Cathedral choirs' end-of-year report

By Dr Christopher McElroy

July sees the choir draw to the end of what has been an exceptionally busy year. The choral year started back in September with the Adoremus Eucharistic Congressf and the choir singing at liturgies both at the Cathedral and down at the convention centre in the city centre. This was followed by a choir tour to Cologne in Germany (which is twinned with Liverpool) where we had the privilege of singing at High Mass together with Cologne Cathedral Choir in their eponymous home.

In November we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the first service sung by our girl choristers, before the usual busy round of liturgies, carol services and concerts unfolded in December to mark the seasons of Advent and Christmas. The first few months of 2019 were then mercifully quiet, but since Easter the choirs have been involved in three major concerts (all rendered to excellent audiences) in addition to the usual series of choral services and rehearsals which have required an immense amount of time and effort from all choir members and staff.

However, the choir year is not complete yet. On Saturday 13 July we are presenting a special concert in the Cathedral entitled Choral Classics in conjunction with the Crosby Symphony Orchestra. The choir will sing ‘Classic FM’ favourites such as Zadok The Priest (Handel), I Was Glad (Parry) and the whole of Antonio Vivaldi’s evergreen Gloria. We are delighted to welcome back former lay clerk Stuart O’Hara who will sing Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs. To round the evening off, the Orchestra will perform Edward Elgar’s Pomp And Circumstance Number One (perhaps better known as Land Of Hope And Glory) and Nimrod from his Enigma Variations.

It promises to be a wonderful concert, showcasing the talents of all choir members, young and old, who spend many hours of the year giving service to the Church to enhance the choral worship of the Cathedral for the glory of God. Tickets for the concert (priced £12) can be purchased online at ticketsource.co.uk/metcathedral or by calling the Cathedral gift shop on 0151 707 3525.

One new initiative we will be undertaking is the ambitious challenge of having the Cathedral Choir visit every pastoral area of the Archdiocese during the next five years. We began the process in June by visiting Wigan, and will continue in the autumn with trips planned to three more pastoral areas. If you would like to get in touch about us coming to your pastoral area, email music@metcathedral.org.uk.

Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a relaxing summer. We look forward to being back in September for another year of music-making.