9-year-old Arundel chorister is youngest to receive prestigious medal

A young Arundel singer has become the youngest candidate to attain the prestigious Guild of Church Musicians’ Archbishops’ Chorister Medal.

Jago Bradley also obtained the highest mark of any candidate who has ever taken the examination – beating his older sister Isla, who previously held the record for being the youngest successful candidate.

The examination consists of solo singing, musical tests and a discussion with the examiner about various areas of liturgical and musical knowledge.

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Jago said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out I’d got a distinction and the highest mark and was also the youngest to sit the exam!

Jago Bradley

“My sister sat the exam during lockdown last year and it inspired me to try – I’m so glad I did!”

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A chorister in Arundel Cathedral Choir, nine-year-old Jago has continued to lead music and worship with his peers during the pandemic often under difficult conditions with fewer singers than normal or on a socially distanced basis.

He has remained committed to rehearsals and services and has enjoyed learning new music where possible.

However, he contracted Covid-19 in November and has only just recovered.

He said: “I didn’t feel too bad, just a bit snuffly and tired and was glad to get back to school, choir and the other things I do. It was very boring having to isolate.”

His parents said: “We are over the moon for Jago – he’s worked so hard and singing has become such an important part of his life now.

“He was beaming from ear to ear when he got the news and we’re thrilled Dr Stratford was able to give him this opportunity.

“It’s particularly special because it didn’t just focus on his musical ability but he also had to explain about music and liturgy to the examiner in his own words!”

=Dr Elizabeth Stratford, organist and master of the choristers at Arundel Cathedral, said: “Jago has worked very hard for his ACM and I hope it will encourage other young singers to consider the Guild’s examinations.

“He particularly enjoyed working on Howard Goodall’s setting of Psalm 23 and we had some laughter along the way, particularly when he spent 15 minutes describing the entire Christmas story to me.

“I am delighted that his efforts and hard work have been rewarded and hope he will continue to enjoy singing in the choir and putting the skills he has developed for this exam to good use.”

The medal is open to anyone under the age of 18 who sings in a Christian faith-based choir – visit www.gcm.org.uk to find out more.

Membership of Arundel Cathedral Choir is open to children aged seven and above and is free of charge.

Places are currently available for boys, girls and adults.

For more information email [email protected]