On Sunday 21 November, the feast of Christ the King, the Choir of the Metropolitan Cathedral will celebrate their 50th anniversary. On the same feast day in 1960, they sang in the Lutyens Crypt under the direction of the Cathedral’s first Master of the Music, Christopher Symons.
A three day series of events will mark this milestone. On Friday 19 November a dinner will take place in the Crypt for boy and girl choristers, their parents, the lay clerks, guests plus many former choristers who are returning to Liverpool for the weekend.
Saturday 20 November at 7.30pm sees a concert in the Cathedral by the choristers, together with the gentlemen of the choir and reinforced by former choristers, and the Cathedral Brass Ensemble, directed by the present Director of Music, Timothy Noon, with Richard Lea at the organ.
Some exciting music is to be performed, including Parry’s famous coronation anthem I was Glad, as well as William Walton’s Festival Te Deum and John Rutter’s thrilling Gloria. Other items include Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and the Hymn to St Cecilia, the patroness of church musicians.
This spectacular concert is one not to be missed and music lovers should book their tickets right away.
The Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool are guests of the Cathedral Dean, Canon Anthony O’Brien. Archbishop Patrick Kelly, a regular concert-goer will be present to support his own Cathedral Choir.
All the choristers are pupils of the Cathedral’s two choir schools, with the junior choristers at St Edward’s School, Runnymede and the older choristers at St Edward’s College, both schools situated in West Derby.
Several former choristers have pursued professional careers in music, including bass Jeremy White who will be singing in the concert, a member of the Royal Opera House, Jonathan Kenny who is a visiting professor at the Royal College of Music, Stephen Wallace, a counter-tenor whose engagements in Lille and Paris prevent his presence. His brother Michael is a bass in the Glyndebourne chorus. Tenor Nicholas Mulroy is singing with Glyndebourne Touring Opera at present and is much in demand. Kevin Beckett, also taking part in the concert, sings with the choir of Westminster Cathedral and Michael McGuire is an alto at Chapel Royal, St James’ Palace. Other younger singers at the early stages of their careers include tenor Andrew Dickinson, recently making his début in the Glyndebourne chorus, Julian Guidera and Philip Jones, a post graduate singer at the Royal College of Music, also singing in the concert. Other choristers have pursued a variety of non-musical careers, including medicine, chemical engineering, IT and teaching.
On Sunday 21 November, at 11am Feast of Christ the King former choristers will form the choir of baritones to join with the Cathedral Choir in Widor’s Messe pour Deux Choeurs at the Solemn Mass on the Feast of Christ the King, the titular feast of the Metropolitan Cathedral to be celebrated by Archbishop Patrick Kelly.
For more information see: www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk/
Source: Archdiocese of Liverpool