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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

Summer Concerts

Saturday 24 June 2023, 1pm

St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, South Bank, York, YO23 1EY

Sunday 25 June 2023, 5:15pm

Durham Cathedral
The Chapter House Youth Choir, Director: Charlie Gower-Smith
The Durham Cathedral Young Singers Chamber and Training Choirs

The youth choirs from York and Durham combined to perform an exciting programme which included The Lost Words by James Burton.

The Lost Words takes its inspiration and text from the award-winning ‘cultural phenomenon’ and book of the same name by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris: a book that was, in turn, a creative response to the removal of everyday nature words like acorn, newt and otter from a new edition of a widely used children’s dictionary. Both the book and James Burton’s 32-minute work, which is written in 12 short movements for upper-voice choir in up to 3 voice parts (with either orchestral or piano accompaniment), celebrates each lost word with a beautiful poem or ‘spell’, magically brought to life in Burton’s music. At its heart, the work delivers a powerful message about the need to close the gap between childhood and the natural world. Burton’s piece was co-commissioned by the Hallé Concerts Society for the Hallé Children’s Choir and the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was first performed in 2019.

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.


You can read the Chapter House Youth Choir Safeguarding Policy here.

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