Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean

 
From the week following Easter Sunday there will be extensive building work taking place within the Cathedral.  
This will begin with the erection of a large scaffolding build in front of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  Once this is complete, we begin the final stage of the renovation works on the magnificent Cathedral Organ.  Most of the instrument was dismantled and taken away for refurbishment in 2021 – which meant the cleaning and refurbishment of its 4,565 pipes and the re-design of the organ console.  All of these various parts will now slowly be returned and the instrument rebuilt over a period of 4 months from 9 May.  This has been a major project to manage and the total cost will be in the region of £1.2 million.  The organ is one of the great and necessary features of the life of our Cathedral and the work has been vital to enable us to enjoy it for the next fifty years.  Apologies for the inconvenience that this may cause during this period of rebuild.  We are encouraging people if possible to make a donation towards this landmark project which will benefit future congregations and the wider community for the next fifty years and beyond.

At the end of May Bishop Tom Williams will be celebrating fifty years of ordination to the priesthood.  He will celebrate Mass at 11.00 am in the Cathedral on Sunday 29 May to mark this Golden Jubilee Anniversary.  We extend our congratulations to him – he is one of a number of our Diocesan Bishops celebrating important anniversaries this year.

 

‘Be a Chorister for a day’

by Dr Christopher McElroy - Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral


It was wonderful to celebrate Holy Week in-person this year for the first time since 2019.  Preparation for the choristers was quite a lot more intensive than usual as very few of them remembered singing at Holy Week before, and indeed most had not been full choristers in 2019.
Easter symbolises new life, and it is in the summer term that our thoughts turn towards recruitment.  The life cycle of a boy or girl chorister is usually around six years: the first two spent learning the ropes, the middle two getting a grip on the repertoire, the final two leading everyone else and singing solos.  As boys and girls move on (boys usually around 12/13 as their voice changes, girls at 15 to focus on GCSEs) they need to be replaced at the bottom to ensure that the cycle continues!
There are three main elements to our chorister recruitment.  Firstly, our ‘Be a Chorister for a Day’ event (Sunday 22 May) which gives boys and girls and their parents the opportunity to come and experience chorister life ‘from the inside.’  During the morning they get to sing with the choristers, rehearse with them, try on cassocks and attend the Solemn Mass.
Singing is for both boys and girls.  In reality, there tend to be more girls wanting to audition for places in the Cathedral Choir.  In order to promote boys singing, we are running a series of ‘Boys Make Noise’ singing sessions in May, which are designed to offer an opportunity to boys in year 2/3 to sing together with other boys.  These taster sessions are designed to see if a boy enjoys group singing and are an excellent way to refine the skills required to audition for the Cathedral Choir.
The third element of our recruitment is the ‘Voice Trials’ which take place in early June.  These are the auditions (think of X Factor, but without Simon Cowell)  where individual aspirants are put through their paces in singing songs, tests etc.  At this stage we look for potential, rather than fully formed musicians.  As we are fortunate to get good numbers applying each year, entry to the choirs is competitive, but for those that are successful, the chance of a lifetime awaits.
All our choristers are educated at our two choir schools: Runnymede St Edward’s Catholic Primary School (Boys, age 7-11) and St Edward’s College (Boys and Girls, age 11-15).
If you know of a boy (in year 2/3) or a girl (in year 5) who might be interested, please encourage them to find out more.  Further details can be found on the Cathedral website: http://www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk/music/joining-the-choirs/




 

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News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool

LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL CELEBRATING 50 YEARS

- A LOOK BACK AT OUR COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE

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Cathedral Record

The organ is one of the great and necessary features of the life of our Cathedral

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