St Columb’s Cathedral Choir will hold a special Open Afternoon on Sunday, May 6 as it widens its membership to young boy choristers ahead of a busy, culture-filled 2013.
While the Cathedral Choir is one of only three ‘traditional’ Anglican Cathedral Choirs in Ireland, it has always recruited members from a wide spectrum of religious and cultural backgrounds.
The Cathedral’s Boy Choristers, aged 7–15, play a central role in the many high-profile events which are held in the building throughout the year, as well as singing at the weekly choral services.
Performing music from the sixteenth century to present day, in a variety of languages requires a special commitment, as the Organist and Choirmaster, Ian Mills, explained: “Choristers assume a lot of responsibility from a very young age. Musically, they learn to sight-read very quickly; this enables young boys to sing repertoire that would stump some adults. This, in turn, brings a sense of confidence, combined with the terrific sense of achievement that comes from making a CD recording or taking part in a radio broadcast. In that sense, this opportunity is unique”.
Speaking ahead of the Open Afternoon, the Dean, Dr William Morton, indicated the special place that Derry Cathedral’s young choristers occupy in the city and beyond: “We’re immensely proud of the choral tradition which we have established here; at the same time, we’re all too aware of its fragility in an increasingly secular society.
“We want to get the message across that being part of the Cathedral Choir is an excellent opportunity which we extend to everyone. In the past, the anonymity of the Cathedral has attracted people from many religious backgrounds—and none— who find, somehow, they are able to connect with a particular aspect of our worship: the words, the liturgy and the music. I want that to continue and develop as we look towards the special events that 2013 will bring.”
Boys aged approximately 7–12 and their parents are encouraged to come along to St Columb’s Cathedral at 2:30pm on Sunday, May 6 to discover more about life as a chorister.
There will be an opportunity to meet with some of the current members, and see the choir in action. Parents are asked to register their interest by contacting the Organist & Choirmaster at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Cathedral on 02871267313.