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     "What an absolute joy to hear these wonderful broadcasts"             Nigel Allcoat  

Radio & TV

      "All good wishes on your project"
         Arthur Wills

Radio broadcasts

The Archive contains a vast treasure house of broadcasts featuring liturgical services, concerts, festivals and recitals of sacred music.

The earliest broadcast in the Archive is from 29 January 1939 with St Nicolas College, Chislehurst, directed by Sir Sydney Nicholson, singing a choral evensong service.  

Billed as an 'Evening Service' this was not part of the weekly 'BBC Choral Evensong' schedule.
Listen to the 1939 St Nicolas College and many others on our Youtube channel.     Click the video playlist (top left) to select a broadcast.

BBC Choral Evensong

BBC Choral Evensong is the longest running outside broadcast in history, when, on 7 October 1926 the first service came from Westminster Abbey.    

The Archive has over 1500 broadcasts with the earliest being from Blackburn Cathedral in 1948.
Listen to the 1948 Blackburn and regular uploads of archive broadcasts on our Youtube channel.  Click the video playlist (top left) to visit choral evensong heaven!
To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Choral Evensong in 1996, the BBC produced this television broadcast introduced by Joanna Trollope and sung by the choir of York Minster.

Due to time constraints the anthem was not broadcast.

       BBC Choral Evensong : 1926 - 2000

      A survey of the broadcast choirs
      compiled by myself.

Recording a Radio & TV broadcast

  1. King's College, Cambridge, 1964
    King's College, Cambridge, 1964
  2. King's College, Cambridge. 2014
    King's College, Cambridge.  2014
  3. New College, Oxford. 1942
    New College, Oxford.  1942
  4. Hereford Cathedral. 1986
    Hereford Cathedral.  1986
  5. York Minster, 1965
    York Minster, 1965
  6. King's College, Cambridge. 2015
    King's College, Cambridge.  2015
  7. King's College, Cambridge. 2015
    King's College, Cambridge. 2015
  8. King's College, Cambridge. 2015
    King's College, Cambridge.  2015
  9. St Peter's, Wolverhampton. 1968
    St Peter's, Wolverhampton.  1968
  10. Choristers of Addington Palace Chapel, Croydon, 1958
    Choristers of Addington Palace Chapel, Croydon, 1958
  11. Bradford Cathedral, 1975
    Bradford Cathedral, 1975
  12. Choristers of Addington Palace Chapel, Croydon, 1958
    Choristers of Addington Palace Chapel, Croydon, 1958
  13. Peterborough Cathedral, 1984
    Peterborough Cathedral, 1984
  14. St Woolo's Cathedral, 2005
    St Woolo's Cathedral, 2005
  15. Chapel Royal, London. 1953
    Chapel Royal, London.  1953
  16. Exeter Cathedral, 1980
    Exeter Cathedral, 1980
  17. King's College, Cambridge. 2015
    King's College, Cambridge. 2015
  18. Coventry Cathedral. 1990
    Coventry Cathedral. 1990
  19. Westminster Cathedral. 1931
    Westminster Cathedral.  1931
  20. St John's College, Cambridge. 2016
    St John's College, Cambridge.  2016
  21. Hereford Cathedral. 2016
    Hereford Cathedral.  2016
Click on photo to open Slideshow

Documentaries on Radio & TV

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the hundreds of documentary broadcasts over the years which feature individual choirs, choristers, Directors of Music, choir schools, composers and many other topics relating to church music.

The Archive has an extensive and constantly growing collection of radio & TV documentaries.

TV documentary

Radio & TV documentaries are regularly uploaded to our Youtube channel.  Click the appropriate video playlist (top left) to select a broadcast.

Radio documentary

Exclusive to the website!

A radio and TV documentary which are not on our YouTube channel.
BBC Radio : 29 June 1997

Introduced by Brian Wright, who talks with Harry Bramma on his role as Director of the Royal School of Church Music and also about Parish Church choirs; the broadcast features St Barnabas, Dulwich and Chingford Parish Church

Radio broadcast

New College Choir, Oxford
BBC TV : 1 January 1995

To mark Purcell's Tercentary, Nicholas Kenyon investigates the achievements of one of our greatest composers.  Featuring Michael Chance, David Thomas, Mark Padmore, Sir Michael Tippett & Professor Curtis Price.

TV broadcast

TV broadcasts

The Archive has an extensive collection of choir related TV broadcasts featuring liturgical services, concerts, festivals and documentaries on all aspects of church music and choirs.

Click on covers and photo to enlarge

Photo of TV broadcast from York Minster, 1965

The first recordings

The first broadcast quality video recorders were introduced in 1956, although very little has survived from those early days.

However, the Archive does have one exceptionally rare TV documentary from the Temple Church in 1958.
The first ever broadcast of the 1954 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's was produced on film stock and not on video tape.

'Sunday Special'  George Thalben Ball rehearsing the Temple Church choir.
29 June 1958

Professional recordings by the TV studios

'Songs of Praise'
from Guildford Cathedral, directed by Barry Rose,
23 February 1967

High Mass
from Ushaw College Chapel, Durham sung by the Chapel choir.  
(Digitally restored version by the Archive)

Home video recorders

A new era dawned in the preservation of TV broadcasts when home video recorders reached the mass market in the mid 1970s.

People could now record whatever they wished in their own homes.

Choristers of St Paul's Cathedral Sullivan's 'When a merry maiden marries,'   Paul Phoenix, solo treble.
'Paul's Children'   :  1978

''A Worcestershire Carol'
St Michael's College, Tenbury    

1980s to present day
The floodgates open

The majority of the Archive's extensive collection of TV broadcasts date from the 1980s up to the present day.

A grateful thanks is extended to all those music lovers, who, over the years, have recorded these gems from their own TV and now safely stored in the Archive.

1988  :  St Paul's Cathedral, directed by John Scott sing Wesley's 'Blessed be the God and Father'

1997 : St John's College, Cambridge, directed by Christopher Robinson sing Wise's 'Prepare ye the way'

2009 :  Truro Cathedral Choir, directed by Christopher Gray sings 'Soul of my saviour'

2016 :  King's College Cambridge.
'Easter from King's  (hd)