbey Choir performs at holy sites around the world, we welcome visiting choirs to Bath. Join us for the whole weekend, from Saturday Evensong to the Sunday services, rehearsing and dressing in the Choir Vestry before singing within the ancient surrounds of the Abbey.
The beautiful acoustics accompanied by our vibrant Klais organ make the Abbey a popular venue, so we recommend contacting us as early as possibly if you would like to perform here.
At the moment the following dates are available:
- Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 May
- Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 August
- Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 August (Provisionally Booked)
- Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 October
- Sunday 27 December
- Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 January
- Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 February
- Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 April
- Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 May
- Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 June
- Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 July
- Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 July (Provisionally Booked)
- Saturday 31 July & Sunday 1 August
- Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 August (Provisionally Booked)
- Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 August
Melody Makers: our children's Choir
A wonderful first chapter for children who love to sing, Melody Makers is made for six to 11-year-olds living in and around Bath. You don’t need to know a crotchet from a quaver to join – just be excited to learn.
Inspiring, lively and above all fun, you’ll enjoy singing in the amazing setting of the Abbey. And we’ll use our experience to ignite that first spark of talent. Our Assistant Director of Music, Shean Bowers, will take you through singing lessons and teach you music theory – covering lots of different music types. And along with your fellow friendly choir members, you’ll make music in the Abbey, including performing in live concerts. It’s a wonderful way to build confidence, and enhance listening and concentration skills.
If all that strikes a chord, you can join us throughout the year. Come along to a relaxed audition where we’ll play piano while you sing us one of your favourite songs. To find out more or book an audition, contact Shean by email, [email protected] or by calling 01225 303 326.
My child absolutely loves being part of Melody Makers! She loves the variety of songs and performing in front of live audiences, whether it’s a solo or as part of the group. Her grandparents are equally thrilled and have timed their next visit so they can watch their grandchild singing in the Abbey.
Parent of a Melody Maker.
To learn more about music at Bath Abbey, please email [email protected] or call us on 01225 422462. You can buy recordings by the Choir at the Abbey Shop.
And if you’d like to audition for our Choir or learn more about our scholarships, please contact our Director of Music, Huw Williams, [email protected] – or Assistant Director of Music, Shean Bowers [email protected] for Melody Makers.
Visiting choirs can write to Philippa Parfrey at the Bath Abbey Office, 11a York Street, Bath, BA1 1NG, email [email protected], or call +44 (0)1225 422462.
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Join us on Mondays to Thursdays for morning prayer. On Fridays, we offer Holy Communion at 8.30am.
Choral Evensong takes place on Thursdays at 5.30pm and Sundays at 3.30pm and lasts for approximately 45 minutes. This formal service combines the memorable cadences of Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer with a distinctive repertoire of English Church music. During term-time these services are sung by the Abbey’s choirs of Girls and Lay-clerks, or Boys and Lay-clerks. During the holidays these services may be sung by visiting choirs.
Sung by Abbey Choirs of Girls and Lay-Clerks Ubi caritas Ola Gjeilo, Mass in G Poulenc, O sacrum convivium Tallis A vigil with readings, silence and choral solos follows from 8pm - 9pm