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A is for…St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen

Welcome to the first of 26 days in FCM’s Alphabetical Advent Adventure!

Each day, we will feature on our website a choral foundation from the UK, starting with the letter A and working our way through the alphabet to Z. We hope you will enjoy following us as we journey the length and breadth of the UK and guessing where we might be visiting each day!

View complete calendar here

 

It’s Advent Sunday, and the countdown to Christmas really begins! December days may be short and a little chilly in Aberdeen, but there’s warmth and light in St Andrew’s Cathedral tonight as the first Advent candle is lit.

Interior of St Andrew's Aberdeen

The Advent Carol Service begins at 6.30pm, and features Britten’s ‘Hymn to the Virgin’, the new Magnificat by James MacMillan (commissioned by the Cathedral Organist’s Association) and a Matin Responsory by Ed Jones, former Assistant Organist at the Cathedral.

The choristers are looking forward to the service:

Caleb, aged 13, said, “I love the calm of the candles in the darkness at the start of the service, and then the thrill of excitement as the lights come up and we sing ‘Wake O Wake’ by Bach.”

Fourteen-year-old Moro’s favourite piece is Ed Jones’s Matin Responsory: “The piece has many weird but pretty harmonies that aren’t in music you would usually hear at other times of the year.”

Listen to the choir, directed by Andrew Morrisson, singing the Matin Responsory here:

 

For Elizabeth, the head chorister, Britten’s ‘Hymn to the Virgin’ is her stand-out piece:

“In our cathedral, the semi-chorus stands away from the main choir to create an echo effect…I feel that the perfect blend of music and words captures the divine beauty of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

The choir of St Andrew's Aberdeen carol singingFCM’s Diamond Fund for Choristers has been delighted to support St Andrew’s, Aberdeen in their choristers’ outreach programme, which involves singing at churches around the diocese and other venues, such as a regular commitment to sing at a care home. FCM has helped the cathedral with transport costs to remote locations. We have also supported the choristers’ vocal tuition and given choristers living in challenging financial circumstances the opportunity to participate in a Choir Residency Week at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Nine choristers took their RSCM Bronze and Silver medals in May this year and all were successful.

 

Here are seven of them proudly wearing their new medals.

Choristers from St Andrew's Aberdeen displaying their new RSCM medals

By donating to FCM, you can help support choristers like these at St Andrew’s, Aberdeen.

Donate to the Friends of Cathedral Music 

FCM promotes the work of choral foundations throughout the year. If you would like to hear more from us, please sign up to our emailing list:

 

Find out more about the music and services at St Andrew’s Cathedral Aberdeen