Visits by choirs wishing to deputise for the Cathedral Choir during choir holidays are warmly welcomed here at Wakefield Cathedral. It is the Cathedral’s desire that sung services are continued throughout the year, and any help we receive in fulfilling that desire is gratefully received.
The Cathedral Choir is on holiday at October half term (dates can be advised), for the period after Christmas Day until the Epiphany, for the week after Easter (including Low Sunday), at half term in late May/early June (dates can be advised) and from the second Sunday of July to the last Sunday of August inclusive. Whilst sung services usually only take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, it is possible for a visiting group to sing on any day of the week, (including Saturdays should your choir wish to visit for a weekend only for example) in consultation with personnel at the Cathedral in advance of your visit.
Accommodation can be provided at Ackworth School during the summer vacation, and at certain other times of the year. Arrangements for accommodation would need to be made directly with the school, which is to be found situated in a rural area some 10 miles outside Wakefield. There are good facilities at the school, and catering can be organised for your group. All financial implications of a stay in the school are dealt with directly through the school. At times when the school accommodation is not available, there are a number of hotels in Wakefield which are conveniently placed for activities at the Cathedral.
It is expected that visiting choirs should be of a standard whereby the worship in any given service is enhanced through the music. With regard to the choice of music, it is always best to choose repertoire that your choir feels secure with; more straightforward music performed well is better than rather more complex material performed badly!
Visiting organists are welcome to play the Cathedral Organ, which is a five manual Compton. It is in extremely good order, and those who play it are amazed at its versatility. If your choir does not have an organist, or you would prefer one of the Cathedral Organists to play for your visit, then this can be arranged subject to the Music Department receiving enough notice of your intention. More information about the organ can be found on this website, as can further information about regular service times.
It is the Cathedral’s wish that all volunteers are made to feel valued for the talents they bring to the Cathedral. The clergy will normally host a drinks reception for a visiting choir after one of the Sunday services by way of thanking the choir for their contribution to the worship.
If you would like to chat to someone about bringing a visiting choir to sing at the Cathedral, then please telephone the Cathedral Office for a conversation with the Director of Music, who will try to answer any questions you have about a visit, and who will also be able to email you further details about what would be expected of your choir.