Today we are in the spectacular Peterborough Cathedral, where the choir, directed by Tansy Castledine, sings William Byrd’s setting of the Rorate Caeli. In the Roman Catholic tradition, the Rorate Mass is celebrated in honour of the Blessed Virgin during Advent. Traditionally, this votive mass starts just before dawn, illuminated only by candlelight. As the sun starts to rise, the church becomes progressively brighter so that by the end of the service, the space is bathed in light. This expresses the general theme of Advent, a time of expectation awaiting the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.
We are delighted to be visiting Peterborough Cathedral at our next National Gathering in March, where there will be plenty of opportunities to hear the cathedral choir perform. Booking will open in the new year. Peterborough Cathedral also received a grant from us in 2021, to support specialist chorister training and the recruitment of Lay Clerks and Choral Scholars.
The cathedral choir sings 8 services a week, and consists of fifty boy and girl choristers, six Lay Clerks and three Choral Scholars. The Cathedral also has a Youth Choir and a Festival Chorus. In addition, a singing club for Year One pupils was launched earlier this year.
Your gift this Christmas will enable us to support choirs all year round and continue sharing this extraordinary musical heritage with people of all ages and backgrounds.
What's more, thanks to a generous matched-funding pledge of £25,000 towards our Christmas Campaign, every donation made between now and 31 December will be doubled!