St Edmundsbury Cathedral Choir is a voluntary organisation working to the highest standards to provide music for the worship in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the mother church of the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich in the county of Suffolk. Ours is a fairly young cathedral (the diocese was created in 1914): thus there is no cathedral choir school – the boys attend many different local primary and middle schools, and some travel considerable distances each day to attend. Their parents are the heroic ones – we would not have a choir without their support and good will!! The gentlemen of the choir come from many different walks of life, and are also all volunteers.
The full choir of 22 boys and 10 men sings four services a week, while the boys sing an extra one each week on their own and rehearse most mornings before school. On top of this considerable commitment, the Cathedral Choir also provides music for special civic and diocesan events, termly visits to parishes in the diocese, and occasional concerts. The choir broadcasts regularly both live and recorded on BBC radio, and in 1999 produced a CD entitled ‘Advent to Candlemass’ and in 2001 'Godspeed', which includes not only many universally popular pieces of choral music, but also two items peculiar to the Cathedral Choir.
The choir undertakes a foreign tour every two years; previous destinations include Hungary and France. This is the Choir’s first trip across the Atlantic.
Most of the choristers start life in the Colts’ Choir which sings evensong once a month, and rehearses twice a week, singing secular as well as sacred music. There is also an active Ladies’ Choir, the St Edmundsbury Singers, which sings evensong every two weeks or so, and a flourishing Youth Choir, some members of which are on this tour.
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