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 (unless otherwise indicated) provide fine music and space for contemplation in the midst of a busy week. Admission is by donation.

Upcoming Concerts

*NB 1.15pm start* 12 September: Paul Glass, piano recital
Featuring Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C minor Op 111

26 September: Callum Close, organ recital
Featuring works by Bridge, Saint-Saens, David German and Franck’s mighty third chorale.

3 October: Arwen Hur, organ recital
Featuring Faure’s Pelleas et Melisande Suite transcribed for organ by L Robilliard.

31 October: TBC

7 November: Emily Holland, Soprano

14 November: Arwen Hur, organ recital
Featuring French Christmas music including Messiaen’s Dieu parmi nous and other movements from La Nativite.

21 November: Josh Hooke, piano recital

28 November: Elissa Goodrich, vibraphone

5 December: Westgarth Ensemble
“All the Ladies” – a Baroque concert featuring three sopranos and a cellist.

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 supported the musical life of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne. In 2017, the Music Foundation made generous grants of $200,000 to support the Cathedral’s rich musical life. In 2018 we are hoping to increase that figure.

Grants fund 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.

Donations to the Music Foundation are tax deductible, and a donation form can be downloaded here.

In 2018, the Music Foundation invited singer and composer Dr Deborah Cheetham AO to become the Patron of the Girls’ Voices, setting an excellent example of professional musicianship for the girls. You can read more about Deborah and her appointment here.

The Music Foundation Newsletter

Keep in touch with our Music Foundation, which enables our rich musical life. Past Music Foundation newsletters can be read below:

Music Foundation News December 2018

Music Foundation News June 2018

Music Foundation News December 2017

Music Foundation News June 2017

Music Foundation News December 2016


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.