Lichfield Cathedral welcomes girl choristers

Girl choristers are to be received into the Choral Foundation of Lichfield Cathedral for the first time in its 800-year history.

The cathedral choir has been singing at the services since 1315. Until now, as with most cathedral choirs, it consisted only of boys and men.

Salisbury Cathedral was the first to break with tradition when it established cathedral girl choristers 21 years ago.

Other English cathedrals have been gradually following suit ever since.

The girls will make their first appearance during the Choral Evensong on 23 September.

The Very Rev Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield commented: “The admission of girl choristers to the historic choral foundation of the cathedral is good news for us all. It enhances the Cathedral’s worship, which is our primary purpose.

"It also allows girls to share the educational and other benefits of being a chorister, which boys have been enjoying for centuries.

"I am very happy that this development is another example of our close cooperation with the Cathedral School.

"Together, we will enable more young people to develop their skills and talents, making them very strong candidates for good universities when the time comes to apply.”

Choirs with girl members have sung in the cathedral before but none of them were a formal part of the Cathedral Foundation.

A scholarship-based Girls' Choir was set up at the Lichfield Cathedral School in 2006 and has on occasion sung during services.

The members of this choir will now be known as Lichfield Cathedral Girl Choristers and will sing at 5.30pm every Monday during term time, and on two weekends per term. They will also sing at the busiest periods in the year, notably Christmas and Easter.

The girls are aged between 10 and 15, and attend the Lichfield Cathedral School as music scholars.

The experience of the girl choristers will differ somewhat from the boy choristers, who are much younger, board at the school, and sing daily in the cathedral.

The schedule for the girls has been put together taking into consideration their older age and greater academic commitments.

Choral workshops are taking place on 12 January for boys and 26 January for girls who would like to sample the life of a chorister.

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