Southwell Minster Choir Association logoSouthwell Minster Choir Association

Registered Charity No. 1000584

Patron: The Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, The Rt Revd Paul Williams
President: The Dean of Southwell, The Very Revd Nicola Sullivan


Celebrating 35 years in 2024

Southwell Minster Choir Association (SMCA) was founded in July 1989, at the instigation of the then Rector Chori, Paul Hale, to support the life and work of the Cathedral Music Foundation, particularly the choristers.


To support the maintenance, development and promotion of the Music Foundation of Southwell Minster, especially the cathedral choristers – boys and girls, and to support the voluntary adult chamber choir Southwell Minster Chorale.

To foster public knowledge and appreciation of the lively tradition of cathedral music enriching the worshipping life at the Minster, especially in the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, and beyond.

Evensong at Southwell Minster

SMCA operates independently of, yet is closely linked with, the Music Foundation and the Cathedral Chapter whom it supports. SMCA values its links with the Minster School and the ‘Junior School within’ for the choristers.


Membership is open to all who value and wish to support the Music Foundation. Members pay a modest annual subscription (from £15 per year). Donations, sponsorship and legacies are also welcome: some are given for specific aspects of the support programme, such as chorister prizes, singing lessons and choir tours.

All members receive a termly Newsletter, which includes articles, choir news and the provisional Music List. News Extras are published occasionally for special events, at which Members have the opportunity to meet together, and also at the Annual General Meeting.


It is increasingly difficult for cathedrals to maintain this living tradition, a unique part of England’s heritage, and Southwell is no exception. In accordance with the purposes of SMCA a regular programme of fundraising events and enrichment activities has been developed.

Concert performance

Fundraising includes:

  • annual Music Foundation Summer Concert showcasing the Choir
  • annual performance of Messiah (priority booking for SMCA members)
  • ‘Music in the State Chamber’ recital series
  • annual Come and Sing
  • pre/post tour concerts
  • Minster concert refreshments scheme
  • SMCA Christmas card
  • social events – all of which are for public benefit.

Southwell Minster Choir Association's annual performance of The Messiah

All upcoming SMCA events can be viewed on the Minster’s Events page.

Enrichment Activities

There is an established programme of social and leisure activities for the choristers, educational outings and cultural visits, and Cathedral Choir tours. Choir prizes and book tokens are presented every year, often funded by members’ grants.


SMCA operates a Discretionary Travel Scheme for choristers and supports their singing lessons. A key activity is the granting of funds towards Choir tours abroad and paying transport costs for the Four Choirs Evensongs and Diocesan recitals. SMCA has provided funds to support Cathedral Choir CDs as well as funding commissions, most recently an anthem by Roxanna Panufnik set to the poem ‘Heaven’ by George Herbert.

A significant grant was made towards equipping the Lady Warner Organ Scholar’s Apartment in the Archbishop’s Palace, and more recently grants were made towards new choir robes and music folders. SMCA also regularly funds the updating of the Honours boards in the Palace.

Joining SMCA

Your support would be most welcome. Membership forms can be found in the leaflet racks in the Minster, or you can downloaded a membershiop form here.

Any queries to the Secretary: 

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