Derby Cathedral Music Department has been busy thinking of creative and innovative ways in which to keep both its choristers engaged during the lockdown whilst continuing to provide music to support the congregation’s private worship at home.
Every chorister in the Cathedral Choir has been asked to record various pieces so that we can make a video collage of the whole choir singing together, but from their individual homes. The Girl Choristers sang a moving performance of John Dankworth’s Light of the World – in which each chorister sent in their own recording to the Director of Music who mixed and pasted it all together using the wonders of modern technology! We’ve also asked choristers to select a recording of their favourite piece of seasonal choral music and we’re putting their thoughts together with their choice alongside the recording on our Facebook page every few days in what we are calling #choristerschoice. There are lots of other activities we’re doing virtually with choristers including repertoire learning, warm ups and preparation for the RSCM Voice for Life awards.
On Maundy Thursday morning, our Director of Music led a virtual hymn sing-along live on the Cathedral Facebook page from his music room at home. Over a hundred people tuned in to be led through some passiontide favourites. Before the lockdown came into effect, our organists and lay clerks recorded as much music as they were able and this can be heard on our website and social media pages, alongside recordings of our Cathedral Choir from the past. The Lay Clerks also enjoyed their usual Thursday evening ‘pub’ visit on Maundy Thursday, all from the comfort of their own homes in their first ever virtual social.
On Easter Day the whole Cathedral Choir joined other Cathedral Choirs from across the world (Sydney was also featured) in the RSCM’s Big Easter Evensong, with a different choir leading each section of the service. Derby was tasked with leading the responses in a setting by Philip Wilby and almost two thousand people tuned in to join in singing or watching in this Act of Worship from home.