The recording of the Christmas CD was completed by the choir on Tuesday evening and we await its launch in the autumn. Christmas presents can be sorted very easily this year!
There is some lovely music on just over 20 tracks I think. However, I will not spoil the anticipation with anything more than an overview of what you can expect of the first recording by the Cathedral Choir for quite some time.
The choice of Christmas music has been carefully made so that it is not a standard selection of best-loved carols, nor is it so unknown that there is nothing familiar. So it is to be a mix of the things we love, to settings that suit our choir, and some pieces that will be entirely new to us. About 12 hours of recording time for one hour-length CD, but worth it!
Wednesday saw singing exams for some of the boys and both younger and older girls from pre-grade to grade eight standard. It is one of the ‘hidden’ works of the Music Department, that both individual singing and theory lessons and exams happen right through the academic year. Being a cathedral chorister involves considerable commitment from singers and parents alike, and a huge financial investment by the Cathedral in the future of high quality choral music to enhance the liturgy of the Church and, at the same time, the lives of young people.
Now we enter the school holidays and the life of the Cathedral changes again as we see an increase in tourists for the next couple of months. Visitors come for all sorts of reasons; many, in ones or twos, to the services at the beginning and ending of the day or for the lunchtime prayers. Last Sunday we had seven people from Philadelphia with us for the 8am service of Holy Communion, and often we read morning and evening prayer each day with those from other cathedrals who seek out daily offices when they go on holiday – to top or tail tourist days.
Because we have only provided these things for a few years we do struggle to build up a local clientele for daily prayer from offices close by. How do you persuade those whose worshipping life circulates just around a Sunday to establish a pattern through the week?