244 Fifth Avenue
At the heart of life of St Paul’s Cathedral is
the daily pattern of prayer and worship.
This daily rhythm of prayer forms the framework of all that we do. We begin and
end the day with prayer. During hourly prayers we invite our visitors and pilgrims to
join in the Lord’s Prayer, in their own language, as they pause and pray.
Music is integral to the worshipping and
educational life of the Cathedral.
The Cathedral Choir, made up of Choristers and Vicars Choral,
usually sing Evensong and the Sunday Sung Eucharist.
St Paul's Cathedral Choir
Evensong in the Quire
The world famous
choir of St Paul's Cathedral performs music at Evensong every day
during term time and at three services on a Sunday. In addition to the music
St Paul's runs a year-long programme of liturgical events and concerts.
performances with orchestra of Handel's Messiah in Advent and
Bach's St John Passion before Easter; three Meditations of words and music during
Holy Week; and five Processional Carol Services to mark the liturgical year at
Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Passiontide and Pentecost. On feast days,
the 12:30 Eucharist often includes music sung by the Cathedral Consort.
2nd of December 1697 saw the opening of Wren's great Cathedral following the Great Fire of 1666. John Blow, the Minister of the Choristers, wrote his anthem I was glad when they said unto me to be sung at this grand occasion. He was assisted by his pupil Jeremiah Clarke, who was to become the first official Organist of the new Cathedral. Purcell's Te Deum and Jubilate was also performed, accompanied by Father Smith's large new organ, esteemed the best in Europe according to the diarist John Evelyn.
In 1860 a significant change in the building took place when the screen on which the organ was housed was removed and in 1872 the Cathedral took two major steps – building a new organ and appointing John Stainer as Organist.
Stainer proposed a choir of 40 boys and 18 men (or Vicars Choral) to achieve the necessary vocal power to fill the Cathedral following the removal of the choir-screen. He demanded more rehearsal time for the Vicars Choral and encouraged a more professional approach altogether. This meant that he was able to extend the musical repertoire enormously, and began to sow the seeds of the musical tradition we know today.
The present Cathedral Choir consists of 30 choristers (boy trebles), eight probationers (who will become choristers) and 12 professional adult singers (or Vicars Choral): four altos, four tenors and four basses.
At the very heart of the Choir's being is the ancient monastic tradition of singing daily services.
You can hear the Choir during term time as follows.
|Tuesday||17:00 Evensong (Choristers/Full Choir alternate weeks)|
|Thursday||17:00 Evensong (Vicars Choral)|
|Friday||17:00 Evensong (unaccompanied)|
In recent years the
Choir has established itself as one of the major forces in
British church music. The size of the choir and its mature, professional tone
set it apart from any other comparable group of singers. Outside regular duties
in the Cathedral the Choir frequently gives concerts and broadcasts and
has many notable recordings to its credit.
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