Since 2007, St Mary’s has had another group of singers in the choir, the Cathedral Choristers. These are boys and girls aged approximately 8 – 14 who enjoy singing with the rest of the choir at a variety of services through the year.
Membership of the choristers is open to young people who possess a voice, are confident readers (of words, that is, we will teach them to read music!), and have a responsive ear. Musical potential is what is sought.
Entry to the choir is by a short informal audition, and membership is entirely free of any costs or subscriptions.
Furthermore, choristers receive:
- Free first class musical training from the cathedral’s staff of professional musicians
- The opportunity to gain a sense of achievement from performances of some of the finest choral music
- The opportunity to sing with one of Scotland’s finest organs, and occasionally with an orchestra
- Participation in Radio and TV broadcasts
- Tours to other Cathedrals
- Participation in the RSCM’s Voice for Life award scheme, and regional and national RSCM events
- Development of social skills, self-discipline, commitment and team-work
- Introduction to foreign languages (the Cathedral Choir has sung in Latin, Greek, Old Scots, French, German, Spanish, a variety of African languages and even Icelandic!)
- Social trips and events
- Introduction to like-minded friends
Where and when?
- Rehearsals are held in the Cathedral or the adjoining hall on Thursday evenings from 6.00pm – 8.00pm
- Choristers sing about two services per month, one morning , and one evening service
- Special occasions, including at Christmas and Easter, and other festivals
RSCM and the Voice for Life training scheme
The Cathedral choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music, and the choristers of the choir will be trained using the Royal School of Church Music’s Voice for Life training scheme. This training scheme provides a framework for choral singers to develop their vocal skills, their musical understanding and their knowledge of repertoire, and, commitment, experience and achievement are rewarded by the passing of different levels of attainment, leading to nationally recognised awards. The Director of Music is an accredited examiner for this scheme.
The Cathedral Music Staff: The Director of Music, Frikki Walker, is a highly experienced choral trainer and conductor. In addition to his duties with the Cathedral Choir, he has worked, and continues to work with choirs of all ages and abilities, including the Choirs of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the National Youth Choir of Scotland, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Choruses and Chorus, the Bearsden Choir, the Glasgow Chamber Choir, Hutchesons’ Choral Society, the choirs of Bearsden Academy, and the Chamber Choir of the High School of Glasgow, who won the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year competition in 2013.
Frikki is assisted by his wife, Christine, who is a singer and singing teacher, and by two Assistant Organists, Peter Wakeford and Steven McIntyre. Some parents join in too, helping with teaching, and managing, snack time, drinks and games.
What do I do next? If you are a young person interested in the choir or if you know of a boy or girl who may be interested in joining, then please contact Frikki on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an informal audition, or if you are at a service at St Mary’s, see him afterwards.
The Director of Music is also always on the look-out for adult choristers, too, of all voices. If you are aged 15 or over, and have a voice, some singing experience and want to join a friendly and able choir, singing a wide and challenging repertoire, then Frikki would like to hear from you too!