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Chapter House Youth Choir

Chapter House Youth Choir

The Chapter House Youth Choir was established in 2016 and has since performed in some amazing events, including sharing a platform with the King’s Singers, rehearsing with legendary composer John Rutter, and singing live for the BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service. The choir regularly works with some of the UK’s finest artistic talent, including the Gesualdo Six, the Gabrieli Consort and English Touring Opera. 

The Youth Choir offers young singers aged 13-19 a place to sing choral music to the very highest standard. The choir is a fun and dedicated group of musicians from a wide range of backgrounds who love to sing. Rehearsals are in central York on Tuesdays during term time, 5.30-7:00 pm.

Join Us

The Chapter House Youth Choir is always on the look-out for new members.  With live broadcasts on BBC Radio plus performance opportunities in amazing venues like York Minster, the choir gives singers exceptional musical experiences. 

In-person auditions are available throughout the year. You’ll be asked to sing a song of your choice, do a little bit of sight reading, and some aural tests. Please get in touch using the button below or email for more information.

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Concerts and Events

Lunchtime concert

Saturday 1 April 2023, 1:30 pm

St Olave’s Church, Marygate, York
The Chapter House Youth Choir, Director: Charlie Gower-Smith

The programme will include:

  • Arvo Pärt – Bogoroditse Djevo
  • John Tavener – Mother of God, Here I Stand
  • James MacMillan – In Splendoribus Sanctorum
  • Libby Larsen – If I can stop one heart from breaking
  • Sarah Quartel – There alway something sings

Entry: Free with retiring collection in aid of the choir, no need to book

CHYC April 2023 poster

Lunchtime concert

Saturday 29 April 2023, 1 pm

York Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate
The Chapter House Youth Choir, Director: Charlie Gower-Smith

The programme will include some of the items performed on 1st April. This lunchtime concert is organised by York Music Education Hub, as part of the Late Music Concert Series

Chapter House Youth Choir, December 2022

The Chapter House Youth Choir in December 2022 (photo: Duncan Lomax)

Last term CHYC co-created a new song with composer Michael Betteridge and poet and writer SAF. Michael is one of eight composers selected for the 2023 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Composers Programme. The results were screened as part of the COVID Watch Party on 28th January 2023. You can now enjoy the song on YouTube here!

In December 2022 the young singers took part in In Dulci Jubilo: Praetorius and Schütz with Gabrieli Roar and sang to a sell-out York Minster Nave in Carols by Candlelight concert with the Chapter House Choir.

About the Chapter House Youth Choir

Musical Director Charlie Gower-Smith

Charlie Gower-Smith is a conductor and singer based in North Yorkshire. He is Musical Director of Jervaulx Singers and the Chapter House Youth Choir, and is co-director of the Voices of The River’s Edge Choir at Sage Gateshead.

Charlie Gower Smith

Widely in demand as a choral director, Charlie is known for his energetic and encouraging style. Recent highlights include Jervaulx Singers’ collaboration with cellist Jamie Walton, and the Chapter House Youth Choir’s recent ROAR concert with The Gabrieli Consort. Former roles include director of Leeds Chamber Choir, with whom he gave regular broadcasts of BBC Radio 4LW’s Daily Service, and assistant director of the Hallé Youth Choir and Hallé Community Choir. He has worked with South Bank Singers, Leeds Philharmonic Chorus, and Yorkshire Voices with whom he directed a Good Friday performance of Bach’s St John Passion at Ripon Cathedral. He is also a former director of the Thirsk Sinfonia Orchestra.

When not making music, Charlie can be found cooking with his daughters or avidly cleaning his car.

Past Events

BBC Radio 4 Daily Service, June 2018

Youth Choir members at the live performance of the BBC Radio 4 Daily Service, June 2018

Virtual Choir Performance with the Gesualdo Six

In 2021, the Chapter House Youth Choir worked on Britten’s Hymn to the Virgin with the outstanding Gesualdo Six to produce this stunning virtual choir performance with both groups!

Listen to our Virtual Christmas Carols

Press and Praise

From Steve Crowther’s review of Carols by Candlelight in December 2022:

… Darius Battiwalla’s Suo Gan was simply lovely…
The Youth Choir’s performance of John Joubert’s ever-infectious Torches was very well judged, even understated, to suit the Minster acoustic and enhance both clarity and enjoyment.

From the York Press review of the Christmas Mirabile Mysterium concert in December 2018:

… Singing from memory, these accomplished teenagers showed sure-footed composure in the awkward rhythms of Barnum’s Sweeter Still and Snyder’s medley Fum Fum Fantasy.

Read the York Press article about the launch of the Chapter House Youth Choir and first performance with the Kings Singers in November 2016.

From the York Press review of the concert with the Kings Singers:

The Youth Choir – 16 teenagers – is shaping up nicely under Charlie Gower-Smith. Its tuning was impeccable and phrasing sensitive, with special rhythmic vigour in a Finzi setting of Bridges.

King's Singers Article, November 2016