at Salford Cathedral 2017-18
St. John’s Cathedral, Salford invites applications for choral scholarships of up to £1200 for the academic year 2017–2018. The choir consists of around 18 men and women singers, and provides a wide spectrum of traditional and contemporary liturgical music for a weekly Mass and for other celebrations at the Cathedral and around the Diocese. Welcome qualities among prospective members are musical ability, experience and enthusiasm, but most of all we value versatility: ideally you’ll be at home with the entire range of Catholic musical idioms, ancient and modern, serious and popular, and happy to work with singers of widely differing experience and ability. All the better if you also have good sight-reading, or a trained voice, or play an instrument or two! But nobody’s perfect. We welcome applications from capable and enthusiastic singers, and we have two or three vacancies for 2017-8, at any of soprano, alto, tenor or bass. The scholarships are open to anyone in full-time education, aged 16 or over.
Situated not far from the centre of Manchester, St. John’s is the Cathedral for the Catholic Diocese of Salford, and has both a long tradition of sacred choral music and a thriving parish community. Our principal musical activities are centred on a sung mass every Sunday at 11.00 am, as well as on other important feast days, especially around Easter and Christmas. We cover a wide range of musical styles, from Gregorian chant and renaissance polyphony to contemporary music in more popular vein, with occasional forays into world music, Gospel and jazz. Our sung celebrations always place the whole assembly at the centre of the music: we sing first and foremost with the people, rather than instead of them — that’s why much of what we sing is accessible and direct. But this still leaves room for moments of musical reflection, and for this we draw on the riches of the traditional repertoire of sacred choral music. In the past year or two we’ve sung works by Lassus, Palestrina, Victoria, Byrd, Allegri, Purcell, Mozart, Elgar, Fauré, Poulenc, Duruflé, Tavener, Morton Lauridsen and James MacMillan, to name just a few of the musical gems in our keeping.
As well as the regular Sunday Mass, the Cathedral is also host to major Diocesan celebrations. A brass ensemble, Celebration Brass, joins the choir on special occasions. From time to time we are called on to appear in television broadcasts, most recently a cameo appearance in ITV’s Love Your Garden!
We rehearse on Wednesday evenings, from 7.30 until 9.45 p.m., and meet on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. For our choral scholars we expect you to attend on Wednesdays and Sundays (though with plenty of days off by agreement) and to guarantee your availability at Easter (including Holy Week) – 25th March – 1st April 2018. We’ll be glad if you can be here for Christmas, too, but if you don’t live in the North West, we’ll understand if you’re at home with your family instead. We’ll pay you a fee of £15 for each rehearsal and each service you attend, which could add up to £1200 for the whole academic year.
If you would like to join us as a choral scholar please download* and fill in the application form to tell us about yourself, and mail it back to Martin Barry, the choirmaster at . There’s no closing date for applications – we’ll continue to accept them until the places have been filled – so get yours in as soon as you can. If your application looks promising we’ll invite you to a friendly audition, and to come and sample a rehearsal. We look forward to receiving your application, and to welcoming you to St. John’s.
*To download the application form, follow the link, and when you can see the form on the screen, click on the ⤓ symbol at the top of the screen. If Google Drive won't let you download the file, an e-mail containing the same information will do nicely!