VIRTUAL voice trials are to be held for the first time for boys and girls looking to become Bradford Cathedral choristers.

The music department at the Cathedral is looking to recruit local youngsters from the age of seven with a particular talent for singing.

Children from school years two to four can apply and those that are successful will be offered a place in the choir when the Cathedral reopens.

Alex Berry, director of music at Bradford Cathedral said: “We know there are lots of children across Bradford who might be interested in singing and are particularly talented, and because we can’t visit every school in the district every year, these voice trials are an excellent opportunity for more to audition to become part of our Cathedral Choir.

“The auditions are quite informal but they give us the opportunity to listen to each child and their voices.

“Anyone in years 2, 3 and 4 can apply, regardless of which school they come from. All they need to do is meet the full commitment expectations of the choir.”

New choir members will be invited along on Mondays or Tuesdays, as well as Thursdays every week for after-school activities and to sing at Evensong, alongside alternate Saturdays where they’ll receive theory and singing tuition, as well as information about the Christian faith.

“Being a cathedral chorister is an amazing opportunity. The choristers will work at a level that you can’t work at in many other disciplines as a child. We offer free lessons and pay for children to take the ABRSM exams. Choristers also have the opportunity to sing in collaboration with other choirs across Yorkshire.”

The trials will take place over Zoom, a video conferencing platform, so a webcam and microphone are needed. They are expected to last 20 minutes, where the youngsters will be expected to sing the first verse of classic Christmas carol, Away in a Manger, alongside some scales and a few musical exercises, as well as reading a short passage out loud.

There will also be an informal conversation between the music department and the child’s parents or carers about what is involved with being part of the Bradford Cathedral Choir.

As a member of Bradford Cathedral Choir, children can expect to receive a first-class education in music, regular free singing and theory tuition, the opportunity to meet their others who love music, and get the opportunity to sing at home and abroad.

As well as singing with other cathedral choirs, there are six visits each year to sing at a range of churches across the Diocesan area, which covers much of West and North Yorkshire, from south of Darlington to Holmfirth, and across from Ingleton to the edge of York.

Choir membership continues until school year eight, when they will have enough experience to become young professional singers with potentially grade fives in singing and music theory.

“Being a member of a choir has helped many people get into really high-flying careers, and they look back on the choristership as the thing that really inspired them, and gave them the aspiration to aim for something so amazing. Some of our own choristers have gone on to join the Opera North Youth Chorus, and others have gone onto University music degrees and organ scholarships.”

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