Celebrating Jesus' resurrection through music

By Dr Christopher McElroy

Alleluia – Christ is risen!
 
The Easter season lasts not for one day, or even a week, but for 50 days concluding with the great feast of Pentecost. Musically we keep the joy of the Easter season running through all we do.  At Evening Prayer each day we conclude with the Eastertide antiphon to Mary: 'Regina Caeli, Laetare, Alleluia!'
 
To help celebrate the season we will, for the first time, be holding our annual Two Cathedrals' Messiah during the Easter season (previously this took place in Advent). The Messiah oratorio is a celebration of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This story is told through some of the most captivating choruses and solo movements ever written, from 'And the glory of the Lord' to the beautiful soprano solo 'I know my redeemer liveth' and the famous 'Hallelujah'. The concert will be held on Saturday 12 May at the Anglican Cathedral, beginning at 7.30pm. All are very welcome.
 
Easter symbolises new life, and it is in the summer term that our thoughts turn towards recruitment. The life cycle of a boy or girl chorister is usually around six years: the first two spent learning the ropes, the middle two getting a grip on the repertoire, the final two leading everyone else and singing solos. As boys and girls move on (boys usually around 13/14 as their voices change, girls at 16 to focus on GCSEs), they need to be replaced at the bottom to ensure that the cycle continues.
 
There are two main elements to our chorister recruitment. Firstly our Be a Chorister for a Day events (boys 6 May/ girls 24 June) give children and their parents the opportunity to come and experience chorister life from the inside. During the day they get to sing with the choristers, rehearse with them, try on cassocks and attend Mass and Evening Prayer.
 
The second element of our recruitment are the Voice Trials. These are the auditions (think X Factor, but without Simon Cowell) where individual aspirants are put through their paces in singing songs, tests etc. At this stage we look for potential, rather than fully formed musicians. As we are fortunate to get good numbers applying each year, entry to the choirs is competitive, but for those that are successful the chance of a lifetime awaits.
 
If you know of a boy (in year 2/3) or a girl (in year 5) who might be interested, please encourage them to find out more. Further details can be found on the Cathedral website: http://www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk/music/joining-the-choirs/