Southwell Minster on the hunt for new choristers

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New boys singing voices are being sought to join the historic and renowned Southwell Minster Choir, which has a special Open Day on Saturday, 10th November from 2.30pm.

Would-be choristers will have the chance to pick up a flavour of what it is like at the Open Day, when they will have the chance to sing with the Cathedral Choir and enjoy an afternoon tour with refreshments in the Minster.

Being selected as a chorister means that boys join an ancient tradition - there have been choristers at Southwell for 900 years.

Rector Chori at the Cathedral, Paul Hale explained that boys aged six, seven and eight are welcome, but they don’t have to be budding Mozarts. He said: “All we’re looking for is boys who obviously have a bit of a voice, are quite sparky. You want someone who is a bit intelligent, a good reading age and just enjoys doing it,” he said. “We can do the rest.”

According to Paul being a Cathedral chorister is a remarkable experience for a boy and is a training which sets him up for life, in whatever field he may eventually choose. During his years in the choir he will be trained to professional standards in performing and will acquire a sense of purpose, self-discipline, an ability to organise his time, and an awareness both of adult standards and of glorious music, words and architecture.

In recent months, Southwell choristers have sung in a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and have recorded CDs and joined in foreign choir tours including France, Italy, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Switzerland. They have filmed Christmas programmes for ITV and BBC, and have given world premières of specially commissioned works such as Paul Patterson’s Southwell Millennium Mass.

A place in the Cathedral Choir secures a place at the sought-after Church of England Minster School, with its Junior Department for choristers. All choristers also receive free lessons on a musical instrument, free singing lessons, free after school supervision and tea, help with transport costs and much more.

Anyone interested in trying out for the choir can attend the Open Day, when families are welcome to come along. A choir 24-hour telephone-line 01636 817360 is also available for enquiries.

There will also be Voice Trials for the Choir on Tuesday 11th December.

Full details are available from Mrs Linda Hallam, 01636 817360; or ring Rector Chori Paul Hale on 01636 817297 for an introductory chat.