Choir in concert

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A particularly young Chichester Cathedral Choir will be offering its annual Chichester Festivities concert in the Cathedral tonight Monday, July 4 at 7.30pm.

Chichester Cathedral organist and master of the choristers Sarah Baldock said: “We have just had four probationers made up into full choristers.

“The Festivities concert is always exciting, particularly for the boys. Quite often it is the first concert that they have ever done, getting used to the whole being of being up front there on the stage and taking applause.

“We have got a very young choir at the moment. The youngest boy is seven. It is always nice when the bottom end of the choir is full.

“For this year we are going to do Fauré’s Requiem, which will be the main item in the programme in the second half. It’s such a well-loved piece. It’s very enjoyable to do and full of good tunes.”

For the first half of the programme, the choir will be exploring pieces inspired by prayer, based on prayers by figures including Francis of Assisi and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Straight after the Festivities, the choir will be off to Winchester for this year’s Southern Cathedrals Festival which brings together Winchester, Chichester and Salisbury cathedral choirs, with each hosting in turn.

Last year was Chichester’s turn - and Sarah is delighted with the way it went.

“It was a lot of work, but it was really exciting. We were very generously supported by local people and by sponsors. I was really pleased with the way it went.”

Since then, the Cathedral Choir filled its annual slot in the Chichester Festival Theatre Christmas concerts - always a highlight.

And now as they look ahead, Sarah is planning on some foreign travel for the boys next year: “We are hoping to go on tour. It’s still very much at the planning stage,” says Sarah, “so I had better not say where!”

The concert also features: Timothy Ravalde assistant organist and Paul Manley organ scholar. Tickets on www.chifest.org.uk.