Morecambe Parish Church has always had a choral tradition. In days gone by, the choir consisted of boys and men - with two or three ladies strategically placed behind a pillar to sing contralto! Females in church choirs were merely brought in to cover for the shortage of male altos so you could say they were just tolerated. How things have changed over the years! Our church choir at the moment consists of around 31 members of all ages, shapes and sizes – both male and female. But we always have room for more!
During term times we practice on Thursday evenings and sing on Sunday mornings (and some evenings). There are sometimes special services like the Carol service at Christmas, weddings, concerts and opportunities to sing with people from other churches. Details and arrangements are given well in advance.
Choristers are expected to attend regularly during term-time. As in sport, every member of the team is important. A choir needs the same type of commitment as a football or netball team. However, if you’re away for the occasional weekend, that’s fine - all we ask is that we are told in advance.
Probationers wear purple cassocks.
A white surplice and ruff (boys) or a jabot (girls) is also worn upon full admission to the choir.
Do Choristers Get Paid?
Young choristers receive a modest quarterly payment according to attendance. Those who make good progress through the various stages of the choir, and therefore take greater responsibility, are paid more. This arrangement continues up to the end of Year 11. There are sometimes opportunities to sing at weddings for which everyone is paid a fee.
Singing Works Wonders
For young musicians, singing works wonders for their musical ear, and for their sight-reading ability. There are other educational benefits too: a capacity to learn things quickly and to memorise, reading skills, concentration and self-discipline, working as part of a team with increasing responsibility, an ability to handle performance pressures, organisational skills and self-confidence… From the social point of view, we have parties, bbq s and outings. We use the Royal School of Church Music ‘Voice for Life’ medal scheme, which covers all aspects of singing in a church choir, from musical skills to good breathing and singing properly to Christian training. Use the link below to access The Royal School of Church Music web site.
Taking It Further
Some of our young people regularly sing in cathedrals all over the north of England as members of ‘Northern Cathedral Singers’. Use the link below to access The RSCM Northern Cathedral Singers web page. Some go on courses, which combine singing with other activities – and have enormous fun! Some even go on to study Music at college or university. Use the link below to access The Morland Choristers Camp web site.
A Wonderful Opportunity
Boys and girls aged 7 or 8 and over are welcome to join our choir. No previous experience of singing is necessary, although an ability to read well is helpful .If you are interested in joining our choir or would like your child to benefit from the musical education the Choir of Morecambe Parish Church can offer or are thinking about it and would like to talk to those involved, please see Marilyn after a service or email:- firstname.lastname@example.org
News and EventsThe choir often participates in wider musical events, including RSCM area events and services with other local choral groups, including Cantoris Ambrosiana. Most recently, a contingent of choristers attended the 2012 RSCM Area Festival at Blackburn Cathedral, where a number received awards, including the Dean's Award and Archdeacon's Award (for an extended commitment to the choir). The festival was based around the 1953 Coronation Service, including works such as famous setting of the introit 'I was glad' by Sir Hubert Parry, and Handel's 'Zadok the Priest'. A picture of the choristers in the Cathedral is below.