Chichester Cathedral Choir is looking for new members when it hosts a chorister open day from 2pm on Saturday, February 8.
The session is aimed at boys in school Years 2-4, with further information available from Lesa Burchell on 01243 520970.
The afternoon comes at an important time for Chichester Cathedral Choir (pictures below and right) which has launched a major new fundraising initiative aimed at preserving the future of cathedral choristerships.
Visitor services officer Ruth Poyner explains: “This new fundraising campaign appeals for donations to a newly-formed Chichester Cathedral Choral Foundation Fund, and aims, in the first instance, to raise £500,000 by Christmas 2014.
“This new fund has been specially devised to protect a principle that has been at the heart of Chapter policy for many years now, namely that boys of any background, and any financial means, can become a chorister at Chichester Cathedral. Choristers are educated at the Prebendal School, and the Cathedral Chapter is committed to awarding all choristers at least 50 per cent of the full boarding fees. Additional bursaries are also available if full funding is needed.
“This new fund, therefore, will ensure this unique opportunity is available to any boy, irrespective of his family circumstances.”
Ruth added: “By offering these choristerships, the new fund will also help to protect the choir’s essential place within the worship life of Chichester’s 900-year-old cathedral.”
The cathedral’s Precentor, Canon Tim Schofield, added: “The English choral tradition stretches back 450 years and is unique in Europe; Chichester has an unbroken choir history over all this time.
“Every day, we see how essential music is to the worship and mission of the Cathedral. Music is accessible to everyone – it inspires, comforts and connects us spiritually – so music has always been at the heart of the cathedral’s worship.
“Each generation has a responsibility to sustain this, for the hundreds of thousands of people that come to the cathedral each year.”