Saint Mary’s Cathedral Choir, Sydney: Choristers and Lay Clerks

Saint Mary’s Cathedral Choir is a professional choir of boys and men based at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. With a history dating from 1818, the Choir specialises in singing plainchant, Renaissance polyphony by composers such as Palestrina and Victoria, and sacred music by contemporary composers.

The Choir provides music at Vespers and Mass in the Cathedral every day except Fridays during term-time, making it one of only two cathedral choirs in the world to continue such a rhythm of worship. When its busy liturgical schedule permits, Saint Mary’s Cathedral Choir continues to reach new audiences through recordings, broadcasts, concerts, and tours.


The boys who sing in the upper parts of the Choir are known as the Choristers, and are aged 8–13. St Mary’s is the only Roman Catholic cathedral in Australia with an on-site Choir School where the twenty-four boy Choristers are educated. Membership in the Choir offers boys a disciplined musical education which is unparalleled in Australia. The Choristers have appeared in concerts with the Brandenburg Orchestra and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

In addition to rehearsal and Mass on Sunday mornings, the Choristers rehearse four mornings a week before school, and sing at a rehearsal and Mass on two weekday evenings. Choristers receive individual singing tuition, and continue study of another musical instrument.

The Lay Clerks are the gentlemen of the Cathedral Choir who sing the alto, tenor, and bass parts. The Lay Clerks are all professional singers, some of whom have previously sung with the choirs of King’s College, Cambridge; Westminster Cathedral; Durham Cathedral; Lincoln Cathedral; The Sixteen; and Collegium Vocale, Ghent. Some are current members of The Song Company and Opera Australia Chorus. In addition to their work with the full Choir, the Lay Clerks sing for some occasions as an independent ensemble. 

Choristers of Saint Mary’s Cathedral Choir prepare to put on their robes

Director of Music

Thomas Wilson has directed Saint Mary’s Cathedral Choir since 2010. Read more about him here.


The schoolboys who sing the upper parts of Saint Mary’s Cathedral Choir. They have a busy but rewarding lifestyle: read more about the Choristers.

Cathedral Scholars

An ensemble of former Choristers whose voices have changed which sings regularly in the Cathedral. Read more about the Cathedral Scholars.