On Saturdays October 12 and November 9, Belfast Cathedral hosted a free ‘Be a Chorister for a Day’ event, inviting children to experience the life of a Cathedral chorister.
Almost 70 children, aged between seven and 12, came from schools across Belfast and beyond, including Lurgan, Whitehead, Dollingstown, and Banbridge. At the event they participated in singing games and workshops and met some existing Cathedral choristers.
Parents were invited to attend the introduction and warm-up session, and learnt how to breathe properly for singing, using some amusing techniques.
The children were given a Cathedral tour and were also treated to a demonstration of the mighty Cathedral organ. Here they heard all the many different sounds of the instrument, from the very highest sounds to the lowest (and quite amusing) sounds, and from the softest to loudest.
Both days culminated in children processing in chorister robes into the Quire stalls of the Cathedral where they took part in a short service for family and friends.
The children performed the Anthems A Prayer of St Richard of Chichester by contemporary composer Richard Allain, and Lord of the Dance arranged by Matthew Owns, new Director of Music at Belfast Cathedral.
Every ‘chorister’ for the day was presented with a certificate by the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, and signed by the Director of Music.
The also received a Belfast Cathedral medal, which made the procession out in front of family and friends even more special. At the end of the day there was a drinks reception for family and friends at the West End of the Cathedral.
Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a chorister and auditioning for the newly-formed Belfast Cathedral Children’s Choir is asked to email the Matthew Owens, who is always happy to hear from prospective chorister parents at firstname.lastname@example.org