Music forms an important part of the life of Newport Cathedral.
The men and boys choir, a special and unique tradition that dates back hundreds of years, consists of 12 boys and 9 probationers in training with 12 men providing the alto, tenor and bass parts. The boys are aged between 7 and 15 and the men between 16 and 80! Several of the men are ex-trebles in the choir.
The choirs of the cathedrals of this country, and the huge body of beautiful music they have nurtured are a wonderful cultural treasure and being a member of one of these choirs is a wonderful education, both musically and in so many other ways. In the 21st century, to deny this heritage and training to half the population no longer seems appropriate, especially as the Anglican church has now opened its doors to women priests and women bishops. Newport Cathedral decided to start a new Cathedral Girls’ Choir which met for the first time on October 15th 2015 and sang their debut service on December 6th 2015. The choir consists of 16 girls aged between 7 and 11.
Longer term, the girls’ choir will take an equal responsibility with the boys, with both groups of choristers singing with the men and maintaining their own distinct identity. We hope that they will join together for special occasions such as at Christmas and Easter.
The benefits and opportunities on offer to the boy and girl choristers are second to none.
- First rate FREE musical training.
- Singing with other boys & girls, working to a professional standard.
- Leadership from experienced professional musicians.
- Having fun in a disciplined environment and developing good team work.
- Development of skills and attitudes which transfer positively to school work and other musical activities.
- Development of self-discipline, self confidence and commitment.
- Services to church and community.
- Opportunity to travel with the choir.
- Choir pay.
As well as singing at the Cathedral, the choir is often invited to sing further afield at church services, concerts and has recently sung in Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.
Many of the boy choristers have gone on to choose music for GCSE and A-level, and a number have later won prestigious cathedral and university choral scholarships. We believe that the love of music that began at Newport Cathedral will remain with all our choristers, old and young, for the rest of their lives!
There is also a Cathedral Voluntary Choir, an un-auditioned, mixed adult group that sings on occasions throughout the year when the boys, girls and men of the Cathedral Choir are on holiday. This group was established early in 2015 and sang for the first time on Low Sunday, 12th April 2015.