Figure 1.-- Choir Uniform for Lincoln girl choristers.
The Cathedral choirs in England have historically been boy choirs. In recent years, several cathedrals have establihed girl choirs to give girls equal opportunities in participating in church music. One of those cathedrals is Lincoln Cathedral.
The girl choristers joined the Cathedral music foundation in September 1995, and sang for the first time on St. Cecilia's Day in November the same year. Before that time they sang on their own. Now, as they are more integrated in the foundation, they sing with the Lay Vicars at many of their services.
The girls sing sing roughly the same period repertoire but it is also a plan to give each choir its own destinct identity. So the girls still have their times when they sing on their own (one-, two- or three-part choir pieces).
The girl choir does not just sing in Lincoln Cathedral. The girls also sing in other churches of the Diocese for a service or concerts (at least two or three times each year).
In May 1999, the girls had a very successful tour to Bruges (Belgium), helping Lincoln to affirm the connections between the two twinned cities. There was a second tour to Salisbury. The girl choir recorded their first
CD entitled "Sing for ever". The girls have sung for Her Majesty the Queen,
sung on BBC Songs of Praise and a Radio 3 Broadcast.
The girl wear a white cassock with a blue surplice. The girl's uniform
differs from the boy's uniform. The boy's uniform is in the traditional
way a blue cassock with with white surplice and white ruffled collar. The costume worn by the girl choristers differs from choir to choir. The Cathedral girl's choirs in Salisbury and Exeter have a similar style to the Lincoln uniform. A lot of choirs have the same uniform for girls and boys.
Choristers start at 7.55 am with an hour's rehearsal. After that the normal school day starts and ends at 3.40pm. At 4 pm the choir has another hour's rehearsal. Evensong begins at 5.15pm. "The choir sings responses, psalms, canticals and anthems at every choral Evensong". At 6pm choir's duties are fulfilled.
The weekends include Saturday Evensong from 3.15 to 6 pm and Sunday Eucharist + Mattins from 8.30am to 12.15pm.Sunday Evensong is from 2.15 to 4.30 pm.
The choir sings daily services to the glory of God.
The tradition of cathedral choirs goes back more than 900 years. The high standards are maintained by hours of practice, made possible by the dedication and enthusiasm of the girls, boys and men. There are up to eight choral services
each week, which are shared between the boys and the girls, and performances
around the Diocese and elsewhere. The chorister sing during term and
at Christmas and Easter. "Recordings enhance the Cathedral's
musical reputation and promote the Cathedral and City throughout the UK
and abroad". Prospective new choir members become
after a test probationers. Normally after about three terms they are admitted
as full choristers.
Lincoln Minster School was established in 1996 and is an amalgamation of the Cathedral School for Boys, St Josephs School for Girls and Stonefield House School". Lincoln Minster School educates girls and boys from 2 to 18 years and has seen a steady growth since its inauguration in the Cathedral. The choristers are all students of this school. Their fees are reduced. They have the option of being a day or boarding student. The routine is busy but the all choristers are fully integrated into school life. The pupil do not only come from
the local community, but also from all over Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire,
as well as youngsters from the United States, Mexico, Europe and Hong Kong. The school describes itself with the following terms: "friendliness, a responsive staff, excellent results, a firm Christian ethos, particularly happy blend of tradition and modernity".
Linclon Cathedral Official Website (accessed July 8, 2004)
Lincoln Minster School (accessed July 8, 2004)
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Created: 12:15 PM 7/8/2004
Last updated: 4:37 AM 7/24/2004