Cathedral choir beats lockdown with online rehearsals

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Cathedral choir beats lockdown with online rehearsals

The St John’s Cathedral choir in Norwich have been unable to meet for three months due to the lockdown restrictions but that has not stopped them from enjoying online rehearsals, thanks to Master of Music, Daniel Justin.


Choirs and other groups have been unable to meet together in person now for some 12 weeks due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Individual practice is important for young choristers but so are group rehearsals. The Cathedral choristers, who are children from Norwich schools aged 7-12, have been enjoying online rehearsals since just after Easter, when it became clear that they wouldn’t be able to sing together as a group again for a long time.

Master of Music, Daniel Justin, said: “It’s a very odd thing, taking a choir rehearsal from my sitting room, with only a laptop and a keyboard in front of me, and the faces who would normally be in front of me all squeezed into little boxes on the screen!

“We have been looking at hymns which have been appropriate to the time of year, for example, we were looking at the Gregorian Chant introit Salve Sancta Parens (Hail Holy Mother) during Mary’s month of May, and during June we will be singing a few hymns to the Sacred Heart.

“Although most of the rehearsal is taken with the children’s microphones muted, we always try once a rehearsal to unmute and sing together, often with hilarious results – the tuning is great, but because of the expected latency of the internet, it all comes across at random times! We have even learnt some new pieces, and it will be particularly interesting to see how they sound when we can actually sing together again!

“Although I hope this doesn’t become the ‘new normal’ and deprive the children of the opportunities to sing as a group, and in such a wonderful building as the Cathedral, we are keeping the choir together, and giving some glimmer of hope in these uncertain times,” said Daniel.

Pictured above is the St John’s Cathedral choir during an online rehearsal.

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