The Music Department has its own website where additional information about Music at Newcastle can be found. www.stnicholascathedralmusic.co.uk
The Music Department is making some changes this term (Summer 2013) to the provision of music for our services. The Girls’ Choir and Lay Clerks will take on some additional responsibilities as we look to further strengthen the Boys’ Choir for the future. As a result of successful events last term, we are expecting some new recruits to join us in the coming weeks and we continue to actively search for more boys (and girls) to join us. To enable the new recruits to quickly build their skills as a chorister, we are investing more of the time the boys give to the Cathedral in training them rather than providing music for services. We look forward to the Boys’ Choir once again playing a more active role in services in the near future.
Choral Evensong Services are sung most days in term time at 5.30pm (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thurdays as well as some Wednesdays) with Choral Eucharist at 10am and Choral Evensong at 6pm on Sundays.
St Nicholas Cathedral music has its roots in the renaissance, and is first referenced in 1503 when Princess Margaret, daughter of Henry VII, engaged to marry James IV of Scotland, passed through Newcastle on her way north. Records say that when the party crossed the bridge over the Tyne there were a number of children in surplices ‘who sang melodious hymns, accompanying themselves with instruments of many sorts’.
This foundation in early music history has been a defining feature in music and worship at the Cathedral with the Choirs, under the excellent leadership of Michael Stoddart assisted by James Norrey, currently leading 5 services a week, their collective repertoire representing over 11 centuries of Sacred Music from Europe and further afield.
The Boys' Choir in recent years have toured Paris, performed with the acclaimed Avison Ensenble and sung for local civic and social events. The Girls Choir (est.2008) continues to flourish, with a rich outreach program, singing concerts and premiering new music, as well as recording their debut album of sacred music by Clifford Harker.
The Lay Clerks of the Cathedral choir, exceptional local professionals and students, sing alongside the Boys' and Girls' Choirs, with regular ATB services of the finest early music of the repertoire.
The Choirs of St Nicholas have been featured on BBC Radio 3’s Choral Evensong, performed alongside the Northern Sinfonia at The Sage Gateshead and sung in concert with Northern Chords as well as releasing a number of fine CDs.