* English boys choirs : individual church choirs St. Mark's Dalston

English Boy Choirs: Individual Church Choirs--St. Marks

Figure 1.--Here we see a church working to build a cathedral quality boy choir--St. Marrk's Church Dalton in 1962. The press caption read, "Two members of St. Mark's Church choir, Dalston, trying out yesterday the new uniforms the choirboys themselbes requested, Eton suits. The vicar, the Rev. Donald Pateman, had advertised for srcond-hand suits for the boys. The ones worn yesterday were borrowed for the occassion." Noitice the difficulty in building a church choir--financing it. Here they turned to second hand uniforms to save money.

Large numbers of English churches organized boy choirs to accompany their services. Unlike the many magnificent cathedral choirs, they were of uneven quality. This is not meant to denegrate the many fine choruisters and boys who gave their time and energy to participate. It was basically a matter of economics. Doing anything of real quality is expensive. The great cathedrals had the resources to do this. Small individual churches did not. This is not to say that many fine church choirs did not priduce beautiful music to nake a wonderful contribution to religious services. And nany of these church choirs did achieve real quality. It is just that the resources to support a quality program were simply not available. Several cathedrals supported residential schools. In such an atmosphrere, the choristers could be trained and developed to a level of excellence unobtainable by a small, even a large church. The hours of practice alone dwarfed what a church could do. We note a church in Dalston, part of London's East End. It became known as the cathedral of the East End. We note it tried to build a cathedral-quality choir (1960s). In an ealier preiod it may have succeeded. And the Choir functiond (1960s-80s) at a very high standard, but eventually gad to close. Empty churches without outside support simply could not support an important children's choir.


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Created: 4:28 PM 3/19/2020
Last updated: 4:29 PM 3/19/2020