The tradition of choral music at Rotherham Minster goes back many years. In 1480, Thomas Rotherham, then Archbishop of York, endowed the Chapel of Jesus within Rotherham Parish Church and in 1483 founded the college of Jesus where 6 choristers, poor boys of the parish, would be trained in ‘singing, grammar and writing’, and would sing in church services under the direction of the ‘master-teacher in singing’.
Although the college has long since disappeared (dissolved by Edward VI around 1550), the choral tradition has continued, The current Minster choir now consists of a group of enthusiastic and committed adult singers who give freely of their time each week to prepare and perform music to the glory of God.
The Minster choir sings at the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist each Sunday morning, at Choral Evensong at 4:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of the Month and at other special services.
The choir has three main functions during worship:
The choir’s repertoire includes music from different periods and in a variety of different styles. An anthem is sung each week during the morning service, and a psalm, anthem and different settings of the evening canticles and the preces and responses are included in the monthly Choral Evensong.
The Minster choir also sings at Civic services, such as the annual Service of Remembrance and the Mayor Making Service. For some special services, the Minster choir and the choir of St Paul's, Masbrough sing together..
The Minster Choir & St Paul's Choir singing together at the Carols by Candlelight Service.
The choir rehearses each week on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Minster, usually followed by refreshments. There are also short rehearsals before each service in which the choir sings. In addition, additional rehearsal sessions are offered where needed. Rotherham Minster choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music, and those singers who wish to, have opportunity to work towards RSCM awards.
Although the Minster choir now consists solely of adults, there are plans to reintroduce boy and girl choristers, to form a new junior section to the choir. Through our choral outreach work in school and our work with families, we will offer opportunities to boys and girls to develop their music skills and to become involved in our worshipping community.
The Minster Choir currently has vacancies in all parts. If you are interested in joining the choir, or if you have a child or know of a child who may be interested in becoming a chorister in the future, please contact the Senior Musical Director, Ian Wilcock (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be happy to give you further information or answer any questions you may have.