Ireland’s oldest school seeks choir members

St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School offering ‘first-class musical education’ to new recruits

St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School in Dublin features children from third class upwards, and their day includes rehearsals and singing during services in the cathedral. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School in Dublin features children from third class upwards, and their day includes rehearsals and singing during services in the cathedral. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

 

The oldest school in Ireland, dating back to 1453, is recruiting boys and girls for its choir, a place on which come with the promise of a “first-class musical education”.

St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School in Dublin features children from third class upwards, and their day includes rehearsals and singing during services in the cathedral.

St Patrick’s is believed to be the only cathedral in the world with a Choral Matins each morning, Monday to Friday, during term time, sung by the choristers.

As well as the usual curriculum, children at the school are educated in music and singing, they tour (when it is possible to do so) and take part in radio and television broadcasts.

In recent years, the choir has performed for President Michael D Higgins and Pope Francis, and at the Gaiety Theatre and National Concert Hall with the RTÉ symphony and concert orchestras.

A number of children are moving on from the school choir in June, particularly boys whose voices have broken, and the school is finding recruitment much more challenging now due to pandemic restrictions.

Master of the music Stuart Nicholson has written to school principals in Dublin hoping, with the consent of parents, they might direct boys and girls who like to sing to go forward for voice trials in St Patrick’s.

“Membership of the choir provides a first-class musical education” and helps the children “develop a love of music which stays with them for the remainder of their lives”, he said in the letter.

Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral William Morton said: “Choir places are open to children from any school, regardless of denomination, but they do have to move to the Choir School from class 3 onwards if they pass the audition and are willing to join.”

Parents whose children are interested should email Stuart Nicholson at music@stpatrickscathedral.ie or write to Stuart Nicholson, Master of the Music, St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Patrick’s Close, Dublin, D08 H6X3.