It's been a big weekend for the boys choir with two chorister promotions taking place on Saturday, 7 May and the announcement that the Friends of Cathedral Music had gifted a £20,000 endowment to the choir.
Following in his father’s footsteps, probationer Sammy was admitted as a full chorister during Evensong at the weekend. The 10-year-old was officially welcomed by the Vestry Monitor and other senior choristers in a time-honoured tradition, which involves ‘bumping’ the new recruit’s head on a special stone in the South Quire Aisle. Fellow probationer, Thomas, was also ‘bumped’ up at the same time.
The significance of these two promotions was not lost on the congregation of parents and worshippers. Boy choristers are in great demand and their numbers have been dwindling.
David Halls, Director of Music said:
“We have been very lucky so far and, particularly this year, attracted some really excellent candidates - but nationally some choirs have been struggling. It is a combination of factors; firstly, there are more boys choirs than girls, secondly there is strong evidence that boys’ voices are breaking early and thirdly, less boys are attracted to choral singing nowadays.
“Losing boys because their voices have broken can be devastating to a choir. With only four or five boys in each year group, if you lose one or two of your most experienced choristers it takes a significant amount of experience out of the choir, maybe even precluding the choir from singing some of the more complex choral works.”
As well as the promotions, David Halls was given the good news this Monday that the Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM) was granting the boys choir £20,000 in the form of an endowment that will go towards supporting the Cathedral's choristerships. The gift was part of a larger series of endowments amounting to around £600,000 being given by FCM to Cathedrals and Choirs all over the country,
Commenting on the endowment, David Halls said:
“We are immensely grateful to the FCM for its endowment. Gifts like this allow us to offer musically talented children from all backgrounds the chance to join the choir, a potentially life-changing opportunity. The FCM works hard to help a range of choirs nationally so the fact that it has given us funds is particularly appreciated and will go a long way to ensuring that the choral tradition in Salisbury Cathedral continues to thrive.”
Anyone interested in joining Salisbury Cathedral Choir or aware of a child who may benefit from joining should contact Kathy Davies on 07979 378926 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Recruitment for next year’s choir begins formally in November 2016 with the ‘Be A Chorister For A Day’ Open Day but interested individuals are welcome to contact Kathy in the interim.
For any other information contact Marie Thomas on 01722 55148 or email@example.com