Cathedral Choir

Rehearsals, Wednesdays 7.15pm | Music for the 5.30pm Saturday Vigil Mass

Established in 1866, our choir has contributed to the music in St Peter’s for generations. Today, the men and women of our choir sing for our Masses and help to make our liturgies beautiful. If you would like to join the choir, simply get in touch.

Schola Cantorum

Rehearsals, twice a week after school | Music for the 11.00am Sunday Mass

Our Schola has toured London, Paris and Rome, as well as appearing on television and radio. The Schola is for boys aged 8 - 19 with a Training Choir which prepares younger boys.

If you have a son or grandson who would like to join the Schola, just get in touch.

Meet our Director of Music

James McConnell was educated at Rathmore Grammar School and later studied Music at Queen's University,Belfast. 

James is a former pupil of Mr Raymond Lennon who was Organist and Choirmaster of St Peter's from 1969–2000.  

James has been associated with St Peter's since 2014 as Organist of the Cathedral Choir. From 2012, he acted as sub-organist at Clonard Monastery and was later appointed Resident Organist from 2016–2020. 

In February 2020 James was appointed the Director of Music at St Peter’s Cathedral. 

In addition to his work at St Peter's, James teaches piano and organ across a number of schools in Belfast.

The Organ

Our organ has been restored and rebuilt many times and it remains a tangible connection to our cathedral’s history.

In 1882, John White built the original organ and it was of four manuals contained within a single pitched-pine varnished case. The organ was then placed in the centre of the cathedral gallery and this instrument was one of John White’s finest and believed to be his largest.

Meet our Director of Music

In 1919, the organ was rebuilt by the local firm Evans & Barr and the pipework was divided between the North and South sides of the gallery, in an arrangement which was designed to free the West window. During the 1950s, the organ was subject to an ill-fated rebuild and was left unplayable for many years.

In 1966 the Dutch firm, B. Pels & Son rebuilt the organ in line with post-war trends and it was remodelled with a ‘Neo-Baroque’ tonal design.

From 2004 ‒ 2005 the organ was rebuilt by Kenneth Jones and Associates. It contains much of the original pipework, now remodelled and revoiced, augmented by a similar number of additional restored and new pipes.