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The Choir Of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

The Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, is one of Britain's oldest musical ensembles, dating back to the middle of the 14th century. The choir provides music not only for daily religious services at the chapel but also for events in the life of Britain's royal family, including the wedding in 2018 of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The Choir of St. George's Chapel was established in 1348 when King Edward III established two new colleges (schools in U.S. terms) at Windsor Castle: St. Stephen's at Westminster and St. George's at Windsor. Records for the latter are unusually complete, listing organists/masters of the choristers as far back as Walter Whitby, who assumed the post in 1406. The director of music as of the late 2010s is James Vivian. Except for the Commonwealth (1649-1660), the choir has an uninterrupted record of singing at daily services at the chapel. Its alumni include Arthur Sullivan as well as various contemporary composers and singers, including countertenors Robin Blaze and Michael Chance. As of the late 2010s, The Choir of St. George's Chapel includes up to 23 boy choristers and 12 Lay Clerks; the latter are professional singers in the community. The boy choristers attend St. George's School, located on the Windsor Castle grounds, and the Lay Clerks are also in residence at the castle. The choir sings daily services, including the Opus Dei (prayers in the Liturgy of the Hours). These are often attended by the Queen and other members of the royal family, and the choir has sung not only at the Prince Harry-Meghan Markle wedding but at various other royal weddings and at the annual service for the Order of the Garter. The choir has toured the U.S. (twice), Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Its discography is quite large and includes recordings on the Hyperion, Priory, and Naxos labels, among others, covering a wide variety of repertory. In 2019, with Vivian conducting and Luke Bond on organ, the choir released the album Christmas at St. George's, Windsor, on Hyperion.
© James Manheim /TiVo


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