Diocesan press releases

Praise and welcome for cathedral choir’s five new choristers

Brecon Cathedral Choir’s five new members have received a warm welcome, and been praised for their hard work and dedication.

Young choristers Roshan, Eva, Sam, Megan and Ffion were admitted at Sunday’s evensong.

Thanking the new choristers, Dean of Brecon Cathedral the Very Rev Dr Paul Shackerley said: “The Cathedral Choir plays a vital part in the ministry and worship offered in this place and we are thankful to God for the contribution it makes.”

Stephen Power, Director of Music, said: I am delighted by the progress the new choristers have made since they joined the choir as probationers in September. We auditioned them along with 10 or so perspective choristers last June when they were in Year 3, following preliminary voice tests at their schools.

“Any parents of current Year 3 children interested in joining the choir next September can make contact to arrange a pre-audition at any time before May half term. Children must enjoy singing, but do not need any prior experience of singing in a choir.”

Successful applicants will receive a world-class musical education and will have the opportunity to sing alongside experienced adult singers (the Lay Clerks) and teenage choral scholars, under the direction of professional choir trainers.

As well as three-weekly services during term-time, the choir sings at high-profile events throughout the Christian year, including Christmas and Easter services.

Other performance opportunities include singing in the Brecon Baroque Festival in October, visits to sing at churches in the Swansea & Brecon Diocese, making recordings and broadcasts, as well as touring abroad.

Previous tours have included Italy, France and Germany. A tour is being planned for May 2019, for which families may be required to pay towards, although this is the only cost implication of being in the choir.

“The choristers are educated at local primary and high schools in and around Brecon as well as Christ College,” Stephen said.

“Brecon Cathedral Choir Trust ensures that all choristers have free singing and instrumental tuition, and choristers are able to continue taking part in other extra-curricular activities such as sport and Brownies, Guides and Scouts, as long as they do not clash with regular choir activities after school on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

“Being a chorister brings its benefits in learning not just about music, but also about teamwork, being organised, and dealing with the pressures of performing in public. A number of choristers are also involved in the amazing work of South Powys Youth Music (SPYM) and a free bus service is provided to transport the choristers from the Cathedral to Junior SPYM rehearsals each Wednesday.”

Stephen added: “At a time when we read in the press that music is being cut further from the National Curriculum, it makes the choristers’ musical education all the more valuable.”

Details of the audition date will be announced after Easter.