On Saturday 21 July 2018, a selection of both current and former members of the Cathedral Choir gathered in Central London (coping marvellously well with the difficult heatwave conditions) to sing the 6pm Mass at Wesminster Cathedral.
As this was the choir’s first visit to Wesminster, we wanted to bring a flavour of Nottingham with us, so the music included parts of the Missa Brevis by Alex (not Paul) Patterson (written for our Cathedral Flower and Music Festival in 2010) and Salvator Mundi by our Composer-in-Residence Amy Summers (premiered by the choir earlier this year).
The Mass was celebrated by Fr Christopher Thomas, one-time curate at Nottingham and now General
Secretary for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, who continues to be a strong advocate for the music here at Nottingham Cathedral.
The Nottingham Music Service (NMS) started in 2002 as part of the Nottingham City Council and, in 2014, became an independent registered charity.
NMS is the lead organisation for the Nottingham Music Education Hub. The National Plan for Music Education, published by the Department for Education in 2011, requres Music Education Hubs and all state-funded schools and academies to work together to ensure that all young people are able to access the entitlements enshrined in that plan. The vision of NMS is that all children and young people in Nottingham have an inspiring and rewarding experience of making music with others, and, as such, NMS works in collaboration with several partner organisations to promote music in the city and contribute to the community.
This year, thanks to the combined skill-set of our new Youth Choir Director, Ellie, and Director of Music, Alex, the Cathedral Music Department have been able to work with NMS to help deliver their Singing Strategy in city schools. Throughout the months of May and June, Ellie and Alex visited 21 schools to deliver singing workshops in preparation for a combined ‘Summer Sing’ performance at Nottingham’s Albert Hall. They introduced the children and young people to good singing technique and taught a set of secular songs which would be performed together with all schools. On Wednesday 20 June, over 800 school children gathered in the Albert Hall for workshops with Alex and the a cappella ensemble, Apollo5, before sharing events for family and friends.
The success of this partnership has resulted in the development of a new partnership between NMS and the Cathedral’s Music Department. This autumn will see a similar series of school workshops culminating in performances at NMS’s ‘Christmas in the City’ concerts at the Albert Hall and Royal Concert Hall, as well as a new Hub Youth Choir based at the Cathedral led by Ellie and Alex.