St Nicholas’ Schola Cantorum

Its three principal aims are:

Enriching worship

Educating singers

Promoting the arts

The Schola Cantorum is a modern reimagining of the original college of singers, established here in 1486 to serve the medieval establishment.

In 2012, the Rector, Select Vestry and parish community decided to revive the ancient college, honoring the church’s musical heritage but in a new dynamic that reaches out to all the people of Galway.

St. Nicholas’ Schola Cantorum meets the musical needs of the liturgy in St Nicholas’, secures the musical future of the church and provides an invaluable musical and educational resource in the wider community.
The aims are met through five choral ensembles that comprise the Schola Cantorum.

The Five Ensembles

Parish Choir

The Parish Choir is an adult ensemble of up to twenty-four voices and as the principal choir of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church is one of Galway’s most established musical institutions. The choir sings regularly at the Sunday morning parish Eucharist and also sings Evensong termly.


The Choristers of St Nicholas Schola Cantorum comprise up to thirty boys and girls aged 8-14, drawn from the parish, St Nicholas’ Parochial School and the wider community. The choristers receive a unique musical education through weekly rehearsals, and singing and musicianship classes utilising the RSCM Voice for Life scheme.


The Schola Cantorum’s flagship chamber choir takes its title from the ancient designation of the church dating back to 1486. The choir comprises 16-20 singers depending on the type of project undertaken, and is made up of Galway’s finest choral singers. Most members sing in one of the Schola’s other choirs and many also sing in other Galway choral ensembles.

Vicars Choral

The Vicars Choral of St Nicholas are skilled musicians who sing with all the adult ensembles of the Schola Cantorum, assist in the training of singers, and are remunerated on a semi-professional basis. These posts have their origins in the fifteenth century Collegiate foundation, which included eight singing priests, known as vicars, whose role was to sing the daily services in the church and to train the boy choristers who sang with them

University of Galway Choral Scholars

In an exciting new link between Galway’s university and its ancient collegiate church, up to twenty NUI Galway students are awarded annual choral scholarships by the university to take part in the Schola Cantorum programme. There are annual auditions for potential scholars at the beginning of the academic year, and successful candidates then join a small high-achieving chamber ensemble which rehearses twice weekly
If you would like to get in touch, please submit your email address here.
Opening Hours:

Mon 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Tues 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Wed 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Fri 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sat 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sun 12p.m.-4p.m.
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