Equal Choral Opportunities – Norwich Cathedral

26th October 2023

Norwich Cathedral is the latest cathedral to offer equal choral opportunities for boys and girls from the age of six to eighteen in a move that will future-proof the tradition of choral music and ensure it is open to all.

Exciting time for Music at Norwich Cathedral.

From January 2024 younger girls will be able to audition alongside boys to join the Cathedral Choir and take up chorister scholarships at Norwich School.

Until now, places for the Cathedral’s younger choristers have traditionally only been open to boys – although in 1995 Norwich Cathedral was among the first to start a senior girls’ choir for 11 to 18-year-olds. And there are now plans to create a new group of senior boy choristers so that teenage boys also have the opportunity to sing at Norwich Cathedral.

Both the senior boy and senior girl chorister groups will be open to young people from any school across Norfolk ensuring the finest young voices can contribute to the Cathedral’s rich musical life.

A love of music and a natural singing voice are the key things the music team are looking for and no previous choral experience is necessary.

Ashley Grote, the Cathedral’s Master of Music, said:

“This is a very exciting time for music at Norwich Cathedral. We are committed to delivering musical excellence, both in our worship and in the education we offer to young people in our city and county.

“Our aim is to provide unparalleled opportunities for talented girls and boys alike throughout their primary and secondary school years,’ he added.

The news coincides with the return of Norwich Cathedral’s pipe organ after an ambitious rebuild and refurbish project.

Exciting times for music at Norwich Cathedral

The Very Revd Dr Andrew Braddock, Dean of Norwich, said:

“For centuries a rich and evolving musical tradition has been at the heart of the spiritual life of Norwich Cathedral.

“We are delighted this musical excellence now enters a new phase with the return of the renewed Cathedral organ and forward-looking plans for the expansion of singing opportunities for younger girls and older boys while developing its partnerships to provide greater musical opportunities in the wider community.

“These are exciting developments as music remains central to the worship and mission of Norwich Cathedral,” he added.

Exciting times for music at Norwich Cathedral

The Revd Canon Aidan Platten, Canon Precentor, who oversees worship at the Cathedral, said:

“We continually keep our music and worship provision under review and the return of the rebuilt Cathedral organ is a good time to introduce a new musical landscape. I am delighted we will soon have more opportunities for boys and girls to sing in the context of our worship.

We are also working on exciting plans to extend singing opportunities to children beyond the Cathedral itself.”

Young singers and their families can find out more about all these musical opportunities by contacting Norwich Cathedral’s music department via music@cathedral.org.uk

Primary School-aged children can also take part in a free Be A Chorister Day at Norwich Cathedral on Saturday 18 November – a chance for children to have fun singing with existing choristers and for parents to find out more.

To book a place, click here or email Norwich School’s admissions office via admissions@norwich-school.org.uk

Photo credit : Bill Smith