Christmastide at Blackburn Cathedral
Blackburn Cathedral's Choir of Men and Boys Girls' Choir Young People's Choir and Renaissance Singers
Director: Richard Tanner
Organ: Timothy Cooke
The Choirs of Blackburn Cathedral
There has been a long tradition of music in worship at Blackburn Cathedral. In 1514 Thomas Stanley, second Earl of Derby, founded a school and its twelve boys formed part of the choir to sing Masses and Sunday services at what was then Blackburn Parish Church. Clearly music was held in great esteem then, and a long succession of distinguished musicians has maintained and enhanced the high standard of choral singing.
In 1926 the Diocese of Blackburn was created and the Parish Church became the Cathedral. In the past 75 years a series of building programmes has increased the proportion and stature of the original Church, making it a wonderful setting for the varied Diocesan, Civic, Community, Cathedral and Parish events that take place there each year.
Blackburn Cathedral has no choir school, or links with any selected schools and all of the singers join the choirs on a voluntary basis. As well as the well-established Cathedral Choir of boys and men, there has been a Young People's Choir, which sings Matins each Sunday, for over thirty years. The Cathedral's musical outreach has recently been enhanced by the foundation of a Girls' Choir which sings Evensong each Tuesday and Thursday. The Renaissance Singers is a chamber choir of about forty adults which sings sacred and secular music; although not formally a Cathedral Choir, they have been closely associated with the Cathedral for thirty five years and their conductor has always been the Cathedral's Organist and Director of Music.
by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter.
Produced by Howard Seymour
Recorded and edited by Lance Andrews
Front cover painting by R A Brown (R J L Smith and Associates)