Media Elements

The Schola Cantorum

PATRONS: David Hill, Sir James MacMillan CBE, James O'Donnell

THE SCHOLA CANTORUM is the liturgical choir of The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, one of the country’s foremost Catholic Secondary schools, widely known for its academic excellence and strong Catholic ethos.

Founded in 1980 by then Vaughan Headmaster Anthony Pellegrini, the Schola's principal duty is to serve the liturgy of the school and it sings each week at the school Mass.

The Schola also has frequent external engagements and is often to be heard at the UK's concert halls and churches. Locations where the choir has sung recently include Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, York Minster, King's College and St John's College, Cambridge, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Snape Maltings, St John’s, Smith Square, Cadogan Hall, The Royal Festival Hall and The Royal Albert Hall.

The Schola has made a number of recordings including the Fauré Requiem with the Belgravia Chamber Orchestra, In Honour of Our Lady, a recording of music devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sing in Exultation, a collection of Christmas music and also a CD of Mendelssohn’s Lauda Sion alongside works by Dupré, Dvorak and Langlais. The choir has also featured in numerous Radio and TV broadcasts.

The choir regularly commissions new music. Composers who have written works for the Schola include Sir James MacMillan, Ben Parry, Mychael Danna, Matthew Martin and Colin Mawby.  

Annual tours take place, with destinations including Cape Town and Soweto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Venice, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Krakow, Assisi and Barcelona.   

The Schola's trebles frequently sing in professional contexts and have worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, St James' Baroque, HIs Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts, Britten Sinfonia, The Bach Choir and The Choir of London. Boys sing with the Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and have appeared in many productions including Gloriana, Krol Roger, Suor Angelica, Tannhäuser, Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Tosca, La bohemé, Billy Budd, the world premiere of Lorin Maazel's opera 1984 and Turandot. Boys also sing with English National Opera, most recently appearing in their productions of Toscsa, Billy Budd, Carmen and La bohemé. Boys have also performed with local opera company Opera Holland Park (La bohemé, Tosca, Carmen). Conductors the choir has worked with recently include Sir Antonio Pappano, Edward Gardner, David Hill and Semyon Bychkov.

The voices of the Schola features on numerous film soundtracks including Alice Through the Looking Glass, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1), Paddington, Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, Transcendence, and the Oscar winning score for Life of Pi. Film composers the Schola has worked with recently include Danny Eflman, Mychael Danna, Bruno Coulais, James Horner and Hans Zimmer. 


"I am pleased to greet the young singers from The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School"

Pope Benedict XVI