The present members of Brecon Cathedral Choir are today's successors in the long line of musicians who have enhanced the worship at this holy place for over 900 years. A Norman Benedictine Priory was founded on the site in 1093, and would have resounded to the chant of generations of monks singing ‘the office’. In 1537, at the time of the Dissolution of the monasteries, the Priory became the Parish Church and remained so until its elevation to Cathedral status in 1923. Throughout this time music would have played an important part in the liturgy and worship.
There are between 14 and 18 Choristers, children aged between 8 and 13 who sing the Soprano or Treble line in the choir. They attend local schools and come to the cathedral to rehearse after school on three afternoons every week during term time and sing an early evening service (usually Evensong) on Fridays in addition to two choral services on Sundays. The Brecon Cathedral Choir Trust was set up in 2003, with the aim of 'empowering young people through the gift of music', enabling the choristers to receive free music tuition. Places are available for year-4 children each September, with auditions held in early June. Please contact Stephen Power, Director of Music, for more details via the cathedral office (01874 623857).
The adults and teenagers who sing alto, tenor and bass in the choir are called Lay Clerks and Choral Scholars. They rehearse on Thursday evenings and join with the choristers to sing evensong on Fridays and for the two Sunday services. They do so as volunteers, and some travel considerable distances (from as far away as Neath, Abergavenny, Newport and Bristol) to sing with the choir on a regular basis.
In addition to singing for cathedral services and concerts, the choir undertakes recordings, broadcasts and tours. Tours over the last ten years have included visits to sing at Ripon Cathedral, York Minster, Blaubeuren in Germany, Glasgow, Edinburgh, the French Loire Valley and the Italian region of Tuscany.
On leaving the choir at the end of year 8, Choristers are invited to join the cathedral Consort, a smaller chamber choir which sings Evensong on Thursdays, rehearsing on a Tuesday evening. New members are always welcome to try us out in all voice parts.
Directors of Music:
From 2017 Stephen Power
2007-2017 Mark Duthie
1966-2007 David Gedge
1963-1966 Michael Bryan Hesford (later organist of St Mary’s Church, Melton Mowbray)
1923-1963 John Humphrey Carden (formerly organist of St Nicholas’ Church, Kings Norton)
2018-present Jon Pilgrim
2017-2018 Thomas Coxhead
2014-2017 Stephen Power
2015-2017 Paul Hayward
2007-2015 Meirion Wynn Jones
2006-2007 Tim Morgan
1966-2006 Hazel Gedge