Following months of silence, the Choir of Southwell Minster is back singing once again. Singing returned to services on Sunday 13th September, with the six professional lay clerks providing choral music for Eucharist and Evensong. The boy and girl choristers returned to rehearsals the following Thursday, and Saturday Evensong is sung for the first time on 19th September. After the half-term break, the choristers will join with the lay clerks, and the Cathedral Choir will be back together again.
The challenges in returning to sung worship have been many – from issues surrounding health concerns to financial viability – but through the hard work and dedication of the music team and the Minster staff as a whole these challenges have been overcome, at least enough to allow singing to return. Choristers are rehearsing on Minster premises in small groups, maintaining strict social distancing, and are delighted to see one another once more. The person in charge of the music, the Rector Chori, Paul Provost, says “it has been a very tough time for our musicians and their families. To have daily activities completely curtailed is hard enough, but for musicians and especially singers it is a particularly harsh blow. We have all been waiting for the time when we could come back, and now that it has arrived it has not disappointed! One of the best parts of my job is working with the choristers, and I have loved welcoming those smiling faces back to rehearsals – especially all of our newcomers. My adult colleagues are likewise relieved to be back, and I am indebted to them for their support and good will.”
Whilst sung worship was suspended, many of the Minster’s music staff were on furlough. The Rector Chori and a group of hard-working choristers continued with a small contribution to ‘online worship’, and there has been much activity behind the scenes in recruiting new choristers. At the same time, Paul’s mother, Frances Provost has completed a walking double marathon as part of therapy following a major stroke and in aid of Southwell Minster Choir Association, which raises money to assist in the choir’s endeavours. So far, Frances has raised over £3,000, and you can find out more at francesprovost-fundraising.co.uk. At the same time, we are awaiting news of funding through the Co-op Local Community Fund in order to establish a new ‘Junior Choir’ for children in Y1/2 at school – please click here for further information.
For full details of services at Southwell Minster please view our Services Calendar
For further information about the Cathedral Choir, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01636 817297.