Music plays an integral part in the worship of St Paul’s Cathedral. Since 1888, the Cathedral’s Choir of Boys and Men has been an important part of the musical life of our city. Since 2016, a new Choir of Girls, Women and Men shares in the musical leadership of our Cathedral. Three organists contribute to our rich musical tradition. 

The Cathedral’s musical life is coordinated by our Director of Music. A designated Music Foundation was established in 1993 to encourage philanthropic donors to ensure that the musical life of the Cathedral is resourced.


 

Lunchtime Concert Series

A series of lunchtime concerts was launched in April 2013 to encourage city workers and others to come into and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Cathedral during the day.  These half hour recitals at 1pm on Wednesdays provide fine music and space for contemplation in the midst of a busy week. Admission is by donation.

Upcoming concerts

1 March 1.30pm  (Please note the later start time)
Janet Perkins Memorial Concert: Barry Fry, bass- baritone, and Kieran Crichton, associate artist (piano and organ).
Works by Mendelssohn, Parry, Vaughan Williams, Ivor Novello, Schumann, Fauré and Handel

8 March                      Elissa Goodrich, tuned percussion

15 March                    Music for St Patrick: Jacqui Rutten, composing singer and Livia Judge,  flute

22 March                    No concert

29 March                    Organ recital by Roslyn Carolane, Cathedral Assistant Organist

No concerts in April. Next concert series will commence in May 2017. 

Whilst St Paul’s Cathedral is able to provide a venue, concert management, administrative support and advertising for our series of lunchtime concerts, we are not in a position to provide fees for artists – your donations provide these small gifts.  If we cannot provide artists with at least a token of our appreciation, we will not be able to attract artists to perform for us.  Rather than charge set prices for admission, we have decided to admit people by donation, so that those who could not otherwise afford to come are able to do so.  We suggest a minimum donation of $5 per person and thank you for your generosity in helping to keep our lunchtime recitals running.

If you are a skilled musician, either Melbourne-based or visiting, you are welcome to apply to perform a lunchtime concert, by contacting the director of music, Philip Nicholls. As much notice as possible is beneficial, as the program is often filled three months in advance. We do not have an audience ‘on-tap’, and we are reliant upon performers to help build an audience, so audiences can range greatly in size depending on many factors, including the weather.

The T C Lewis Organ

St Paul’s Cathedral is fortunate to have a very fine pipe organ which accompanies the choir at choral services. The organ was built by T C Lewis and Co of Brixton, England, and over six and half thousand pounds were spent on its construction, shipping and installation before it was played at the Cathedral’s opening in 1891.

The Music Foundation

Since 1993, St Paul’s Cathedral Music Foundation has financially supported the musical life of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne. In 2016, the Cathedral Music Foundation has made generous grants totalling $162,000 to support the Cathedral’s rich musical life.

This significant sum is made available in the form of scholarships that directly benefit the Cathedral’s musicians:  organists,  Lay Clerks (men’s and women’s voices) and, most importantly, the musical formation and education of our boy and girl choristers. In order to sustain such a significant level of financial commitment, the Foundation fully relies on the support of generous donors.

Cathedral Bells

The bells arrived in late August 1889, and were installed for the dedication service Friday, November 15 at 11am. and used to farewell the then Governor of Victoria Sir Henry Loch on that same day. The bells have been used since this time to ring for church services and civic occasions.