Boy and girl choristers are returning to Exeter Cathedral for the first time since lockdown – with their first public appearance on Monday 28 September.
Choral worship returning slowly and safely to our cathedrals after six months of silence.
Tickets are available from the cathedral website from 4pm on Tuesday (22 Sept) to hear the choristers – a group of 40 girls and boys from Exeter Cathedral School – sing their first Choral Evensong.
Their singing together comes following the recent easing of national guidance on singing informed by new research into the transmission risk, and weeks of meticulous planning at Exeter to ensure all aspects of Public Health England’s Covid-19 precautions are met.
The Revd Canon James Mustard, Canon Chancellor of Exeter Cathedral said the choristers’ return was a huge boost to the Cathedral community, despite the continuing restrictions.
“Inevitably, the pandemic brings changes to the way in which our Choristers can rehearse and perform. But we’ve just endured the longest period without any Choristers at all since the English Civil War, so simply bringing the children back into Cathedral life is a really exciting step forward.”
Exeter Cathedral School headteacher James Featherstone said the return of the Choristers restored an essential element of the school’s identity. It is a sentiment echoed by Phoebe, a Year 7 Chorister at the school.
“I am very excited to be back at choir. The first rehearsal was quite emotional but I really enjoyed it. It was okay doing virtual choir rehearsals, but I’m so much happier to be back and doing the real thing.”
The Choristers’ first Choral Evensong is on Monday 28 September at 5.30pm. The service is free to attend, but advance booking is essential to ensure safe physical distancing. Tickets are available on the Exeter Cathedral website from 4pm on Tuesday 22 September.
In Coventry Cathedral, Choral Evensong returned last week with the boys singing at 5.15 pm on Wednesdays and the girl choristers on Thursdays at 4 pm and the full choir on Sundays. Coventry intends to live stream all their services so check out the website to keep up to date.
Photos courtesy of Tim Pestridge (taken at Exeter cathedral BEFORE lockdown).