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Our choirs

Winchester College Chapel Choir

In 1382, William of Wykeham, Chancellor of England and Bishop of Winchester, founded Winchester College alongside his other establishment at New College, Oxford. The original foundation included 70 scholars and 16 boys called Quiristers whose duty was to sing in the Chapel. There are still 16 Quiristers today, upholding an unbroken tradition of over 600 years. They have been educated at The Pilgrims' School since 1966.

The Quiristers are led by Howard Ionascu, former Director of the Junior Royal Academy of Music. They are joined by senior College boys and members of staff to form the Winchester College Chapel Choir, and follow a routine of daily practices and choral services in the College Chapel during term time.The Quiristers themselves are well known as a boys’ concert choir. They perform a wide repertoire of secular music, usually from memory. They perform regularly in the UK and have a busy schedule, alongside their weekly services singing in Chapel.Recent projects have included:

  • recording for BBC Radio 3
  • concerts in Birmingham Symphony Hall 
  • recording at Abbey Road Studios
  • performing with the English Chamber Orchestra
  • recording a CD with the London Mozart Players 
  • performing the children’s chorus in Carmina Burana at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Performance projects on the horizon include:

  • Further engagements with Raymond Gubbay productions
  • Sung Services at Westminster Abbey
  • Joint Evensongs with Eton College Chapel Choir and Royal Holloway Choir

These types of projects give their work an enviable variety and marks the Quiristers out from other groups of choristers. 


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The Chapel Choir is widely renowned for its excellence, and is often invited to take part in recitals, recordings, broadcasts and tours, in the UK and abroad.

What have the Quiristers been up to?

We regularly post stories about the Quiristers on our social channels, so please follow us. You can also visit our Latest News.  

Our Location

We are blessed with a truly idyllic location. Just an hour south of London by direct train, with easy access to all the major travel hubs, and yet we are surrounded by the stunning countryside of the South Downs National Park. The school is tucked away between Winchester Cathedral and Winchester College, within the secure and secluded Cathedral Close. Moments from our front door is the heart of the historic city of Winchester, or step through our back gate to find water meadows, countryside, and the South Downs Way.