It is with great sadness that I have to advise you that Pat Hurford passed away peacefully on Wednesday 27th September after suffering a very debilitating stroke.  Pat’s funeral will be in the Lady Chapel on Monday 23rd October at 2.00pm – all are welcome.

Pat was an Honorary Life Member and a great supporter of the Ex-Choristers’ Association and she will be sorely missed.  Our prayers are with Peter, who continues to struggle with his health, Heather, Mike and Richard.

Malcolm Bury

It is with considerable sadness that I advise members that Bob Fitzsimmons died on Friday 21st July. Bob sang as a cathedral chorister from 1947 to 1952 and attended St Albans School on a Woollam Scholarship. Bob had two serious accidents in 2003 and 2012 and eventually had to give up singing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Gracie and the family.

His funeral is to be held in the Cathedral Lady Chapel on Monday 14 August at 10am, with a wake directly afterwards in the Deanery.

Dear members,

Michael Gough, who sang in the Cathedral Choir as a treble, alto and bass in the period 1968 to 1978 is visiting from Australia and will be attending the ECA Choral Eucharist and the post-service social event/AGM.

Michael would like to meet as many of his former friends and colleagues from his time in the choir so if you have not already done so, and would like to say ‘hello’ to Michael at the end of the service or at the social event in the Deanery then please let me know by e mail as soon as possible.

Thank you.

Malcolm Bury

Dear Members

A reminder that our ECA Choir, “ExQuire” is singing the Service of Choral Eucharist on Sunday 4th June.  There will be one rehearsal in the Song School on Friday 2nd at 7.30p.m.

The service will be followed by ‘drinks & nibbles’ in The Deanery, and then the Annual General Meeting where your new management committee will be elected.

These are important events and need your support – spouses, partners and family members are welcome. I am aware that some of our younger members / Abbey Singers may be in their exam period but a brief respite to sing may provide some light relief! J

At present we do have a quorum (ATB) for Choral Eucharist but more support is needed particularly tenors and basses.

The music is Sumsion’s Leicester Service and William Harris’ Behold now praise the Lord.

If you have not already signed up, please complete and return the attendance form below to the Chairman at by no later than Wednesday 31st May  (copy/paste into an email only please).


Thank you

Malcolm Bury




To: The Chairman

Member’s Name: ……………………………………………………………………………………..

Spouse/Partner/Guest’s Name (s): ……………………………………………………………..*

I / We shall / shall not be attending the Service of Choral Eucharist*

I should like to sing at the Service of Choral Eucharist; my voice part is Alto / Tenor / Bass *

I / We shall / shall not attend the post-Eucharist drinks and AGM*
*Delete as appropriate

The proposed visit to Luccombe, mentioned in Alban Notes, will now go ahead on the weekend of Friday 28th to Sunday 30th July.

Somerset is a popular part of the country and as we are trying to minimise costs, travel and accommodation arrangements will be the member’s own responsibility. We plan to camp in the “choir camp field” behind Luccombe Mill but there are plenty of local hotels and B&B accommodation in the vicinity but members wishing to participate are advised to make their reservations as soon as possible.

Former members of the Abbey Girls Choir who have not, hitherto, been associated with the village of Luccombe are invited to participate in the trip and will be very welcome as a “top line” at the service of Choral Evensong on the Sunday afternoon. Former Cathedral Musicians, Precentors and Honorary Members are also welcome. Tony de Rivaz will, once again, be Camp Master.

Family groups are also encouraged to participate either as campers in the field or in caravans/mobile homes at the nearby campsite in Horner. Having regard to Health and Safety and Child Protection legislation ECA Members who are under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent, or nominated adult guardian, and those members with children will be responsible for their welfare, safety and behaviour at all times. This is on the advice of The Dean and the Master of the Music as inevitably we will be associated with St Albans Cathedral.

The proposed programme for the weekend is likely to be as follows, however a final programme and list of participants will be issued nearer the time so members may wish to arrange to share transport:

Friday 28th July
Fish & Chip Supper at the Camp Site or if wet “Libations” at The Dunkery or The Ship at Porlock Weir!

Saturday 29th July
Walk to Dunkery Beacon or Selworthy from Luccombe (Chairman’s Lunch)
Walk to Horner Tea rooms
6.30 p.m. Choir Rehearsal (assuming there is a quorum of 6 ATB) – St Mary’s Church
Evening “get together” (BBQ or Camp Fire (TBC – depending on weather)

Sunday 30th July
3.00 p.m. Choral Evensong & Afternoon Tea

Costs: As members will make their own travel and accommodation there is no overall charge for the trip however there will be an opportunity for members and their guests to make a donation towards food and drinks.

If you wish to participate in the trip to Luccombe please reply by copying and completing the form below and emailing it to me. Please respond by no later than **Friday 12th May**.

With best wishes,

Malcolm Bury


REPLY FORM – please copy & paste into an email, edit for your responses, and send to by Friday 12th May.

Member’s Name: [                              ]

I/We wish to participate in the summer trip to Luccombe    [YES / NO]

I/We should like to camp in Luccombe, if possible.    [YES/NO]

I/We should like to sing at the Choral Services in St Mary’s Church.    [YES/NO]

My voice is: [Soprano / Alto / Tenor / Bass]

Names of Spouse/Partner/Guests/Children: _


In Aid of the Cathedral Choir tour to Spain in May

Saturday 18 March

Fleetville Junior School

6.30pm to 10.00pm

Tickets :
£10 per person

Tables of 8

BYO Spanish-themed picnic

not compulsory!

Licensed bar

Quiz-master:  Anil Virji


‘Best dressed Spanish themed table‘

Raffle – Heads & Tails Game


E-mail Elizabeth – – or Kristina –

or call Kristina on 07790 868 520  to reserve tables and places.

Alban Notes has been published. Download Alban Notes Issue 35 (Q2 2016)

The Reunion and Choral Eucharist is on Sunday 5th June. If you would like to take part but have not yet responded, would you please do so by return email to the Chairman (to with the following information.

I/We wish to attend the Service of Choral Eucharist and Reunion Drinks/Buffet Lunch [YES / NO]
I/We wish to sing with Exquire [YES / NO]
My voice is: [Soprano / Alto / Tenor / Bass]
I currently sing with: _____________________________________________
(e. g. Abbey Singers / St Peter’s / Mosaic / Lea Singers )
Name of Spouse/Partner/Guest(s): _____________________________________________

You can also order the Chairman’s book – “The Choirs and Musicians of St Albans Cathedral” – by completing the on-line order form or download and print for a hardcopy form.

Order on-line

Download Order Form

The Ex-Choristers Association will hold the biennial reunion on Sunday 5th June and Exquire (our ECA choir which includes our younger members in Abbey Singers) has been invited to sing the Service of Choral Eucharist. This is a great opportunity and a change from our usual format where we sing Choral Evensong alongside the Cathedral Choir, and I am delighted that David Ireson has agreed to conduct the choir and Andrew Parnell has agreed to play the organ for us. There is no attendance charge as the buffet lunch and drinks will be underwritten by the ECA but there will be an opportunity to contribute via a prominently placed receptacle.

The full programme for the day is likely to be as follows:

10.15 Rehearsal in the Song School
10.45 Rehearsal and seating in the Quire
11.15 Choral Eucharist – Music will be decided when numbers are known
12.45 Drinks & Buffet Lunch (with brief AGM)

There will be one rehearsal from 7.30 to 9.00pm in the Song School on Friday 3rd June.

As with all our events, success depends on the support and participation by you, the ECA members and for a Service of Choral Eucharist we will need at least 8-10 sopranos and a minimum of 4 altos, tenors and basses. I should be grateful if you would get in touch either via the Contact Us page or email me at to indicate your wish to participate by no later than Friday 29th April.

Thank you,

Malcolm Bury