Happy new year!

No, the choirs of Christ Church Cathedral are not exceptionally organised with holiday greetings – there’s too much music to learn and perfect before we even think about other elements of Christmas and New Year. But “happy new year” is (perhaps not theologically) completely appropriate for this weekend: Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent, … More Happy new year!

The communion of saints, old friends, and Christ the King

Last week we sang the Adoramus Te, written by former Director of Music Keith Noake, father of the choir’s very own and much-loved Jenny and Rosie. Last week was the anniversary of his death, and so we celebrated the legacy he gifted us with. October saw us quietly noting the year’s mind of our friend … More The communion of saints, old friends, and Christ the King

Singing in the storm

This morning’s opening hymn: While angels delight to hymn you above, the humbler creation, though faltering their praise with true adoration shall sing all their days. The humbler creation: that’s us. And sometimes our praise is faltering indeed. Sometimes it’s hard to sing. Not the music, necessarily, although sometimes it’s a challenge to learn new … More Singing in the storm

A blessed interruption

We’ve been spending a lot of time rehearsing. It’s slightly different in English cathedrals — we robe, and do most of our rehearsal in the choir stalls of the cathedral itself, rather than in the song school. We were interrupted in rehearsal yesterday. Norwich was once home to Benedictine monks, who kept the daily patterns … More A blessed interruption

A history of prayer

Yesterday we said goodbye to Southwark cathedral, which has been our home for the week, and today we have travelled on a large purple bus all the way to Norwich. Southwark cathedral is a beautiful place. Huge quadrapartite vaulted ceilings arched above us as we sang; during Evensong, light spilled through the high glass windows … More A history of prayer

A chorister’s prayer

Tomorrow is ANZAC day, and Evensong tonight will be a special celebration — a time to remember that day, now over a century ago, on which the ANZAC troops landed, disastrously, on the wrong patch of beach in Gallipoli Cove. It was an eight-month campaign which saw 25,000 casualties and  almost nine thousand deaths, and … More A chorister’s prayer

Ride on

Ride on, ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die. O Christ, your triumphs now begin o’er captive death and conquered sin. Henry Hart Milman wrote those words in 1827 and these are the words that we will sing tonight, at Evensong. Not the hymn tune that most of us know (we’ll … More Ride on

The spaces between

“A public performance is a miracle. You never know who’s watching, but you feel a communion between yourself, the audience, and the composer who wrote the notes two hundred years ago. But [forget] the notes. The notes are not important. They were the composer’s only means of communicating. The important thing is what’s between the … More The spaces between