Choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

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The Quire of St George's Chapel, by Charles Wild, from W.H. Pyne's Royal Residences, 1818.

The Choir of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle exists to sing services in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

It has been in existence since 1348 and, with the exception of the Commonwealth period (1649–1660), has sung services in the Chapel continuously ever since.

The choir today[edit]

The choir comprises 18 boy choristers (3 of whom are probationers or training choristers) and 12 professional Lay Clerks, singing Countertenor, tenor and bass.. The Choir sings daily during term-time. The choir has two joint head choristers; Henry Bishop and Joseph DeBiase and deputy is Daniel Hamilton-foster The boys are educated at St George's School, Windsor Castle which is situated in the Castle grounds. The Lay Clerks live in the Horseshoe Cloister and on Denton's Commons.

The choir sings regularly in the presence of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family. Significant recent events have included:

Concerts are also given from time to time, some collaborating with ensembles such as the London Concert Orchestra, the London Handel Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia and the London Mozart Players. The choir also broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.

The choir is directed by the Director of Music and accompanied an Assistant Organist, plus an organ scholar who is selected by audition on an annual basis.


Other overseas appearances include Norway, France, Holland, Poland, Spain and Switzerland


Recent recordings include:

  • 2011 - Celebrate Christmas
  • 2006 - O How Glorious is the Kingdom
  • 2006 - W H Harris Anthems
  • 2005 - Music for a Royal Celebration
  • 2005 - Abide with Me
  • 2003 - Carols from Windsor Castle
  • 2002 - Carols from Windsor Castle
  • 2001 - Tomkins Cathedral Music
  • 2001 - Carols from Windsor Castle
  • 2000 - Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis Vol 21
  • 2000 - The Glory of St George's
  • 1999 - Mathias: Lux Aeterna
  • 1996 - David Fanshawe: African Sanctus (with Bournemouth Symphony Chorus)
  • 1994 - Parry Cathedral Music
  • 1994 - Tavener Sacred Works
  • 1993 - Saint Nicolas & Hymn to Saint Cecilia (with Corydon Singers)
  • 1984 - 20 Christmas Carols from Saint George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

List of Organists and Master of Choristers[edit]

Sub organists[edit]

  • Richard Frank Martin Akerman 1908 - 1924
  • Malcolm Boyle 1925 - 1932
  • Reginald Alwyn Surplice 1932 - 1945[1]
  • John Morehen 1968 - 1972

Assistant Organists[edit]

  • Charles Hancock ???? - 1875
  • G.F. Huntley 1875 - 1880
  • Henry Walford Davies 1885 - 1890
  • Richard Frank Martin Akerman 1900 - 1908
  • Harold William Rhodes 1908 - 1910 (later organist of Coventry Cathedral)
  • Reginald Alwyn Surplice 1927 - 1932 (afterwards Sub organist)
  • John Charles Stirling Forster 1941 - 1945
  • Philip Harold Moore 1946 - 1949
  • Lionel Frederick Dakers 1950 - 1954
  • Richard George Greening 1955 - 1959
  • Clement McWilliam 1959 - 1965
  • John Porter 1972 - 1985
  • Roger Judd 1985 - 2008
  • Ben Giddens 2008 - 2009 (Acting)

Assistant Directors of Music[edit]

  • Richard Pinel 2009 -

Organ Scholars[edit]

  • Peter J Williams 1965-1966[2]*John Porter deceased 1965–1967 (later sub organist)
  • John Taylor 1965–1967 (then Assistant Organist of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh)
  • Terence Atkins 1967–1969 (now Organist and Choirmaster at St John the Baptist Parish Church, Chipping Barnet)
  • Jason Smart 1969–1972
  • Francis Grier 1972–1973 (afterwards organ scholar of King's College, Cambridge; later Organist and Master of the Choristers at Christ Church, Oxford)
  • Colin Walsh 1973–1974 (afterwards organ scholar of Christ Church, Oxford; now Organist Laureate Lincoln Cathedral)
  • Christopher Brayne 1974–1975 (later Organist and Master of the Choristers of Bristol Cathedral; now Director of Music at Christ Church, Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • Thomas Trotter 1975–1976 (afterwards organ scholar of King's College, Cambridge)
  • Adrian Partington 1977–1978 (afterwards organ scholar of King's College, Cambridge and now Director of Music Gloucester Cathedral)
  • Harry Bicket 1978–1980 (Director, The English Concert)
  • Wayne Marshall 1980–1983
  • Iain Simcock 1983–1984
  • Neil Kelly 1984–1986
  • Andrew Nethsingha 1986–1987 (then organ scholar of St John's College, Cambridge, now Director of Music at St John's College, Cambridge)
  • Roger Muttitt 1987–1988 (currently Director of Music at Durham School)
  • Philip Scriven 1988–1990 (then organ scholar of St John's College, Cambridge, now Lichfield Cathedral)
  • Mark Wardell 1990–1991 (later Assistant Organist of Chichester Cathedral)
  • Jonathan Lilley 1991–1992 (later Sub-Organist at Leeds Parish Church, currently Assistant Organist at Ely Cathedral)
  • Christopher Allsop 1992–1993 (afterwards Trinity College, Cambridge, assistant at St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham, currently Assistant Organist of Worcester Cathedral)
  • Matthew Raisbeck 1993–1994
  • Greg Morris 1994–1995 (now Associate Organist Temple Church, London)
  • Iain Farrington 1995–1996 (then organ scholar of St John's College, Cambridge)
  • Myles Hartley 1996–1997
  • Teilhard Scott 1997–1999
  • Jonathan Vaughn 1999–2000 (afterwards Organ Scholar at St John's College, Cambridge, now Assistant Organist Wells Cathedral)
  • Robert Kwan 2000–2001 (Assistant to the Organist-Choirmaster, Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Westport, CT; currently Director of Music, Trinity Episcopal Church, Southport, CT, USA)
  • Francesca Massey 2001–2002 (Acting Assistant Organist September–December 2001; then Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and Manchester Cathedral, currently Assistant Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral)
  • Tom Winpenny 2002–2003 (Acting Assistant Organist; then organ scholar of King's College, Cambridge; then Sub-Organist, St Paul's Cathedral; now Assistant Master of the Music, St Albans Cathedral)
  • Henry Parkes 2003–2004 (Acting Assistant Organist September–December 2003; then organ scholar of Christ Church, Oxford now Associate Director of Music All Saints, Margaret Street, London)
  • Ben Giddens 2004–2005 (then organ scholar Norwich Cathedral; subsequently Acting Assistant Organist at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle; now Assistant Organist Magdalen College, Oxford)
  • Peter Stevens 2005–2006 (Assistant Master of Music, Westminster Cathedral)
  • John Challenger 2006–2008 (then organ scholar of St John's College, Cambridge, now Assistant Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral)
  • Laurence Williams 2008–2009 (currently reading Music with a Choral Scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge)
  • Alexander Binns 2009–2010 (currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music, London)
  • Ben Bloor 2010–2011
  • Adam Mathias 2011-2012
  • Joseph Beech 2012-2013
  • Glen Dempsey 2013-2014
  • Alexander Hamilton

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Who's who in Music. Fourth Edition. 1962. p.205
  2. ^ (Graham Elliott was NOT an Organ Scholar but a private pupil of Dr Sidney Campbell. I went in 1964 as a private PA to Dr. Campbell and then became the first Organ Scholar, along with John Porter who stayed on when I went to be Assistant Organist at York Minster 1966. Many of these dates are wrong!)

External links[edit]