The Cathedral Choirs

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St George's Cathedral has a well-established musical tradition, with a diversity of styles represented at the different Masses, ranging from congregational hymns and Mass settings at the 10.00 Family Mass, through plainsong and polyphony at the 11.30 Solemn Mass.

The Cathedral Choirs are made up of a Boys Choir, Girls Choir and nine professional singers known as Lay Clerks. The Cathedral Choirs sing at the Sunday morning Masses and on major events of the year, such as Advent, Christmas, Holy Week and Easter. Repertoire ranges from music by the medieval abbess St Hildegard von Bingen, through to 21st Century compositions by Cecelia McDowall and James MacMillan. The original Cathedral Choir was formed in 1848 when the Cathedral was opened, and it sang during the visit to the Cathedral of Pope John Paul II in 1982. Our choirs play a special part in the Cathedral's community and they occasionally broadcast to a wider public on BBC Radio and TV, most recently at Christmas Midnight Mass in 2015 on BBC1. The boy and girl choristers alternate between leading worship at the 10am Family Service and singing for the 11.30 Solemn Mass with the professional Lay Clerks. The current Director of Music is Jonathan Schranz and previous Directors have included Nick Gale and Norman Harper.

Visiting choirs are welcomed to the Cathedral when the Cathedral Choirs are on holiday and any enquiries should be sent to music@stgeorges.org.uk

Choristers

Boys between the ages of 7 and 13 and girls between the ages of 7 and 18 sing in the Cathedral Choir each week, alternating between the 10am Family Service and the 11.30 Solemn Mass. Older boys whose voices have changed may be invited to sing with the Lay Clerks as tenor or bass Choral Scholars.

Through their membership of the Cathedral Choir, choristers receive training in vocal technique, musicianship and, in some cases, conducting and organ-playing. CD Recording opportunities as well as joint singing and social events with other church choirs occur regularly and the choir has been broadcast to the wider public on BBC Radio and TV in recent years.

This experience comes at no cost to families and is open to children from all types of social background. Membership of the choir is by audition and these can be arranged throughout the year in consultation with the Director of Music. If your son or daughter is aged between 7 and 18 and has a passion for singing then we would love to hear from you. Please contact the Director of Music, Jonathan Schranz, at music@stgeorges.org.uk.

Lay Clerks

The back row of the Cathedral Choir is made up of nine professional singers known as Lay Clerks. They sing with the choristers at the 11.30 Solemn Mass each Sunday and for occasional feast days on their own.

The Music Department keeps a list of auditioned deputies. Professional Singers with strong sight-reading ability and familiarity with Gregorian Chant are encouraged to contact music@stgeorges.org.uk for further information.

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