At the 2016 AGM in Wakefield it was agreed to trial publication of the magazine in the form of a newsletter and in an electronic format. You have the choice of either printing a full and formatted booklet or viewing on or offline.

These files were changed on 1st October to fix some problems.
When using the online version you can print in either A5 or A4 depending on the setting of the pdf reader.
It you select 'fit' in print options it will print at A4. If fit is not selected it will print in A5.

Once a Chorister 2016 edition magazine for online or offline viewing

If printing as a booklet use Adobe Reader and select 'Booklet' in the print page.

A quick and reasonable priced printer can be sourced locally or at www.solopress.com

The FEDERATION'S official magazine is 'ONCE-A-CHORISTER' and is published annually in May.

It contains details of the previous and forthcoming Festivals, reports on any Federation events and tours, news from individual Cathedral Associations, general articles on former choristers and Cathedral music, news of forthcoming events and much more. Also included is a full list of Association Secretaries and Representatives, with their contact details.

The Federation has had an official publication since 1931. It has changed in title and style, but has remained an important way of keeping Old Choristers in touch with events and each other.


Originally the magazine was called The Old Chorister. First published in 1931 it was edited by Frank Hewitt (Chester) until 1973 when Ross Hickling (Durham) became editor. However, between 1974 and 1977no magazines were printed, but typewritten notes were produced. In 1978 Graham Woodmansterne (Westminster Abbey) took over as editor and for ten years produced a professional magazine with good quality photographs and reports. He also introduced a binder in which to keep the magazines. In 1987 the editorship was taken over by David Horner (York).


As one of his first tasks as new editor, David Horner circulated a questionnaire to all members, inviting comments on the way forward for a more modern and restructured magazine. From this the magazine was renamed Once-A-Chorister, the cover was redesigned, in colour, and the layout of the magazine was restyled. The distribution was restructured and the magazine published annually in May for collection at the AGMs. The new format proved successful with an immediate circulation of 2500.

In 1998 Alan Wheeler (Lincoln) took over the editorship together with the able assistance of his son Toby Wheeler (Canterbury). It was time for a further change in the design of the front cover, and with record sales they produced a quality magazine. Alan and Toby continued until the Millennium year before handing the editorship over to Michael Barry (Guildford) in 2001.

2007 CoverMichael has continued to produce a high quality magazine, introducing a series of articles entitled ‘It shouldn’t work but it does’, looking at different Cathedrals that despite not having Choir Schools, manage to recruit and run a very successful choir. One of these articles has appeared in each edition for the past few years. 2008 saw the greatest change to the magazine for many years, altering the size from A5 to A4. This now allows better use of space and more photographs to be included, combined with far more colour than in previous editions.

2015 Edition, Volume 7, Number 8

This edition will be available from 9th May and will cost 5.00 (4.00 to members of affiliated associations) and can be obtained via your Association or direct from the Honorary Treasurer. To reserve your copy and to place your name on the mailing list, please complete the order form or email Michael Lake at michael.lake1@btinternet.com or telephone 01244 315854. Thank you.

Click on the buttons below for examples of articles that have appeared in previous magazines

Lincoln article as PDF Salisbury article Broadcasting article as PDF