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N is for…Norwich

The boys, girls, lay clerks and choral scholars at Norwich Cathedral are enjoying a well-earned rest today, 14 December, after their magnificent performance in their Christmas concert last night.

Photo: Paul Hurst

View our complete Advent Calendar here

Norwich Cathedral Choir comprises 20 boy choristers, aged 8-13, who attend Norwich School, and 24 girl choristers aged 11-18 who attend secondary schools across Norwich and the surrounding area. There are six Lay Clerks and six Choral Scholars. The choir is led by Master of Music Ashley Grote, who has been in post since September 2012, and accompanied by David Dunnett (Cathedral Organist) and George Inscoe (Assistant Organist).

Norwich Cathedral Choristers at Christmas

Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

Tomorrow, the boys, lay clerks and choral scholars will be singing for both Eucharist and Evensong. The choir is giving a lunchtime carol concert on Wednesday and travelling to London on Thursday to give a concert at St Bartholomew the Great in London, in aid of SUCCESS, a charity which provides support for survivors of childhood brain tumours:

Here is the choir singing ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ by Matthew Owens at a Christmas party in the city on Thursday:


Over Christmas itself, the Cathedral will be welcoming thousands of people to its services – the two Christmas Processions, Midnight Mass, Eucharist and Evensong on Christmas Day, which will be keeping the choir extremely busy.

One chorister told us:

“I love being in the choir at Christmas, as I get to spend so much time with my friends. My favourite service is Midnight Mass – it’s an amazing feeling singing in the Cathedral in the middle of the night, when it’s packed with so many people”.

Another said,

“I am excited about my first Christmas in the Cathedral Choir and especially about Midnight Mass. I love singing all the different carols. I’m especially looking forward to singing ‘In the bleak midwinter’ by Harold Darke, as he was my great-great-grandfather!”

Last year, the choir made a new CD, Evening Hymn. You can hear it on Spotify here:

Last week saw the revival of a medieval tradition which has not taken place in Norwich for nearly 500 years. On 6 December, St Nicholas Day, Daniel, one of the two head boy choristers, was installed as Boy Bishop during Evensong. He was elected to the honour by his peers, wore special vestments and even gave a heartfelt sermon.

We were delighted to feature a design by a Norwich probationer, Isaac, on one of FCM’s Christmas cards this year. Isaac also spent some time over the summer holidays busking on his violin in Norwich’s city centre to raise funds for FCM – thanks, Isaac, we are really grateful to you!

There’s still just about time to buy our cards if you need some more, proceeds of which go to help fund FCM’s grant-giving programme.

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FCM promotes the work of choral foundations through the year. If you would like to hear more from us, please sign up to our emailing list:

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Find out more about the music and services at Norwich Cathedral