28 May 2024

Children invited to ‘Be a Chorister for a Day’ at Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral’s popular chorister recruitment event returns on Saturday 2nd October.

The event kicks off the 2021-2022 recruitment campaign with an invitation to boys and girls in Years 2, 3 and 4 to join the Cathedral and Cathedral School Music team.

Children who come along to ‘Be a Chorister for a Day’ get the opportunity to sing along with the current choristers and find out what life is like at the Cathedral and Cathedral School.

Parents are welcome too. While the children are rehearsing, Mum and Dad can discover what being a chorister parent entails and gather information about bursaries and grants available to prospective choristers.

The day ends with a special Evensong led by the Cathedral’s Director of Music, David Halls, and performed by all the visiting children with the choristers.

David Halls, Director of Music, said: “You don’t have to play instruments or read music to book your place. This day is for children who love to sing and are natural team players. We can teach them the rest. They just need that raw talent and interest“.

Susie Lamb, Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral School said: “Being a chorister is great training for musical children, as well as being loads of fun. It teaches you the skills that come with being a performer, such as discipline, time keeping and working with others. All essential life skills“.

When Be a Chorister for a Day was cancelled last year, Cathedral choristers made a virtual tour with TV presenter Alexander Armstrong. To get an insight into the world of being a chorister, click here.

To register for the event, either fill in the application form on the Cathedral website or contact Jo Jo Orange by email -orange.j@salisburycathedralschool.com

Choir and concert events coming up:

Boys on Sunday 19th September and Girls on Monday 20th September.

New choristers will be admitted to the choir at Evensong later this month, and more experienced choristers are to be promoted at the same service. On both days the new choristers will be ‘bumped’ in accordance with the Salisbury tradition.

On Thursday 28th September Owain Parks’ Salisbury Canticles will be sung for the first time during Evensong at Salisbury Cathedral.

A former chorister at St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol, Owain Park sang with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and studied Music at Cambridge University. He was assistant conductor of the RSCM Millennium Youth Choir from 2012 to 2014, when he founded The Gesualdo Six, a vocal sextet specialising in the performance of renaissance polyphony.

His compositions have been awarded first prize in a number of national and international competitions and have been broadcast on BBC Radios 3 and 4, Classic FM and a range of international stations.

As a conductor, Owain maintains a busy schedule of projects with ensembles including the BBC Singers, the Academy of Ancient Music, London Mozart Players, Cappella Cracoviensis, and Cambridge Chorale. His own vocal consort, The Gesualdo Six, tour extensively around the world and have been lauded for their interpretation of renaissance and contemporary music.

Owain is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO), and was awarded the Dixon Prize for improvisation, having been Senior Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral and Trinity College Cambridge. He holds a Masters in composition and regularly appears as a singer with ensembles including Tenebrae, Gabrieli Consort, The Sixteen and Polyphony.

Concerts and other services:

Saturday 9th October 19.00
Gala Concert Celebrating 30 Anniversary of the Girls Choir
The Gala concert will be attended by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. There will be a varied programme of words and music by Handel, Purcell, Mozart, Britten, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi and Stanford, accompanied by the organ and the Southbank Sinfonia.

Anna Botting from Sky News will host/narrate, with solos from former girl choristers Amy Carson and Camilla Harris. Highlight of the evening will be a world premiere of The Pearl, composed by Roxanna Panufnik. The work was commissioned specially for the occasion.

Tuesday 2nd November
Faure’s Requiem will be sung as part of the All Souls’ Day Requiem Eucharist.
Saturday 20 November 19.00
Monteverdi’s Vespers will be performed by Salisbury Cathedral Choir with Salisbury Music Society

Saturday 11th December 19.00
Handel’s Messiah returns to Salisbury Cathedral this December. Now established as a fixture in the Cathedral’s festive calendar and returning after last year’s break due to the pandemic, the Christmas favourite is sung by the full Cathedral Choir (men, girls and boys), accompanied by the fabulous City of London Sinfonia.

Written by
Beth Doherty
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Written by Beth Doherty