Chichester Cathedral Choir continues its recruitment charge

Charles Harrison, organist and master of the choristers at Chichester Cathedral, is reporting a positive response to his efforts to broaden the search for new recruits to the choir.

VIDEO SHOWS CHORISTERS TALKING ABOUT THEIR DUTIES JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS

“There has been a very exciting response to our chorister recruitment campaign,” Charles said.

“Enquiries have come in from around Sussex, and even further afield, and we already have several children signed up for the open day on February 6.

“Christmas was a wonderful and busy time for the choir, and we performed to thousands of people, many of whom would not normally get the opportunity to hear us. Our annual Christmas service was broadcast twice on BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex, our festive concerts at the Chichester Festival Theatre were a great success (we loved joining forces with the Royal Marines Band) and over three thousand people attended services at the Cathedral. There has also been a really supportive response from head teachers at local primary schools who have encouraged their musical pupils to explore the possibility of becoming a chorister.

“But this is just the start. The Cathedral Choir is one of Chichester’s principal performing arts organisations, and it provides a world-class musical education for its choristers.

“I think there are still lots of people to reach with this message, and we have plans to reinforce this initial success. In the coming weeks, we will be shooting some video footage of the choir which will be available on the Cathedral’s website, and other online platforms. This will offer a very direct and immediate snapshot of the life of the choir and will be a very accessible way in for those who want to find out more.”

Charles added: “The open day (just an afternoon, really) starts at 1.30pm on February 6. Our singing tutor will lead a short workshop, with lots of fun warm-ups and singing games. The visiting children will then have a chance to meet our choristers informally while visitors chat to parents of existing choristers.

“Then we will prepare for a short service at which all the children will join forces with the current choristers. We don’t expect children to have had any prior singing tuition or instrumental music lessons.

“But it may be that someone has spotted a promising voice or a good musical ear and has pointed boys and parents in our direction. We usually recruit boys aged seven or eight (years 3 and 4), but occasionally we accept older boys, too.

“Places are limited, so I would urge parents to book a place soon. To do this, please contact Lesa Burchell at Prebendal School on headpa@prebendalschool.org.uk or 01243 520970.

“I am always happy to chat to parents who are interested in finding out more about the chorister experience on 01243 812486.”

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