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Cathedral Music Staff and Choirs

Dr David Price(left) is Organist and Master of the Choristers at Portsmouth Cathedral. Before he came to Portsmouth he was Assistant Organist of Ely Cathedral having previously held Organ Scholarships at Rochester Cathedral and Croydon Minster.

During his time at Ely he toured Germany, Belgium, Holland, Poland and the Czech Republic with the Cathedral Choir. The choir's John Amner recording for Hyperion was critically acclaimed and Editor's Choir in 'The Gramophone' music magazine.

Since he has been at Portsmouth the profile of the cathedral's music has been raised to new heights through twenty-two international tours, numerous recordings and regular work for BBC Radio and Television. He has been pleased to lead vocal training sessions for other choirs and has recently worked in this capacity for the Diocese of Berlin and with the choir of Pembroke College, Oxford.

In addition to his duties at the cathedral, he serves on the committee of RSCM Portsmouth and is a member of the Council of the Royal School of Church Music. He has recently served two terms on the Association of English Cathedral's Music & Liturgy Committee.

Portsmouth University recently conferred David Price with an Honorary Doctorate of Music in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to the development of music at the cathedral and for his contribution to the cultural life of the city. In the same year he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of St Cecilia. Recent recital venues for David include Chambery Cathedral and Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps; Trinity Church, Copenhagen and Salvatorkirche, Duisberg. This year he is playing at Winchester Cathedral, Hexham Abbey, Newcastle cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

In 2009 his St John Passion for Good Friday was published by Encore Publications in a series of the gospel passions alongside John Scott, Philip Moore and Richard Lloyd. In 2013 he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of The Guild of Church Musicians.

He can be contacted via Cathedral Organist or 023 9282 3300 (Ext. 228)

Oliver Hancock is Sub-Organist and School Organist in a shared full-time role with our choir school, Portsmouth Grammar School. 

Before moving to Portsmouth, Oliver was the Assistant Organist at Ely Cathedral  Girls' Choir  and Graduate Organ Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He studied Music at the University of Oxford where he was Organ Scholar at Jesus College and gained BA Hons and undertook the MMus in Choral Studies at the University of Cambridge last year.  Oliver also worked in the Music Department at the King’s School, Ely. 

The cathedral's vocal coaches to the choristers and the scholars are Dr Charles MacDougall a member of Voces8, a leading UK chamber choir) and Alexandra Stevenson . Rachel Richardson is Secretary (Litury and Music). The department also includes an Administration Assistant and Choir Matron. Our SingUp! Outreach scheme to local school and parishes is Adrian Green. As well as his office duties, Adrian is a tenor Choral Scholar in the Cathedral Choir whilst taking his gap-year here in Portsmouth. Up to seven other gap year choral scholars are employed at Portsmouth Grammar School and Portsmouth Music Service during their year in the Cathedral Choir (see information on our Gap Year opportunities below).


Choral Music at Portsmouth Cathedral


The Cathedral Choiris made up of twenty-four boy choristers and fourteen gentlemen (made up of seven lay-clerks and up to seven choral scholars) who contribute to the pattern of daily cathedral worship. The choristers rehearse on weekday mornings at 8.00am before a normal school day in preparation for the week's music. In any normal week the Cathedral Choir sings for at least 5 services. Click here for 'A day in the Life of Chorister'. The Choral Scholars also form a close-harmony group who are available for bookings - please email for more information.

The choristers are educated at Portsmouth Grammar School that, as such acts as our choir school (also see Choir Schools Association). Opportunities exist for counter-tenor, tenor or basses who, having completed their school or university education, are looking for the chance to sing and work within a cathedral foundation for a year with a Choral Scholarship. Please see the page on Gap Year Opportunities and e-mail the Music Office for further information.


The choir plays an important role in the life of the Diocese and City by singing at Ordination, Confirmation, Civic and Remembrance services. The choir is often invited to sing at churches throughout the Diocese of Portsmouth. The Royal Marines’ School of Music is now based in Portsmouth, and the choir and Orchestra or Band of the Royal Marines regularly work together.


The choir has been at the heart of recent DDay Commemorations in Caen and Bayeux in Normandy, France and here in the UK. The ceremonies saw two BBC Radio broadcasts, a concert in Caen with the London Mozart Players and appearing at the International Service of Remembrance at Bayeux in the presence of HM The Queen, President Chirac and Rt Hon Tony Blair and an International Drumhead Service on Southsea Common in the presence of The Princess Royal.

The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and death of Lord Nelson involved the choir performing at a number of international and national events. Notable amongst those was the International Drumhead Ceremony during in the International Festival of the Sea in June, and at events aboard Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, during Trafalgar Week (including three BBC radio and TV broadcasts). Our 'Nelson year' concluded with a live broadcast of Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3 on the day 200 years ago that Nelson's body sailed from Portsmouth to London for his State Funeral.



on tour

Our recent tours.........

1998 Estonia: Tallinn, Rapla, Viljandi, Parnu (men and boys)

1999 Belgium and Holland: Antwerp, Gent, Vlissngen (men and boys)

2000 France: Bec, Rouen, St Wandrille  (men and boys)

2001 Belgium: Antwerp, Brussels (men and boys)

2003 Sweden: Stockholm, Upsalla (men and boys)

2004 Belgium and Holland: Antwerp, Vlissingen, Arnhem  (men and boys)

2004 France: DDay 60 - Caen, Bayeux (men and boys)

2006 Estonia: Tallin, Viljandi, Parnu (men and boys)

2007 Estonia: Tallinn, Tartu (men)

2007 Denmark: Copenhagen, Roskilde, Aarhus  (men and boys)

2008 France: Alpe d'Huez, Chambery, Allemont (men)

2008 France: Paris, Rouen (Cantate)

2009 France: Alpe d'Huez, Chambery, Annecy (men and boys)

2009 Austria: Salzburg (Cantate)2010 Belgium: Antwerp (men and boys)

2011 France: Alpe d'Huez (senior choristers and men)

2011 Germany: Berlin (men and boys)

2012 France: Alpe d'huez and Lyon (Cantate)

2013 Sweden: Uppsala and Stockholm (men and boys)

2013 Malta: Gozo (Cantate)

2014 France: Alpe d'Huez (men)

2014 Belgium: Antwerp and Ypres (boys and men)

and in the planning stage......

2015 Estonia: Tallinn (men)

2015 Italy: Florence (Cantate)

2016 USA: New York, Portsmouth NH


recordings and broadcasts

The choir regularly broadcasts on TV and Radio including playing a major part in two BBC Songs of Praise programmes. BBC Radio 3 and 4 were with us in France for DDAY 60 for a 'Sunday Morning' broadcast as well as a Wednesday 'Choral Evensong'. This pattern was repeated for Trafalgar200 with a live BBCRadio 4  'Sunday Morning Worship' at 8.10am on Sunday 16th October, a Radio 4 Daily Service from HMS Victory on 21st October and a Radio 3 Choral Evensong at 4pm on 7th December. We most recently sang on Radio 4 for DDay 70 and on Christmas Day 2014

The choir has also made a number of recordings, the most recent being a reconstruction of music from Admiral Lord Nelson’s Funeral released in 1999 year and ‘I look from afar’ – a recording of Advent and Christmas carols released in 2001- all of these are available through the HeraldAV label. We have just released 'Portsmouth Remembers' through Guild Records- a re-release of a 1984 LP recording with an extra half-an-hour from the present-day choir.

We have just completed a recording project with Clare College Choir, Cambridge, Mark le Broq and the Britten Sinfonia (under Andrew Parrott) of Harvey Brough's DDay 60 'Valete in Pace'.


Our recordings (all available from the cathedral shop)......

1996 Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis Volume (Priory)

1997 Hymns from Portsmouth Cathedral (Herald)

1999 Advent & Christmas at Portsmouth Cathedral (Herald)

2001 Reconstruction of Admiral Lord Nelson's Funeral (Herald)

2004 Music for Remembrance (DDay 60) (Guild)

2006 Heavenly Harmonies (Herald)

2009 Sing to the Lord (Convivium)2010 Valete in Pace/Requiem in Blue - Harvey Brough (Smudge Recordings)

2010 In your Image (Carols for Advent & Christmas) (Convivium)

2012 Music for Seafarers (Convivium)

2013 The Church Music of June Clark (Convivium)

2014 Plainsong: Echo of the Angels (Convivium)






Portsmouth Cathedral Choir is supported by a Choir Association that endeavour to raise support, finance and awareness of the work of the cathedral choir in Portsmouth and beyond. They contribute significant sums to enable the choir’s tours abroad.

We also take the opportunity to raise money for charity throughout the year, but especially at Christmas. Our most recent project was a Charity Calendar featuring the Choral Scholars from 2001/2 through which we raised over £3000 for charity in 2003 and £6000 2004.




ENQUIRIES: (023) 9289 2965 or music@portsmouthcathedral.org.uk

Think about the things that are true and honourable and right and
pure and beautiful and respected…And the God who gives peace will be with you.