Music at the Cathedral

Music plays an important part in enhancing our worship, and has since the earliest days of the Church.  Indeed, after the Last Supper, we are told that the Disciples sang a hymn before heading to the Mount of Olives.

 

At the St Mary’s Cathedral, we are blessed by a number of choirs, and by a music group.

Our Junior Choir rehearses weekly at the Cathedral, and sings with the Cathedral Choir about once a month, including for Family Masses and for major Festivals.  We welcome children from school Year 3 upwards, both boys and girls.


Our Senior Choristers also rehearse weekly at the Cathedral, and sing as part of the Cathedral Choir at the Sunday morning mass every week during term time, as well as extra services on Holy Days, during Holy Week, as well as at Christmas and Easter.  We welcome young people from school Year 6 upwards, both boys and girls.

Our Choral Scholars sing with the Cathedral Choir, and rehearse weekly either with the Senior Choristers or Adult Singers as well as in one or more of the midweek services of Evening Prayer with Benediction.  They receive a small termly contribution, courtesy of a grant from the Friends of Cathedral Music.  Choral Scholars need to be in education, whether that be school, college, or university.

 

Our Adult Singers form part of the Cathedral Choir, along with the Senior Choristers.  They rehearse weekly, and sing at the same services as the Senior Choristers, singing Alto, Tenor, or Bass.

Our Upper Voices Consort sings at one of the services of Sung Evening Prayer with Benediction, on a Wednesday evening at 5.30pm.  Some of the members of the Consort are drawn from the ranks of the other choirs above, whilst some sing only in this group, often alongside singing in their own parishes at weekends.  Members of the Choir sing Soprano or Alto, and rehearse immediately before the service, meaning that good sight-reading skills or essential.

 

Our Cathedral Consort sings at one of the services of Sung Evening Prayer with Benediction, on a Wednesday evening at 5.30pm.  Some of the members of the Consort are drawn from the ranks of the other choirs above, whilst some sing only in this group, often alongside singing in their own parishes at weekends.  Members of the Choir sing Soprano, Alto, Tenor, or Bass, and rehearse immediately before the service, meaning that good sight-reading skills are essential.


There is also a Diocesan Choir which, although not one of the Cathedral Choirs, often sings here.  It rehearses monthly in York, and is non-auditioning.  Members are drawn from across the Diocese: Hull to Middlesbrough, Bridlington to York, and even from outside the Diocese.  They sing at major Diocesan services at the Cathedral, such as the Chrism Mass, and occasionally sing elsewhere. 


There is a recently formed instrumental group which plays once a month for one of the 5pm Sunday masses, playing a more contemporary repertoire.  Instrumentalists have included violin, ’cello, saxophone, flute, piano, and parts are written to suit the forces available.  The group rehearses immediately before the mass concerned.

In addition, we have a rota of organists and pianists who play for the 5pm Sunday Mass, and for other services from time to time.

 

If you would like to join the Music Ministry at the Cathedral, please speak with the Diocesan Director of Music, who is also the Director of Music for the Cathedral, Steven Maxson.  He can be contacted via email musicdept@rcdmidd.org.uk or telephone (01642) 597750.

 

The Cathedral Choirs have their own Facebook page:

 

www.facebook.com/MbroChoir

 

 

Further information, advice, and guidance about music across the Diocese of Middlesbrough is available at the Diocesan Website:

 

https://middlesbrough-diocese.org.uk/diocesan-music/

 

You might also like to follow the Diocesan Music social media sites on Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), YouTube, Instagram, and Threads.  On all of the sites, follow @MusicDiocese

See the Choir in Action at Benediction and Sung Evening Prayer