Belhaven Hill School

Co-ed Boarding & Day School for ages 5-13

Music Tour to Aberdeen

Music Tour to Aberdeen

Belhaven Hill Choristers Three Cathedral Tour to Aberdeen

It is unusual for any city to have three cathedrals. No city in England has three, in fact it is unusual for any two have two. However, owing to the reformation in Scotland, the Episcopal Church replaced the Church of Scotland and built their own Cathedrals, which left the ancient buildings of the Church of Scotland to become Parish Churches, but retaining their cathedral name. These two buildings, together with the Catholic Cathedrals, mean Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen have three Cathedrals.

And so it was that our wonderful group of Choristers spent the weekend in January on a tour to Aberdeen to perform in all three of them.

At 7.30am on Saturday 21st, the Choristers, accompanied by Mr. Ellison, Amelia and Mr. Langton, boarded the bus for Aberdeen. Driver Jason got us to St. Mary’s Cathedral bang on time and, following a Mass so there was a good sized audience, the Choristers sang amazingly considering they had literally stepped off the coach, had no rehearsal at all, and delivered their 30 minute programme of music.

Within the Choristers are 12 members of our Pipe Band, and so these Choristers got together to perform as a smaller Pipe Band. This astonished some listeners that our pupils were quite so musical.

Belhaven Choristers group photo outside St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen on their three cathedral tour to Aberdeen in January 2023

An afternoon concert in St. Machar’s drew a much more substantial audience in the beautifully restored Cathedral. The Choristers performed a great variety of choral and secular music and loved the extraordinary acoustic.

Belhaven Choristers group photo inside St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen on their three cathedral tour to Aberdeen in January 2023

After some very competitive bowling between the four teams that were set up for the weekend, we went on to St. Andrew’s Cathedral, where we were invited to a Burns Supper. What an amazing occasion it was – a wonderfully warm atmosphere in a less than warm building, a delicious supper, games, piping and reeling.  



When the Choristers returned to lead the service the next day, it was about more than just another performance – this meant something to them – they wanted to perform well for the people that had looked after them so well. They returned the compliment in style with some wonderful singing.  


The service was to be broadcast live on the internet and so it was important the Choristers sang perfectly... which they duly did. Here is a recording of the anthem at the service, together with the processional hymn so you can see the boys and girls. We have truly made friends at this cathedral such was their incredible hospitality. Click here for the recording of the live broadcast. The service starts 59 minutes into the recording.

After an enormous lunch, we got back on the bus and returned to Belhaven, tired but delighted with a memorable weekend in a beautiful part of the country.

"It was a wonderful experience singing for so many people in Aberdeen and especially the Sunday morning service. Everyone was so lovely to us. I feel proud of myself."

Head Chorister, Laurie