Meet some choristers

We have been speaking with some choristers from different cathedrals in the UK. Read their stories here.

Meet Liam

Liam is twelve years old and is a senior chorister at Leeds RC Cathedral.  Choristers at Leeds Cathedral do not attend a specific choir school, but attend a variety of schools in the city and travel to the cathedral for rehearsals and services after school.

We asked Liam a few questions about his life as a chorister:

What is a typical choir day like for you?

We arrive at 4.30 and put on our cassocks, collect our music and do warm-ups with Mr Saunders. We then look at all the music for Vespers and Mass for the next few weeks. I take the bus home at the end at 6pm.

What is your weekly schedule like?

If it's a Monday we practise by ourselves for the trebles' Mass at 5.30. On Wednesdays we practise with tenors and basses for Vespers at 5.10. We then do more practising after Vespers while the schools scholars and choral scholars sing Mass. Sundays we practise from 10 for the Solemn Mass at 11 and then we often stay for a packed lunch and another rehearsal in the afternoon.

What made you want to sing in a cathedral choir?

I’ve attended the cathedral most of my life. I did an audition with Miss Haigh when she came each week to do singing at my primary school in Year 3. I then joined the Cathedral Children's Choir and when I was 9 joined the Junior Boys' Choir. I've been a senior treble for 2 years.

What was your first day like?

I was 8 when I started in the children's choir and met my friend there. We did fun warm-ups, I especially remember liking the one about chicken and chips.

What are the challenges of singing in the choir?

Getting to the cathedral on time because my school bus goes very slow up hills. I find the music and the Latin words easy to read because I've been taught really well at the Cathedral.

What are the rewards?

Getting a better voice and being able to sing well. I love singing as a big group when we do concerts in the Town Hall at Christmas and all the television and radio broadcasts are exciting too.

What is the best thing about choir?

Mr Saunders - he told me to say that! I think the best thing is learning a new skill and getting really good at it.

What is the worst?

Not sure

What will you remember about choir once you have left?

Choir helped me a lot with all my subjects at school, especially Geography because Mr Saunders often does a quiz at the end of the rehearsal about different countries, capital cities and rivers.

What do you like to do in your spare time that isn't singing?

Playing the piano, guitar and football.

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