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Sunday Music


Music at Services at the Cathedral of St.Machar.

News from the Choir

We shall soon be welcoming some new Choral Scholars.  At the time of writing auditions have all been held and we are waiting for confirmation before making the announcement. It has been exciting to have so many more applications than ever before. The only drawback is that we cannot offer Scholarships to more than eight.  We look forward to getting to know our Scholars better in the coming months.

A warm tribute is due to the many choir members who sang at the Services during the Summer months.  Although the Choir does not rehearse during July and August, it was wonderful to have such enthusiasm, making possible an anthem each week.

Recently the Friends’ annual Evening Service was held at which the Choir was pleased to sing the setting of Stanford’s Evening Service in C. On that occasion we also sang a prose psalm.  Several people have mentioned how much they enjoy this genre of singing and we shall be looking at further opportunities of singing more of these in the future.

Sometimes it is good to sing ‘away from home’. In the Autumn the Choir sang at our near neighbours, the University, in King’s College, Chapel, in a concert devoted to the music of the Scottish composer Ronald Stephenson.  On October 8th the Choir has been invited to sing at the exquisite Chapel of Haddo House, in a Harvest Service marking the opening weekend of the Haddo Arts Festival.  On this occasion we shall sing a specially commissioned work by Dr.Paul Tierney, setting part of an enormous poem attributed to St. Columba. As with all new works, there are challenges which we are gradually overcoming in rehearsal.  We shall sing this Anthem at a morning Service at the Cathedral in the near future. After Easter next year (2018), we are planning a close link with the Choir of Paisley Abbey.  Our choirs will join together to sing both here at the Cathedral and at Paisley Abbey.  Their choir is one of the outstanding choirs in Scotland and this will surely be a red letter day for us all.  More details later.

Meanwhile may I say a most sincere thank you to all of you who kindly comment on the choir and the music?  It is wonderful to be part of a community which gives so much support and is so appreciative of the music in the special acoustics of our Cathedral.

(RBW. October 2017)

Choral Music

There is a thriving choir of over 30 members, including Choral Scholars, that sings at the Sunday morning Service at 11.  The Choir has an extensive repertoire, ranging from medieval plainchant to pieces which have been written in the twenty first century. The Choir usually makes two contributions to the Service - an Anthem and a Motet during the Offertory collection.  Three items are included at the monthly Communion Service on the last Sunday of the month.

During the Autumn the Choir will include a wide variety of works by various composers from different eras including the following composers – Mozart, Haydn, S.S.Wesley, H.Howells,

The full details of the music to be heard at each Service are included in the Order of Service and are published on accompanying pages of this website.  

Organ Music

The Cathedral has a fine three-manual organ by ‘Father’ Willis which last year celebrated its 125th anniversary.  Organ music during the Autumn will feature Chorale Preludes by J.S.Bach and works by Titelouze, Pachelbel, and recent works from Kenneth Leighton and Howells and Noel Rawsthorne.

Director of Music and Organist Dr. Roger B.Williams, M.B.E.

(Full details of the weekly music at the Morning Services are available elsewhere on these pages.)