Choristers and clerks take their place in the stalls

Four new choristers and three adults will be formally welcomed into the Cathedral Choir on Saturday at a service of Choral Evensong.

The service where new members of the 28-strong choir are admitted is an annual event but this is the first time that it has been livestreamed.

The Cathedral Choir is one of four choirs who sing in the Cathedral. It is made up of 16 boy choristers who all attend Christ Church Cathedral School and 12 adults known as clerks. The clerks are a mix of undergraduate students who have been awarded choral scholarships and professional singers.

This year the new boys are Martin, William, Jonathon and another William. They will be admitted as full choristers after a year singing as probationers. They will be welcomed alongside with new Organ Scholar Felix Kirkby and clerks Sebastian Thomas and Robert Winter.

The Cathedral choir was forced to take a break from singing at services when choral singing was suspended in March as part of the public health measures to combat the pandemic. In normal times, choristers’ school days are built around regular singing practice and music lessons as well as the standard school curriculum. During the summer term the boys continued singing through a mix of remote rehearsals and one-to-one online singing lessons to try and minimise the interruption to their musical development.

The choir began rehearsing again in September when the regulations were eased. New social distancing measures have been put in place to ensure that the boys and adults can sing safely during both practice sessions and services.

Saturday’s service represents an important milestone for the choir as it returns to the stalls in a new formation. The choir will be singing Responses by Bernard Rose (1916-1996), the Evening Service by Thomas Tertius Noble (1867-1953) in B Minor and the anthem ‘God’s Grandeur’ by Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988).

‘It’s wonderful for the choir to be singing in the Cathedral again,’ said Professor Steven Grahl, the Organist who directs the Cathedral Choir. ‘It’s always a special occasion when we install the new members of the choir, and never more so than this year.’

During the service the Dean will welcome the new members by name and pray for them in their role in Cathedral worship. A limited number of family and friends will attend the service in person to support the new members.

The service takes place at 6pm on Saturday 10 October. To join the service online, see https://bit.ly/36C6IX2