This coming weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the first choral service sung by the girl choristers here at the Metropolitan Cathedral. To celebrate the occasion former choristers will join with the current girl choristers in singing Choral Evening Prayer at 3.00 pm on Sunday afternoon, 18 November, and will also sing the Communion Motet, ‘Panis Angelicus’ by Cesar Franck at the 11.00 am Solemn Mass.
The tradition of boy choristers singing in English Cathedrals stretches back to the middle ages. The advent of girl choristers is a much more recent development, and in 2008 the Cathedral Choir School, St Edward’s College, was keen to offer girls the same opportunities as the boys regarding choral places at the College in line with developments at many other choir schools throughout the country.
During the last ten years, nearly 100 girls have sung in the choir, and the choir has travelled to Germany and Italy, broadcast on BBC Radio and appeared on several CD’s. All of this is in addition to the regular weekly routine of rehearsals and liturgies in the Cathedral. Several former girl choristers have gone onto study music at university, building on the foundations they gained from being a chorister.
Director of Music, Dr Christopher McElroy, says ‘Today Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral offers the only chance in the United Kingdom for girl choristers to have the opportunity to rehearse and sing on a daily basis in a Catholic Cathedral. Our special Choral Evening Prayer on Sunday offers us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this and all the achievements of the last ten years.’