Children who love singing and who are aged between eight and nine-years-old are encouraged to apply to be a Chorister for the afternoon with the Choir of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral.
The Be A Chorister Afternoon takes place on 26 November 2021 from 2.30pm and will offer those taking part an insight into what being a chorister is like. Children will sing with the choristers, learn new music and visit St Mary’s Music School which the choristers attend and which is at present nearby. There will be a special performance at the end of the day which families can attend.
Revd Marion Chatterley, Vice Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, explains that the benefits of being a Chorister are extensive. She said: “For children who love to sing (and perhaps live to sing) it’s an opportunity to engage with and nurture that creative and musical part of themselves. They will be spending their days with other children who also love to sing and who love classical/choral music and don’t have to hide that part of themselves. Their music abilities will be nurtured and developed – they will leave the choir as better musicians/singers.”
There have been months when singing in choirs was prohibited because of the pandemic. Duncan Ferguson, the Master of the Music at St Mary’s Cathedral, said: “Scotland has a rich heritage of songs and the tradition of singing is essential to society as a whole. Like playing an instrument, singing gives young people the chance to understand and express different emotions, from joy and happiness through to loss and sadness, but in the case of singing there is something special about literally ‘finding your voice’.
“I think that people didn’t realise the extent to which live music has a distinctive impact until we were without it. Hearing live music is a very particular experience – as is the experience of making live music.”
Both Rev Chatterley and Mr Ferguson describe the life of a chorister as “rewarding” and “challenging”.
Chorister Jake Thomson (!2) is a semi-finalist in the BBC’s Chorister of the Year competition and Diya Eddleston (12) enjoys being a chorister and a life filled with singing.
For Jake and Diya the word they use most is “fun”.
Diya said: “We’re singing all the time. It’s lots of fun, you socialise a lot and learn a lot from different people and it’s very nice to hear your friends sing.”
Jake said: “It’s joyful. It’s nice to be singing with other people with the same passion because you learn so much from them.”
To attend the Be A Chorister Afternoon, it is important to register online at St Mary’s Music School Online Community (ptly.uk)