The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral music department has staged a successful 12-hour fund-raising 'Musicathon' which turned the spotlight on five different sets of voices.
The event ran from 7am to 7pm on Saturday 25 April with the aims of increasing the profile of the Cathedral's talented musicians and raising funds for Cathedral choristers' future touring.
The full range of voices was heard throughout the day as the main Cathedral choir – comprising the men and the boy choristers – the Cathedral girls' choir, the junior choir (aged seven upwards) and the recently formed youth choir (composed of former child choristers) all participated. Organ recitals from assistant director of music James Luxton and cathedral organist Richard Lea bookended the 'Musicathon', while a highlight was the 'Big Sing' involving choristers' parents and the public.
Luxton explained how the various activities had dovetailed: "The choristers booked which times they wanted to do during the day, but I started proceedings off with an organ recital for an hour and my colleague Richard Lea did the last hour. Sandwiched in the middle, choristers – in groups or, if they wanted, on their own – sang and even played instruments.
"The junior choir sang for half an hour; the youth choir did a slot as well. We had a 'Big Sing' at 4.30 in the aftermoon which featured as many people associated with the choirs as possible. It gave people, including the public, the experience of standing in the choir stalls.
"There were duets with a singer and somebody playing guitar. One of the most senior choristers wanted to sing 'O Holy Night'. It was an opportunity for the boys to sing on their own in such a big building with quite a few people there. It was nice to stand back and just watch them enjoy themselves and sing whatever they wanted – from church music to pop. It was quite a varied day really and a huge success."
If the music on offer was the main attraction, a cake sale in the Cathedral porch and regular updates via the music department's social media outlets also helped to facilitate the fund-raising. The money will go towards the Cathedral choir's next tour, to Belgium.
Luxton, who is assistant to Dr Christopher McElroy, summarised how the choirs complement one another: "Normally on a Sunday it's the boys and the men that sing together. Earlier in the week the boys and the girls sing as separate units. But for the big feasts we have boys, girls and men. The youth choir is a new choir that we started this academic year, formed on the back of the Rome tour last year. The junior choir is slightly different, being an opportunity for boys and girls to get singing; it's open to anyone in the area."
For more information on the Cathedral choirs, go to http://www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk/music/the-choirs/.