The Cathedrals Group Choir Festival Report

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Boyce-Tillman J, Busen-Smith M, Clift S, Walters DM

Year of Publication:

Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Winchester

Publication Type:


The Choirs Festival Research Project belongs to a Cathedrals Group initiative to expand networking among its Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and to examine existing collaborations, which had been the substance of a joint conference at Newman University in September 2017. In an increasingly competitive market the capacity of the Cathedrals Group to form alliances among its members is a valuable asset with scope to grow and enhance student experience/engagement, strengthen recruitment, stimulate research and support preparation for Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) assessments by pooling expertise and raising esteem for good practice.

The research set out to: examine the impact of HEI choir membership and Festival participation on singers and their wellbeing, whether related to physical, mental, social, spiritual wellbeing, or in terms of musical development and achievement; gather and correlate opinion from vice chancellors, founders, singers, music directors and chaplains about the Festival’s contribution to music provision, student experience and engagement (UKES skills), corporate affiliation/reputation and community participation; identify findings including collaborative challenges and benefits in common; extrapolate recommendations for the Cathedrals Group as a whole.

The data shows that the festival does have positive effects on the wellbeing of many students, particularly mental and social. Furthermore, UKES results indicate that activities such as singing and the Festival improve academic, civic, active learning and career skills and thereby impact academic performance and possibly NSS scores where intersections with credit-bearing assignments exist.

Established in 1982, the annual Choirs Festival is the oldest collective tradition of the Cathedrals Group of Universities. Funding for the Choirs Festival Research Project was allocated by Winchester University for research to be carried out by the Rev Professor June Boyce-Tillman, jointly with Canterbury Christ Church University in the figure of Professor Stephen Clift, Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health.

Evidence Type: Qualitative Research

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Education

Art Forms: Music

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Boyce-Tillman, J., Walters, D. M., Busen-Smith, M., Clift, S. (2019). The Cathedral's Group Choir Festival Report. UK: University of Winchester.