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 and a newly formed treble section (see more below) 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 adult choir rehearses each week on Wednesday evenings between 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the Minster. From September, Chorister Rehearsals will place between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Thursdays. You can find out more about our new choir, the Rotherham Minster Choristers, below. 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.
The Minster Choir currently has vacancies in all parts. We are particularly interested in hearing from sopranos, altos, tenors or basses who have previous singing experience (not necessarily recent) and would be intersted in using and developing their skills in a choral worship context. If you are interested in joining the adult choir, please contact the Senior Musical Director, Ian Wilcock (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be happy to have an informal chat with you about what is involved so that you can see if this is right for you.
In Autumn 2021, we launched a new treble section to our choir. It consists of of boy and girl choristers between the ages of 7 and 13 who rehearse weekly. The choristers started rehearsals in September and sang at their first service on the first Sunday of October, our Harvest Festival. Initially, they will continue to sing with the adult choir at our morning service on the first Sunday of each month.
If you are the parent/ carer of a child who may be interested in becoming a chorister in the future, please contact the Senior Musical Director, Ian Wilcock (email@example.com) who will be happy to give you further information or answer any questions you may have.
You can view and download a copy of our latest chorister brochure below.
Our Choral Outreach Programme is another way we work to support young people's music education. Click on the link below for more detail about this.