On April 20th it was announced that groups of up to 15 can meet up for underage outdoor non-contact dance, music or arts activities. This presents an opportunity to begin the long process and hard work of rebuilding the Cathedral choir at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork and no doubt, other cathedrals throughout Ireland.
The choristers of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral have been meeting up on Zoom on a weekly basis for several months, but in recent weeks the lack of personal interaction had been showing.
The announcement gave a fresh hope and on Monday 26th April the girl choristers met up in two separate groups for the first time this year. The labyrinth area of the Cathedral grounds seemed the most suitable spot, with walls on two sides to create some form of outdoor acoustic. One of those walls was of Library House – Cork’s first public library established by Bishop Peter Brown in the 1720s.
The weather that day was the nicest that had been seen for some time and this combination of factors brought a cheerful atmosphere to the occasion.
Two days later the boys met up for a similar first session. Although it was less sunny, the same determination was shown and they tried out some music which had been learnt over the internet, but not sung together as a group. After a few minutes of warming up, their voices slowly began to emerge once again, and the strangeness of singing outdoors was put aside and their confidence grew. Several boys are now facing the challenge of changing voices and this brings a new chapter to their singing lives and to how they fit into the choir as a whole.It is early days in a long process of rebuilding the choir and its sound after a long fallow period, and it is difficult to guess when the choristers will return to singing for services once again. However, it is hoped that things will not take a step backwards and that, as restrictions are slowly eased, the singing will be able to continue and move indoors at some point in the near future.