The Cathedral’s Vision for Music

The Cathedral has a long and distinguished musical pedigree within both the Diocese and the City of Adelaide. The Cathedral is committed to building on that fine heritage and becoming a major centre in Adelaide for the arts, music and spirituality. The Music Foundation has a major role to play in this endeavour and your support of the Foundation will greatly assist us in fulfilling the vision.

Dean Frank notes “In order to aim for that quality of music, that excellence – what I call ‘iconic’ music – we have to have the best we possibly can. And that means highly-skilled professional people, such as our Director of Music, organists and others. To produce the sounds week after week after week you need really skilled, experienced and competent people. The Music Foundation gives underlying stability to what we’re trying to do, which is to provide the very best in choral music that we possibly can. A cathedral choir attracts people by its very nature. There is something about cathedral music that attracts people. And many of the people who worship here regularly came here first because of the music.”

Leonie Hempton, Director of Music said “I think the Choir is a central part of the Cathedral. In the worship service, for example, the congregation feels part of the choir. I think you can go to concerts – you can go and listen, but actually singing the music is much more important than just going and listening to it. So this music is becoming part of what they’re actually doing.”

Music in context

Music has always played an important part in the worship of God, and most Cathedrals strive to offer the very best of musical worship, drawing on the skills of singers and players alike. Unlike most community and school choirs, a cathedral choir is a working choir. The choristers sing a large repertoire, develop a high standard of sight singing skills, without relying on rote learning, and every service is different. The Cathedral Choir’s primary task is to be an icon. The music itself is never the end. The music draws people into a cathedral, into an atmosphere, into worship. Ultimately the music of a cathedral must take people from where they are, on another step of the pilgrimage of faith. In this sense, cathedral music and cathedral architecture harmonise beautifully, each aiding the person who steps through the doors to draw closer to God. The soaring melodies of voice and violin match the soaring pillars; the intricate counterpoint dovetails with the delicate tracery of panelled woodwork.