Layers of music education within a professional cathedral choir

Beale, R (2019) Layers of music education within a professional cathedral choir. In: The 11th International Conference for Research in Music Education, 23 - 26 April 2019, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.


Curiosity about why ensembles refer to themselves as amateur or professional led me to question what ‘amateur’ or ‘professional’ means when applied to music makers. In Truro, the only City in Cornwall and my research area, opportunities to make music with others appear to be in vocal or instrumental groups whose main repertoire is based on Western Art Music. Truro Cathedral Choir is arguably the most significant ensemble in Truro, usually performing music on at least six days every week, and their website refers to the ensemble as professional. Within the choir are boy choristers aged between eight and twelve, girl choristers aged between thirteen and eighteen, a team of twelve ‘professional adult singers’ comprised of six choral scholars, often in their gap year between school and university, and regular lay vicars (or lay clerks) and the Organist and Master of the Choristers, the Assistant Organist and an Organ Scholar. The posts of Organist and Assistant Organist are the only two that are permanent, paid positions of employment. The lay vicars are paid but have other employment. The scholars are paid a nominal amount for the specific time that they are at Truro Cathedral, usually one year before going on to further education, in music or other disciplines, at university. The choristers are children, who are paid for their employment through school fees. There appear to be various levels of music education within the Cathedral Choral framework, a framework that offers the singers a fixed learning experience set out by the Organists. This poster looks at how the term professional relates to the different groups within the choir and at the immersive learning experience provided by belonging to Truro Cathedral Choir.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Divisions: Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2022 19:25
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2022 19:25
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