Minster Choir

The choir sings at the major services on Sundays and on Thursday night at Choral Evensong.

A music list is available to download.

The Minster is a parish church with no dedicated choir school, but the aim is to develop and maintain a quality of worship in the cathedral tradition. There is a strong musical tradition at the Minster. The building has the largest collection of medieval musician carvings in Europe, a 250 year old organ built by Snetzler, a choral tradition going back to the plainsong of the medieval Vicars Choral, and currently a flourishing diversity of traditional and contemporary music under the Director of Music Robert Poyser, who was appointed in March 2009.

Listen to the choir singing Handel’s Zadok the Priest on a video recording.

Four recordings by the choir are available.

Our musicians are dedicated to giving of their best in worship and to achieve this they rehearse before and after services.

Anyone interested in joining the choir should contact the Director of Music – Robert Poyser.

The Minster’s safeguarding page is here >

Junior Choir

A  Junior Choir is available for 5-8 year old boys and girls. Contact Robert Poyser

Free Music Lessons

Beverley Minster is excited to launch a new scheme offering FREE instrumental lessons to choristers aged 8-14. This initiative is funded by the Friends of Beverley Minster.  Read more.

History of the choir

When the present Minster was built in the 13th century, the chancel (or quire), which accommodated the choir, was constructed first in order that services could be conducted with music.

Daily services continued to be sung until the Reformation. In 1531, records show that a John Merbecke was listed as receiving payment ‘in reward for songs by him given to the church’. He later moved to St George’s Chapel, Windsor, to become a ‘singing man’ and one of two organists. He collaborated with Archbishop Cranmer to publish his ‘Book of Common Prayer Noted’ (i.e. set to music).

After the Dissolution in 1548 the Minster was re-established as a Parish Church. Since this time the Minster Choir, despite its amateur status, often reaches the performing standard of many a cathedral choir and has broadcast on several occasions.

Choir Tours

In 2014 the choir sang in Bristol Cathedral and Gloucester Cathedral. In 2016 they visited Lemgo, in Germany and in 2017 they sang the services over a weekend in Coventry Cathedral. In October 2018 they made their second visit to Germany.