As pandemic restrictions ease and the sound of music and choirs return to liturgical celebrations across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, the St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir are looking for new singers to join their ‘family.’
The choir, who perform weekly at the 11am Solemn Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, as well as major feast days and Diocesan occasions, are recruiting paid and volunteer male tenor and bass singers to join their ensemble. Singers of other voice parts are also welcome to apply.
Cathedral Chorister Johanne Perera, explained that he joined the Choir in 2017 because he enjoyed the comradery, love and care from his fellow singers.
“We believe in family [at the St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir],” he says. “In most choirs, it feels like you come, you perform, you sing and you go home. It just becomes a routine or ‘profession’. In this choir, we see family. We value and pride ourselves in the ability to notice one another.”
Fellow Chorister Lauren Stephenson adds, “one of my motivations to sing in the choir is the friends that I get to see every week.”
Led by Director of Music, Bernard Kirkpatrick KSS, singers in the choir learn how to use their voices in unison with others in singing Gregorian chants, how to blend their voices together when singing a capella harmonies from the Renaissance, and experience the thrill of accompanying the majestic Cathedral pipe organ.
Participation in the choir enables musicians to engage in the Catholic liturgy in a musically fulfilling way, while leading the Catholic community in singing God’s praise.
For many Catholics, music is an excellent way of connecting more profoundly with the mystery of faith and using their musical talent to inspire others in liturgical worship.
For Chorister and Organ Scholar Eric Grella, participating in the choir has helped him learn more about the traditions of the Church.
“The choir has helped me to grow as a musician and deepen my connection with Christ in my faith,” he said.
Johanne adds, “The choir enriched my heart and soul and enables me to ponder on the Word of God. The ability to have a relationship with God came through the music that I was experiencing.”
Lauren says, “I’d like to use my talents to serve God and the religious community that I’m involved with, and the music we sing makes me feel more connected to the liturgy.”
Choristers are expected to commit to 90-minute weekly rehearsals on a Wednesday evening and on a Sunday morning from February to Christmas. Choristers also sing every day of Holy Week excluding Tuesday and at a range of Christmas celebrations.
Singers and musicians with a good voice and natural quality, a good sense of pitch, a good sense of rhythm and music reading skills are encouraged to apply.
The choir is also offering paid scholarships to singers who demonstrate talented vocal ability and potential music leadership qualities. Payment ranges between $2500 to $4000 per annum, paid quarterly.