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Norwich Cathedral choristers perform from home

PUBLISHED: 12:24 10 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:24 10 April 2020

Evensong in the presence of HRH The Earl Of Wessex at Norwich Cathedral last year. Picture: Nick Butcher

Evensong in the presence of HRH The Earl Of Wessex at Norwich Cathedral last year. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Nick Butcher Photography 2019

Norwich Cathedral’s choristers have not been deterred from making music during the coronavirus pandemic, and have used technology to put together recordings of popular hymns.

Due to the current pandemic, the choirs have been unable to perform in concerts and services during Easter.

The choristers – each in their individual homes – have been working on some very special recordings of popular hymns which have been published on the Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube channel today for everyone to enjoy.

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Master of music Ashley Grote tasked each of the choristers with singing and recording individual lines, and the results have been digitally woven together by the Cathedral’s assistant organist George Inscoe to create some unique recordings of Dear Lord and Father of Mankind and Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer.

Mr Grote said: “At this time when we are all separated from each other, we wanted to come up with a project that enabled our choristers to sing and to feel part of something as one, even though they can’t be together in person.

“We also wanted to produce something that will give our community, and those further afield, some enjoyment, joy and comfort. The choristers make a huge contribution to the life of our Cathedral, and we value their role enormously.”

About the choice of hymns, Mr Grote said: “For the girls, we picked Dear Lord and Father of Mankind – which ends with the words ‘O still small voice of calm’ – something the world desperately needs at this time.

“The boys recorded Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, which again has words that speak to us at this time of anxiety – ‘Strong deliverer, be thou still my strength and shield’.”

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In addition to working on the singing project, the choristers and the Cathedral’s music team have also been keeping in touch by meeting weekly online for quizzes, games and musical activities.

Fifteen-year-old, Abi Mansley, a member of the Girls’ Choir and who attends Framingham Earl High School, said: “During isolation we are all really missing the choir, which is like our second family, so it has been great that we can still work together, connect and sing.”

The choristers’ hymn recordings are the latest in a series of videos that have been published on the new Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube Channel to help people with their worship at home this Holy Week and Easter.

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