Durham Cathedral Choir has a long and proud tradition of excellence in music as part of the liturgy and through concerts, recordings, broadcasts and tours. Being a chorister at Durham Cathedral offers a unique opportunity for children in school years 4 to 8 to fully immerse themselves in music making at a professional level within the context of a worshipping Christian community, whilst receiving a full-time all round education at The Chorister School.
At present, all the choristers are full boarders at The Chorister School, set within the beautiful surroundings of The College on the south side of the Cathedral, within the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site. In September 2018, Durham Cathedral will now also admit girls and boys as day choristers for the first time since 1906 – enabling them to live at home whilst being a member of the Cathedral’s acclaimed Choir.
Ian Wicks, Headmaster of The Chorister School says, “There are many benefits to choristership beyond the purely musical. Choristers work closely as a team alongside professional adult colleagues and many former choristers have gone on to be leaders in their chosen fields, from international cricketers to broadcasters and leaders in business, taking with them many qualities including time management, teamwork and problem solving. Choirs also reinforce social tolerance and inclusion, and the health and cognitive benefits of singing and learning music are well known. This unique musical experience is gained alongside an education of the highest standard at The Chorister School, rated as excellent by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.”
Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral says, “Durham Cathedral’s Choristers come from the North East region and from all over the UK. We take pride in being able to offer a unique and unparalleled musical education to children from near and far. Before 1906, local families were able to be part of the Cathedral Choir without boarding, and building on our aspirations to offer choristerships to all, we are now delighted to be able to complement our current team of boarding choristers by opening up this opportunity of day choristerships to families who live close enough, enabling children to sing in the Cathedral Choir whilst continuing to live at home.”
Anyone interested in exploring this new and exciting initiative is encouraged to attend one of our forthcoming Chorister Experience events. Children in school years 2 to 5 will sing alongside the Cathedral Choristers and find out about their life at Durham Cathedral and The Chorister School. The first of these events will be held on Saturday 24 February. For more details, please contact Rebecca Dodd by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org The next Chorister Auditions take place on Saturday 3 March for girls and Saturday 17 March for boys.
Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral, is available throughout the year to meet with prospective choristers and their families, to hold informal auditions and to give advice on the possibilities of choristership.
Durham Cathedral Choir can be heard singing every day, except Monday, during school term-time and regularly gives concerts. The Choir’s next solo concert will feature a performance of Bach’s St John Passion on Sunday 25 March at 7pm in Durham Cathedral accompanied by the Avison Ensemble. Ahead of this, the Cathedral Choristers are taking part in the North East Festival of Youth Choirs, on Saturday 10 February, part of the Durham Vocal Festival. On Saturday 10 March, the Cathedral Choir will join forces with students from Durham University for a concert celebrating the music of Hubert Parry. Details for all these concerts and services at Durham Cathedral can be found on www.durhamcathedral.co.uk
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