Music at the Cathedral

The Music Department at the Metropolitan Cathedral exists to support the Cathedral’s mission and worship through the ongoing provision of a musical dimension to its rhythm of prayer and witness.

Choral Music

The Metropolitan Cathedral has been a leader in choral music in Wellington for over 130 years. There has been a mix of single sex and mixed junior, youth and adult choirs performing music to a high standard, enhancing the spiritual aspect of worship, and engaging the community in secular performances. Today it is one of only two Cathedrals in New Zealand that is directly associated with a school.

Currently there are choirs that function under the title of the Cathedral Choir, the adult choir and the Boys’ Choir. The Boys’ Choir is made up of up to 20 boys from around the Wellington region.

Over their time in the choir, boys learn sound vocal technique, music theory, life-skills, teamwork, as well as grow in confidence and discipline. Teachers and parents see the boys’ language skills, reading comprehension skills, maths skills and confidence improve greatly by being a part of the choir. The life of chorister provides the ability to develop spiritual, as well as musical, intellectual and personal gifts.

The boys attend an afternoon rehearsal each Thursday from 4:00-5:30pm during term time and sing at Choral Mass at 10:30am every second Sunday of the month during term time as well as at other concerts and services.

The Adult Choir  is made up of a dedicated group of singers consisting of university aged singers through to young professionals.  The choir comprises of a core group of 10 singers who sing at the Sunday 10:30am Mass each week.

The choirs perform a varying repertoire of music from plainsong to Byrd, Palestrina, Tallis through to Macmillan, Gjeilo and Whitacre and there is no requisite religious affiliation required. The choirs are made up of many different religions and agnostics.

If you are interested in more information about either choir, or in joining please contact Michael Fletcher, Director of Music.

Choral Scholarships
Each year the Metropolitan Cathedral has  scholarships available for students studying at a tertiary and secondary level. While the majority of our tertiary applicants come from the New Zealand School of Music there is no prerequisite to study music.

If you are interested in more information about the choral scholarships, please contact Michael Fletcher, Director of Music.

Cathedral Orchestra
The Cathedral Orchestra is managed by Sharon Callaghan and is made up of players from all around Wellington, including members of the NZSO, Wellington Orchestra and NZ School of Music. The Orchestra plays for several Masses throughout the year including Easter and Christmas.

If you are interested in more information about the orchestra, or in joining please contact Michael Fletcher, Director of Music.

Music Groups
There are two music groups made up of volunteers who give their time each week to enhance the liturgies at the Saturday 5:30pm Vigil Mass and the Sunday 7:00pm Mass.

If you are interested in joining either of these groups as a singer or instrumentalist please contact Michael Fletcher, Director of Music.

The Grand Organ
The Cathedral Grand Organ was designed and built by Arthur Hobday in 1905. With the console situated in the whispering gallery, the organ has three manuals and 54 speaking stops. The action is electro-pneumatic apart from the electro mechanical swell box links. While built in 1905 it has been revised and enlarged over the years to accomodate the changing needs of the cathedral.

For a full list of the organ specifications  please click Organ Specifications.