The Cathedral Choir
St Peter’s Cathedral Choir has been singing services in the Cathedral for nearly 140 years. It is the only working choir of children and adults of its type in Adelaide.
Currently, the Choir sings at three services each week, which is its primary purpose. The Choir’s repertoire includes music by composers such as Palestrina, Byrd, Tallis, Purcell, Handel, Bach, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Mozart, Haydn, Howells, Stanford and Vaughan Williams, as well as contemporary composers. The Choir also performs larger works with orchestra, such as the Bach St John Passion and the Requiems of Mozart and Fauré.
The Choir has performed in concert with ensembles such as the Australian String Quartet, Adelaide Art Orchestra, the Tallis Scholars and the Elder Conservatorium Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. The Cathedral trebles have been invited to perform with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the State. Opera Company. The altos, tenors and basses are amongst Adelaide’s better choral singers, with a number performing regularly with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Chamber Singers, The Choir has made CD recordings of well loved hymns, anthems and motets and Christmas music.
The Choir’s lay clerks, who sing the alto, tenor and bass lines is an eclectic group, which includes some teenage boys who have graduated from the treble line with their change in voice, university students and adults with varied professional backgrounds. What brings them together is their love of music and a desire to offer their best.
The choir sings at the Choral Eucharist Service and Evensong each Sunday. It also sings at mid-week Evensong, on Feast Days and other special occasions throughout the year. Its repertoire ranges from 16th Century to present day and includes some of the finest choral works of that period.
In addition to musicianship and spirituality, Choristers of all ages are encouraged to learn to value the importance of working as part of a team, to take responsibility and never to offer less than their best. In this way it is not dissimilar to sporting teams, where every member knows that they are important to the overall offering made by the Choir. The Choir is inclusive, making it possible for young people of different denominations and faiths and differing abilities to take part. By its nature it cannot be fully inclusive, so people who cannot meet the commitment or ability are directed to other places where they can develop their particular gifts and enthusiasm.
This is the Cathedral’s chamber choir of fourteen singers, providing music for Feast Days celebrated in the Anglican Church throughout the year, and also taking part in Cathedral musical events. With one or two voices per part, they specialise in music of the 16th and 17th centuries, with an increasing repertoire from the 20th century. Certaine Notes has performed in concerts both in the Cathedral and at prominent venues in Adelaide, and joins the Cathedral Choir for the Annual Advent Carols Service, which is a special function for the Music Foundation.
The Gregorian Choir
This Choir, formed in 1999, comprises the Gentlemen of the Cathedral Choir. They sing services regularly throughout the year, including musical settings of the Mass. Their repertoire includes Gregorian chant, Armenian music and renaissance polyphony. The evocative and mystical qualities of Gregorian chant are particularly suited to the acoustics of St Peter’s Cathedral. The plainsong repertoire also provides an excellent opportunity for the young tenors and basses to learn more about their transitional voices.
Cantores in Excelsis
The trebles and altos of the Cathedral Choir come together in this choir to provide music for the Eucharist from a range of settings for high voices. This repertoire spans the past 150 years and includes composers as diverse as Fauré and Britten. In 2013 Cantores in Excelsis celebrated the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten during St Peter’s tide, singing his Ceremony of Carols with harp accompaniment.