The Cathedral Choir
Rochester Cathedral Choir is frequently seen on television and heard on radio and has a formidable list of CD recordings to its name. The Choir is also well travelled, with tours in recent years taking them to Holland, Malta and Germany.
The Cathedral Choir is made up of three parts:
There are up to 20 boys, aged 8–13, who are all educated at King's Rochester Preparatory School, where they receive a generous Choral Music Scholarship. In addition, each chorister gets a termly bursary from the Cathedral.
There are up to 20 girls, aged 10–15. Each Chorister receives a termly bursary, vocal coaching and theory lessons. Choristers who attend King's Rochester also receive a Choral Music Scholarship.
Opportunities for Altos, Tenors and Basses
At evensong on Thursdays, Fridays, and all day Sunday, the boys or girls sing with the six Principal Lay Clerks. However, for larger occasions, the boys and girls combine with the Principal Lay Clerks and an additional pool of Deputy Lay Clerks.
Experienced altos, tenors and basses are always welcome to audition to join the Deputy Lay Clerks.
Rochester Cathedral Children's Choir
This Children's choir was launched in the autumn term 2015. It is for any boy or girl, aged 7–13, in the Medway area who loves singing! The choir is free to join, and there are no auditions. We rehearse on Thursday evening 6.30pm–7.25pm and sing a variety of fun repertoire, spanning a range of styles. The choir give a concert each term, and in addition to this, the choir sings at Rochester Cathedral’s Crib Service on Christmas Eve.
The Cathedral Voluntary Choir
The choir consists of a pool of 30 or so experienced adult singers in the Medway / Maidstone area and from further afield. The Cathedral Voluntary Choir normally sings the four choral services (Saturday Evensong and Sunday Mattins, Eucharist and Evensong) on 8–10 weekends each year, usually during holiday periods, plus a Eucharist on the evening of Ash Wednesday. The Choir is directed by Douglas Henn-Macrae who has a long involvement with music making at Rochester Cathedral.
Association of Cathedral Voluntary Choirs
In 1996, Rochester’s newly-formed Cathedral Special Choir (as it was then known) was one of seven choirs who attended a meeting at Wells Cathedral. The meeting was at the invitation of Wells’ Cathedral’s Voluntary Choir, following a survey that had been carried out to find out more about cathedral voluntary choirs – what they did, what they wore, who led them, how often they sang, etc. Those present at that meeting agreed to form an Association of Cathedral Voluntary Choirs.
Since then, regular festivals have been held approximately every 18 months, usually in July and October, consisting of Saturday Evensong, a Festival Dinner, and Sunday Eucharist.
Rochester hosted the Festival in October 2004 as part of our 1400th birthday celebrations, and our Cathedral Voluntary Choir is delighted to be hosting the next upcoming Festival this October.