ack in October we were delighted to welcome Christopher Hodkinson to the Cathedral to lead a plainsong workshop with our Cathedral Choir. Christopher is Director of Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge and Director of the Latin Schola at the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs in Cambridge. During the workshop, Chris gave a general introduction to the basic principles of singing chant before getting stuck into the chant for the next day’s Mass. The session has had a profound impact on the way we now approach singing plainsong and we hope parishioners have also enjoyed our new approach to singing the Introit chant whilst in the opening procession into the Cathedral at the start of Mass.
The Solemnity of Christ the King marked the first appearance of our Youth Choir at the 11.15am Solemn Mass. Members of the Youth Choir were joined by the upper voices of the Cathedral Choir to sing Britten’s Missa Brevis. The Youth Choir also joined the Cathedral Choir (including the men!) for our Festival of Lessons and Carols with a host of new and familiar seasonal music by Darke, Howells, Whitlock and David Fawcett.
Apollo5 were given a hero’s welcome when they returned to the Cathedral in January to lead a singing workshop with the Youth Choir, Choral Scholars and local school children. It was a particular joy to have Charlotte Brosnan back with us - one of our previous Choral Scholars and now professional soprano with the group.
A major date in the diary is the annual Chrism Mass during Holy Week which is led musically by the Diocesan Choir and our Choral Scholars. This year, we commissioned Dorset-based composer David Fawcett (an alumnus of Nottingham University) to compose a new work specially for the choir. The piece, The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me was rehearsed by the choir at our annual singing workshop in March and first performed during the Chrism Mass, in the presence of the composer.
We were proud to announce the appointment of Graeme Vernon as Organist Emeritus at the Cathedral on Easter Sunday. Graeme has been a dedicated member of the Cathedral music team for over 27 years and continues to lead the Parish Singers for the 10am Parish Mass each Sunday at the Cathedral.
The Cathedral choir made a return visit to Holy Cross Priory, Leicester following singing at the Requiem Mass for King Richard III in March 2015. An hour-long concert of Music in Honour of Our Lady included an emotional performance of Gorecki’s Totus Tuus along with other music by Bruckner, Caccini, Patterson, Tavener, Victoria and Rachmaninoff.