The Choir of Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral Choir maintains a tradition of church music that has been offered in the Cathedral since its consecration in 1258.
Salisbury has been well known for the lead that it has given in liturgy, and music has always played an important part in the Cathedral's worship. In the early days the music in the Cathedral was performed by two groups of musicians, the Vicars Choral and the choristers, either together or separately.
In the sixteenth century there first appeared the Lay Vicar, a singing man who was not in Holy Orders and whose duty it was to assist the Vicar Choral with the singing. Today the music is provided by sixteen boy choristers and sixteen girl choristers aged between 8 - 13 years and six Lay Vicars.
In 1991, the same year in which the 900th anniversary of the founding of the very first boys' choir was celebrated, Salisbury became the first English Cathedral to form a separate and independent foundation for girl choristers. They sang their first service in October of that year and nowadays the weekly services are equally divided between the boy and girl choristers.
The choristers sing a fully choral Evensong every day and on Sunday mornings there is also a Sung Mattins and Eucharist. In addition to singing for services, there are other regular commitments such as BBC broadcasts, concerts, CD recordings and the annual Southern Cathedrals' Festival, which showcases the Cathedral choirs from Chichester, Winchester and Salisbury. There are also overseas choir tours and in recent years the boys and men have travelled to Latvia, Estonia and France, the girls to Italy and Austria. More information on being a Cathedral Chorister can be downloaded here.
Voice trials are held annually for children in School Years 3 and 4 - in January for boys and in February for girls. The Cathedral runs a hugely popular choir open day 'Be a chorister for a day' each November and a Voice Trial Workshop in December. The Director of Music and his Assistant also offer at any time informal 'pre-auditions' to children who are interested in choristerships. For details of any of these activities please contact Anne Blevins at email@example.com or telephone 07587 826 622.
Salisbury Cathedral Choral Foundation
The Salisbury Cathedral Choral Foundation is a Trust set up by the Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral to support the nine hundred year old tradition of music in worship that continues at the Cathedral today; and to secure its future into the next millennium. The chief aim of the Choral Foundation is to raise money to ensure that the boy and girl choristers enjoy first class musical, academic and religious education free of financial constraint.
Salisbury Cathedral Junior Choir
Salisbury Cathedral Junior Choir was established in September 2007 as a further development of the 'Singing Together' outreach initiative run by the Cathedral and Cathedral School and was originally made possible by a Government grant administered by the Choir Schools Association. The choir is non-auditioned and open to all boys and girls in School Years 4-8. Ian Wicks, Director of Music at the Cathedral School, is its charismatic and inspiring leader and he is fully supported by the Cathedral's musicians (Director of Music, Assistant Director of Music, Organ Scholar and Head of Liturgy and Music) who all act as rehearsal pianists and provide a real link with the rest of the Cathedral's music-making. The Department of Liturgy and Music provides extensive administrative, practical and PR support. The choir of about 60 children from throughout the diocese meets from 11am-12 noon every Saturday during term time and has established itself as a key part of the musical life of the Cathedral, singing in special family and other Cathedral services and giving concerts. For further details please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07760 506958.
Singing Together Outreach Programme
The Cathedral, in conjunction with Salisbury Cathedral School, has been running its Singing Together outreach programme to promote singing in primary schools since September 2004. To date over fifty schools and 3600 children have experienced the joy of singing through this scheme. At every school we visit, the enthusiasm of the children for singing seems boundless and has improved enormously over the weeks as the children have had fun learning basic vocal techniques and singing rounds, blues, jazz, echo songs and carefully chosen repertoire.
Click here for further information or to find out what to do next if your school would like to take part.
Salisbury Cathedral Chamber Choir
Salisbury Cathedral Chamber Choir specializes in the original Sarum plainsong and the great heritage of liturgy attached to this Cathedral. The choir deputizes for the Cathedral choir on major feast days, when these fall within choir holidays, and also further promotes the Cathedral's work and mission throughout the diocese. It provides a marvellous opportunity for accomplished singers to participate directly in the Cathedral's liturgy and, simultaneously, fills a gap in its music programme. For further details please contact: email@example.com or telephone 01722 555125.
The Father Willis Organ
Since 1877 the unique Willis Organ at Salisbury Cathedral has been heard and enjoyed every day. It is renowned within musical circles and is undoubtedly one of the finest examples in Europe. Click here for more information.
Liturgy & Music at Salisbury
Liturgy and Music is obviously a key part in the daily routines at Salisbury Cathedral. Many people, from the choir to maintenance technicians are all managed and co-ordinated by these key members of the LITMUS team:
- David Halls - Director of Music
- John Challenger - Assistant Director of Music (from September 2012)
- Timothy Hone - Head of Liturgy & Music