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Perth Cathedral hosts choristers' 40th anniversary

Royal School of Church Music lead cathedral community in Sunday worship



RSCM choristers both past and present fill the sanctuary area of St Mary's Cathedral (Photo © Ron Tan).

The Western Australian Branch of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) holds their annual winter school for members of choirs, better known as Choristers’ Camp, at a different location across the State every year. The City of Perth was the chosen destination for 2014 as the Choristers’ Camp celebrated its fortieth anniversary.

The winter school, an ecumenical residential gathering based out of Guildford Grammar School, requested that its closing service be a Mass celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral. On the morning of Sunday, July 13, a crowded bus of over 50 choristers arrived at the gates of St Mary’s Cathedral to prepare to sing at the 11 o’clock Mass.

Some of the cathedral’s own choristers were also involved but the majority were from far-flung towns and communities across the State.

70 choristers in total sang at the Mass which, for some of them, was their first ever experience of the Catholic Church and of being present at a Mass.

Past choristers were also invited to come along and to offer their voices in enhancing the liturgy. Many of those present commented on how this had been for them an “extraordinary” way to end a most memorable weekend. The Mass followed a vibrant dinner that took place the evening before where many previous attendees of the winter school had shared some of their memories of being choristers as children.

Jacinta Jakovcevic, committee member of the WA State Branch of the RSCM and Director of Music at St Mary’s Cathedral, spoke of how “great it is to see how many previous choristers who did not embark upon a profession as a musician or singer continue to be involved in choirs and other performing groups across Western Australia”.

The Mass began with a Schola singing the Introit from the choir loft, with many never having performed previously in a building of with dimensions as large as the cathedral. Jacinta Jakovcevic added that people “loved singing in St Mary’s Cathedral because the acoustics are quite unique and has such flexible areas from which to sing”.

Special RSCM guests State Chair Deidre Russell, and National President Ralph Morton, were also in attendance and spent time chatting informally with the choristers after the Mass.

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