St Peter’s School, York, has joined 35 choir schools across the country as a member of the Choir Schools Association, in recognition of its new role as the Choir School for York Minster.
Following the sad closure of The Minster School earlier this year, St Peter’s School has taken on the responsibility of educating York Minster’s girl and boy choristers to ensure the continuance of a centuries-old choral tradition.
There are 40 choristers at York Minster who collectively sing at eight services each week as part of the world-class York Minster Choir. The choristers, who all live locally, are now educated at St Peter’s School, which is only a short walk away from the Minster.
The shared heritage between St Peter’s School and York Minster can be traced back to the year 627 AD, when the School and the Minster were founded in the same year and on the same site by St Paulinus of York. Today, St Peter’s School is the second oldest choir school in England and the fourth oldest school in the world.
Jeremy Walker, Head Master of St Peter’s School, said: “St Peter’s and York Minster have a shared foundation dating back to 627AD and this new venture represents something of a homecoming as we approach our 1,400th anniversary in 2027.
“We were greatly saddened by the closure of The Minster School earlier this year, but it has been a privilege to welcome choristers and their families to St Peter’s. They have quickly become part of the St Peter’s community and have joined a school which nurtures and celebrates excellence, whether that be in music, academics, sports or all the opportunities we share with our pupils. They and future generations of choristers will be a great addition to the life of St Peter’s.”
Robert Sharpe, Director of Music at York Minster, said: “The very sad decision to close The Minster School in the summer is set alongside an excellent opportunity for our choristers to continue to be educated together a short distance away, and for the Minster’s mission and choral tradition to continue to flourish for years to come.”