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Music at Great St Mary's

For centuries, the University Church has been a special place for music in the heart of Cambridge. With five choirs (including the one of the first girls' choir in England), two pipe organs, an orchestra, bell ringers, and more, we're also one of the largest performance spaces in Cambridge. 

We'd love to hear from you, whether you are looking to audition for one of our choirs or orchestra, or would like to learn more about concerts at Great St Mary's. Please do be in touch!

(Photo (c) Martin Bond, A Cambridge Diary)

 

Choir Auditions

The choirs of Great St Mary’s, The University Church are looking to expand, and welcome welcome enquiries from keen singers in all voice parts, from school Year 1 upwards.


There is a lively Junior Choir for the youngest singers which meets a few times a month. Older choristers (from age 7) have a varied and rewarding programme of weekly rehearsals, tuition, choral services, concerts and tours throughout the year, bringing beautiful music to thousands of worshippers and visitors at the heart of the city and university and further afield. Our oldest choristers have a distinguished record of winning choral scholarships at University after leaving our stalls. Our adult choir welcomes experienced singers with strong sight-reading in all voice parts.

Admission to most sections of the choir is by short and friendly audition, and these take place throughout the year. If you would be interested in joining our lively community of musicians, please contact Sam Hayes, Director of Music on dom@gsm.cam.ac.uk for further information.

 
Image by Joel Wyncott

Concerts

Great St Mary's is not only a beautiful medieval church, it's also one of the largest non-collegiate perfermonace venues in Cambridge. 

Friday Lunchtime Concerts

We host a series of lunchtime concerts on a Friday from 1-2pm. For more information, or to apply to perform, please contact us at lunchtimeconcerts@gsm.cam.ac.uk 

NB: Friday Lunchtime Concerts will be on break from 19 November until the new year.

 
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Academy of Great St Mary's

26 March at 7.30pm

Join us for a wonderful orchdestral programme with works by Brahamns, Beethoven, and Adam Pounds. Tickets available from the Great St Mary's shop, and online from ADC Ticketing

 
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Bells

Great St Mary's has a full ring of 12 bells (plus a flat 6th), donated in celebration of the 900th anniversary of the founding of the University.  We're home to the original Cambridge Quarters, composed in 1793 and often misnamed the Westminster Chimes, the familiar ding-dong-ding-dong quarter-hour chime, imitated by Westminster Palace and doorbells around the world. 

The Society of Cambridge Youths has been ringing the bells at the University Church since 1724,  and is the second oldest ringing society at any church in the world with a continuous history of its ringing — as well as a welcoming community with a keen interest in teaching bell ringing.