The Minster choir is a traditional robed choir consisting of adults and children who sing at the main services in Stoke Minster. At present they sing at the weekly Sunday morning Sung Eucharist, and a Sunday evening Sung Evensong every two months. Other services include the Civic service on Remembrance Sunday, an Advent Carol Service and a number of weddings (for which the children receive a small fee). The highlight of the year is the Christmas Carol Service, which is recorded by BBC Radio Stoke for broadcast on Christmas Day. Discover more about our music here.
Membership of the Minster choir provides children with a free musical education. They follow the Voice for Life scheme of the Royal School of Church Music, receiving training in voice production, musical knowledge and repertoire. Children normally join from around the age of 8 upwards (from Year 3 in Primary school), firstly as probationers, attending rehearsals and sung services, and wearing the red choir cassock. When they have successfully completed a group of initial targets, they are admitted as full choristers: in a ceremony during the Sung Eucharist they are vested in the white surplice and receive a membership certificate. They then continue to work through the other levels, on completion of which they are awarded a medal on the appropriate coloured ribbon which is worn with their choir robes.
Older, more experienced children may be awarded leadership roles as leader or deputy leader for their section of the choir; one has overall leadership responsibility as Head Chorister.
Adults sing in the choir as soprano, alto, tenor or bass. There is no formal probationary period, but adults are encouraged, if they wish, to work towards Voice for Life awards in a less formal way.
The Director of Music recruits children each September with visits to local schools, but children may still join at any other time. The recruitment of adults is ongoing; we would particularly like to hear from adults who sing alto, tenor or bass. A Choir Leaflet is available.
Find out more about the organ:
Saturday Lunchtime Concerts 12pm-12.45pm. For details here Admission Free – Retiring Collection. Drinks available. Feel free to bring your lunch.