St Mary's Cathedral Choir

 

St Mary’s Cathedral Choir is known as one of Australia’s great choirs and Australia’s oldest permanent musical organisation. Its history dates from 1818 when a choir was formed to sing at Masses celebrated for Catholic convicts. After the foundation of St Mary’s Cathedral in 1833 this choir became a regular part of the Cathedral’s worship. Since 1955, consistent with the English Benedictine tradition from which the Cathedral’s founders came, the Choir has been a liturgical choir for male voices: boy trebles (the Choristers) and adult men (the Lay Clerks).

Thomas Wilson was appointed Director of Music in 2010 and the Choir continues to maintain its traditional ethos whilst developing its musical and liturgical mission. St Mary’s is the only Roman Catholic cathedral in Australia with an on-site Choir School where the twenty-four boy Choristers are educated. The Lay Clerks are professional singers.

Membership in the Choir offers boys a disciplined musical education which is unparalleled in Australia. After Choristers’ voices change they can be invited to join the Cathedral Scholars, an ensemble of young men’s voices which sings several times a week at cathedral liturgies, and at concerts. After leaving school former Choristers often go on to professional singing careers.

The Choir provides music at Vespers and Mass in the Cathedral every day except Fridays during term-time, making it one of only two Catholic cathedral choirs in the world to continue such a rhythm of worship. The Choir also sings at special liturgies in the Cathedral for feasts, weddings, funerals, and other special occasions. When its busy liturgical schedule permits, St Mary’s Cathedral Choir continues to reach new audiences through recordings, broadcasts, concerts, and tours.

Recent collaborations with The Choir of St James’ have included a series of concerts celebrating the 400th anniversary of Tomás Luis de Victoria, the very popular Splendour of Venice  with Paul Goodchild and Sydney Brass, and more recently a concert performance of the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610, and A Venetian Coronation under the direction of UK conductor Paul McCreesh.

The Choristers have appeared in concert with the Brandenburg Orchestra and Sydney Youth Orchestra. In 2011 the Choir travelled to Rome to sing for the opening of Domus Australia and performed in the presence of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

Visit the St Mary's Cathedral website

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