Message from George Corbett (1991-95)

I have just published an edited volume

‘Annunciations: Sacred Music for the Twenty-First Century’

which might be of interest to ex-choristers of St Albans, and which is dedicated to the Cathedral Choir of St Albans Abbey.

The book can be freely downloaded as a PDF online, and is also available as a paperback or hardback copy, at the following website, which also gives some more information about the volume.

I am also directing a new MLitt in Sacred Music at the University of St Andrews, a collaboration between the School of Divinity and the Music Centre, which will open for applications in September this year (with the first cohort of students beginning in September 2020).

With best wishes,

George Corbett

ECA AGM 15 June

Saturday 15th June 2019, 1.30pm

Our AGM will now coincide with the memorial service for Peter Hurford. The meeting itself will be held at 1.30pm (prompt) in the Chapter Room of the Deanery.

The building works for the new visitors centre will be nearing completion although there is unlikely to be any parking available within the environs of the Cathedral or Deanery.


Peter Hurford OBE MA(Cantab) DMus. FRCO (1930-2019)

Dr Peter Hurford OBE
Dr Peter Hurford OBE

It is with great sadness I share with you all the news that our President and friend, Peter Hurford, passed away last night.

Peter had been quite unwell over recent years with dementia, but was very well cared for by family and staff at a local nursing home.

I have been in touch with his daughter, Heather, expressing our condolences to her and her brothers, Mike and Richard.  I know you will join me in thinking of, and praying for them at this difficult time.

Peter was Master of the Music at the Cathedral from 1958 until he retired in 1978 to pursue a distinguished international career as a recitalist and recording artist in his own right. He started the infamous Choir Camp in Luccombe, Somerset, in 1958 where the 60th anniversary was celebrated last summer.  In 1963 he founded the International Organ Festival and has been its President since he retired.   In 1984 Peter was honoured with the O.B.E.  He became our President in 2007 and has been very supportive of the ECA and events since.

Many of our younger members, who perhaps never had the opportunity to meet him, will have enjoyed on many occasions singing Peter’s music and taking part in the Three Choirs Concert at the start of each International Organ Festival.

I am advised there will be a private family funeral, with a memorial service of thanksgiving at a later date.  Once details are known I shall share them with you.

Should members wish to have written tributes passed to his family please inform Simon Trott by e-mail to

Richard Lilley


St Albans Cathedral to Westminster Abbey Sponsored Bike Ride

jointly in aid of St Albans Cathedral Music Trust and the Diamond Fund for Choristers

Saturday 18 May 2019

Do you cycle?
The Friends of Cathedral Music Diamond Fund for Choristers are organising a sponsored bike ride from St Albans Cathedral to Westminster Abbey on Saturday 18th May. Roxanna Panufnik, FCM Patron, led the first Diamond Cycle in 2016 from St George’s Chapel, Windsor, and we are delighted to have been invited to benefit this year. Those riding will be asked to seek sponsorship from friends and family, with the event raising funds for both music in St Albans Cathedral and the Diamond Fund for Choristers, who support choristers nationwide.

It is a ride, not a race! There will be two groups – the faster ‘Zippers’ and the slower ‘Pootlers’ – leaving Sumpter Yard at midday and arriving in the Dean’s Yard at Westminster Abbey somewhere between 3pm and 4pm to a welcome party hosted by the Abbey. The route is approximately 30 miles.

Please join us if you can – not only is it a wonderful cause, but it will be huge fun and fantastic for your fitness! We encourage our Chorister parents, Lay Clerks, ex-Choristers and members of our wider Cathedral community to sign up – some of our Music Trustees have already committed. If you would like to take part, but not on a bike, help with the welcome party would be appreciated too.

Key details:

  • Saturday 18 May 2019, starting at 12 noon from Sumpter Yard, St Albans Cathedral
  • Joining fee of £25-£30 per cyclist (tbc, depending on the insurance premium)
  • Fee includes your own ‘Cycling for Choristers’ tabard
  • Fundraising will be done through a JustGiving page, for which you will be sent the link
  • Cyclists must be 14 years or over
  • There will be opportunities to break the journey for a drink/snack/comfort break
  • Each rider is responsible for their own bike – please note that if something goes wrong and a ride cannot continue, you need someone on standby who can come and collect you
  • Westminster Abbey is a short ride from Blackfriars station, for a train home to St Albans
  • Full details and route will be sent to you once finalised.
  • For information about FCM see –

Please join us and help support choral music at our Cathedral.

To register your interest, or for any questions, please contact Shirley by 28th February.

Shirley Anderson | St Albans Cathedral Music Trust
01727 890231 |

Concert – Sat 03 Nov

To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, former ECA chairman Malcolm Bury has organised a concert at St Saviour’s Church, St Albans, on Saturday, 3rd November at 3pm.

It will be performed by Cathedral Consort conducted by Life Member David Ireson. Among the soloists are ECA members Rogers Covey-Crump and Emily Price.  The programme includes music by Elgar, Parry, Stanford, Holst, Britten, Faure and MacMillan.

It will be a truly memorable occasion so please support it if you can.

Many thanks.

Cathedral Consort - 03-Nov-18