We are accepting applications for boarding and day places for Autumn 2020 entry. 

If you would like to find out more, including information about the Aided Places Scheme, please email admissions@st-marys-music-school.co.uk




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Choir School

St Mary's Music School was founded in 1880 to educate the choristers of the Choir of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral. At the time only boys were allowed, but in 1978 St Mary's Cathedral became the first cathedral in the UK to encourage girls to apply and sing with the boys as trebles. Today we continue that tradition and every year our young girl and boy choristers split their time between the Cathedral where they perfect their singing under the direction of Duncan Ferguson, Cathedral Master of the Music and the school, where they pursue their academic education and also study a musical instrument. 

Being a Chorister 

The heart of a chorister's work lies in singing for the daily services at the Cathedral and for the services on Sundays. St Mary's Cathedral is unique in Scotland in maintaining a daily choral tradition and singing over 250 services every year. The award-winning Cathedral Choir sings services at Christmas & Easter and a particular feature of the Choir is its strong presence in the Edinburgh International Festival.

“A haven of calm in Edinburgh in August, St Mary’s Cathedral in Palmerston Place is also a repository of soothing music. There are free lunchtime chamber concerts each day, but the real glory is the Choral Evensong sung by the Cathedral Choir most evenings at 5.30pm.

Richard Morrison, The Times


Although the commitment is demanding and exacting, the high standard of musical performance on a daily basis brings a great deal of satisfaction.  It develops a team spirit and qualities of leadership. Singing at an occasion such as the Christmas Carol service, or a live radio broadcast, or working and meeting with world-renowned composers is an unforgettable experience for a chorister and provides the foundation for a lifetime’s enjoyment of all music. 

Alexander Armstrong - Choir School

As a chorister at St Mary's I learnt everything I have needed in my life” .

Read more about Alexander Armstrong’s time at St Mary’s Music School


Choristers follow a full and rewarding five-year programme, from the ages of nine to 13. The concentration power which a chorister builds up over  these five years provides excellent training for any profession he or she may take up later in life. See ‘Moving On’. No other opportunity exists at a later stage in life for such musical training.


Choir School in Edinburgh



Instrumental Learning

Choir School

Saturday Music Classes


St Mary’s Music School is one of the nine specialist Music and Dance Schools the UK (and the only one in Scotland)  funded by the UK Government and providing the finest training in Britain. It is a co-educational, non-denominational specialist music school, offering a world class standard of music and academic education to musically gifted children aged 9-19 years. It is also the Choir School of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. It attracts day and boarding pupils from across Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe and internationally. 

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St Mary's Music School Trust Ltd, Registered No: 54504
St Mary's Music School Trust Limited is a charity No. SC014611
Registered Office: Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5EL.