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S is for…Salisbury

Today, 19 December, we are off to Wiltshire to visit Salisbury Cathedral.

Salisbury Cathedral from the fcm archive

View our complete Advent Calendar here

Salisbury’s choristers have been busy preparing for a performance of Handel’s Messiah, which was performed to a sizeable audience on Saturday. Now the choir is gearing up for the carol services on Sunday and Monday as well as Festal Evensong and Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and Eucharist and Evensong on Christmas Day.

Boys from Salisbury Cathedral Choir

Photo: Ash Mills

We are very grateful to Salisbury’s Directory of Music, David Halls, and two of his choristers, who took time out of their busy schedule to tell us what life is like as a chorister in the run-up to Christmas:

Salisbury’s choir is made up of sixteen boy choristers, sixteen girl choristers (aged 8 – 13) and six Lay Vicars. In 1991, Salisbury was the first English Cathedral to form a separate girls’ choir. The weekday services are divided evenly between the two choirs, although they sometimes sing together on special occasions.

Salisbury Cathedral Girls' Choir

Photo: Ash Mills

Aside from the daily round of services, the choir is kept busy with BBC broadcasts, concerts, CD recordings and overseas tours.

The Cathedral also has a Junior Choir for children aged 7 – 13 and a Youth Choir for young people aged 13 – 18.

Find out a bit more about the process of becoming a chorister at Salisbury here:

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Find out more about the music and services at Salisbury Cathedral