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L is for…Llandaff

Today, 12 December, we are in South Wales, visiting Llandaff Cathedral. Llandaff currently has 18 Boy Choristers who, with a dedicated team of Altos, Tenors and Basses take the lion’s share of the choral duties at the Cathedral. There are eight choral services a week, with the Cathedral Choir providing music at five of these. They are ably supported in their duties by the Girl Choristers of Llandaff Cathedral School and the Llandaff Cathedral Parish Choir.

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Llandaff Cathedral Choristers
The Boy Choristers currently sing all services that fall outside of school term time and at present are preparing for many services over Christmas as well as a concert with the Cathedral Choir on 21st December. In addition, the boy and girl choristers take a full part in the Cathedral School carol services.

Conrad (aged 12) is looking forward to the annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols:

“It’s such a big occasion and we get to sing to so many people. I can’t wait to sing Rütti’s ‘Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day.’”

Owen (aged 11) likes singing Christmas Carols.

“They make me feel festive. When you think of Christmas, you immediately think of carols.”

and Jac (aged 12) agrees, simply stating, “Descants” with a smile.

Here is the choir singing David Evans’ Welsh Carol ‘Tua Bethlem dref’ (On to Bethlehem Town) arranged by Geoffrey Webber.


It’s not all about singing though, and the boys recently had a craft day where they made baubles and other things to be sold in aid of choir funds at the Cathedral School Christmas Fayre. Later in December there will be a chance to decorate the Song Room which always brings out a different creative side in the boys!

Each year since 2016 the boys have performed a new setting of the Mass on Christmas Day and this year the work chosen is Rheinberger in E. One of the younger choristers, Seb (aged 10) loves this.

“The Rheinberger this year is really fun and has some good tunes. It’s not easy to learn though!”

Work is also taking place on a whole host of other music that the choir will sing between 18th and 25th December. Today, Thursday 12th December, the choristers have had their usual morning rehearsal before school and will be singing Evensong at 5.30pm with music by Sanders, Weelkes and Stainer.

In 2020 Llandaff will be celebrating the 900th anniversary of the Norman Cathedral which stood on the same site as the present cathedral with three ‘Norman’ Arches remaining.

Many events are planned over the year to involve all choirs at the Cathedral with services, concerts and other celebrations taking place between February and November. In amongst this celebration, the regular pattern of services continues unabated, with various other events throughout the year, which fall under the remit of Llandaff as the Anglican Cathedral of the capital city of Wales. There’s never a dull moment!

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Find out more about the music and services at Llandaff Cathedral