RSCM Diocesan Choirs' Festival
Each year on a Saturday in early October the cathedral hosts the RSCM diocesan choral festival.
This is a gathering of choirs throughout the diocese who meet in the afternoon to rehearse specially selected music, with the service taking place at 5.30 pm. There are three massed preliminary rehearsals in the couple of weeks before the event, one in Ludlow, aimed at those under 18 years of age, another in Church Stretton and one in Holy Trinity Church, Hereford. In 2010, for the first time, area rehearsals were also held during the summer, allowing singers to acquaint themselves with the music at an earlier date; these took place in Hereford, Ross, Ludlow and Bridgnorth.
The festival is a great occasion which gives several hundred singers from choirs of widely differing sizes and types the opportunity to perform music in the cathedral's glorious acoustic which they would rarely otherwise get a chance to sing.
At the service there is also a presentation of awards to successful candidates in the RSCM Dean's and Bishop's Award scheme and also to candidates who have passed assessments in the Diocese of Hereford Organists' Training Scheme. New participants in the festival are always welcome: please telephone the RSCM's area secretary, Mrs Rachel Lewis, for further details on 01989 567845.
The 2012 festival took place on 6 October and featured over 250 voices from at least 25 choirs from all parts of the diocese. The 2013 festival will take place on Saturday 5 October.
A range of other events is also organised throughout the year. In recent years these have included singing workshops led by Bob Chilcott, Barry Rose and Peter Hunt and the cathedral has hosted members’ evenings with guest speakers including John Barnard, John Bertalot, Simon Lindley, Lindsay Gray and Mark Venning. For details of future events please visit RSCM
Results of RSCM 'Music Sunday' snapshot now available
The RSCM’s 'Music Sunday' event took place last year on Sunday 13 June: the principal idea behind it being a celebration of all the music used in churches around the country. In the Hereford diocese, it was decided that it would be both useful and interesting to ask each church what music was used in church that day, to provide a snapshot of the use of music (hymns, choir anthems, instrumental and organ pieces etc.) overall in the area. All churches were invited to send in a return providing information about the instruments used in the accompaniment of services, whether or not they had choirs, which hymns were sung, which music was played and how many adults and children were involved in providing it. 114 did so: roughly a quarter of the total number of churches, many of which would not have held a sung service that day, so the reply rate was most encouraging.
The results of the returns can be downloaded here.