Ripon Cathedral is planning a celebration for when the UK’s lock-down is lifted – a ‘Singsational’ for the whole community!
The cathedral choir will lead the singing, performing hymns or pieces of music chosen by the public.
Music Outreach Co-ordinator Tracey Kendrick explained: “We really hope that this is something that can bring everyone together; we are also looking at how this can be achieved should the lock-down continue indefinitely in some form!
“On the cathedral website you will find a questionnaire and although we can’t guarantee to sing ALL the music chosen, we will definitely use the most popular selections. Please submit your choices and do share the link with friends and family. There may be an opportunity to form a scratch choir for the day, the link includes an option for you to register your interest.”
Ripon Cathedral’s rich musical heritage dates back some 1,340 years to the time when St Wilfrid introduced singers to Ripon from Canterbury Cathedral; in a world turned upside down by the coronavirus, this musical tradition continues, albeit in a totally different form.
Music for streamed services is taken from recordings of the choir prior to lockdown – including pieces performed on a tour of Germany last Summer – or is sung and recorded at home by members of the choir community.
Thursday’s choral evensong and Sunday’s Holy Communion also feature organ voluntaries recorded at home by cathedral organists and members of the congregation – including – impressively – 11-year-old chorister Ethan Kendrick.
Choristers have been coming together too for virtual musical activities at the time they would ordinarily have been at the cathedral rehearsing. The choristers took part in The Big Easter Evensong – a live streamed national event – organised by the RSCM (Royal School of Church Music).
Director of Music Andrew Bryden said: “Our choristers tell us they are missing choir and each other; with their own website the children can keep in touch with what’s going on and with their choir friends – earning points for their house in quizzes and activities; completing their chorister cards to advance in the choir – or simply having fun!
“We felt it was important in these challenging times that they had the chance to come together in a safe environment and that, most importantly, we keep on singing!”
Saturday morning sessions have now been added to the programme with singing, music theory lessons and fun games as well as a training sessions for new probationers who were due to start in the choir this week.
To request your songs follow this link.