Volunteer Requested – Honorary Membership Secretary

The Association is looking for an Honorary Membership Secretary. If interested please contact Tom Richley (thesecretary@rcoca.org.uk).

Role and Responsibilities

  • Receive and progress membership applications.
  • Manage the Association’s subscription renewal process.
  • Write to members as required.
  • Maintain current membership lists.
  • To attend Committee meetings and provide reports.

Key Activities

  • Produce documentation as necessary to invite subscription renewals annually from members.
  • Maintain an up-to- date list of all Association members, recording status in respect of subscription, contact details and personal information as on the application form.
  • To liaise with any member who opts not to renew, in order to understand why and to identify any significant trends in changing membership. To report these to the
  • Committee as appropriate and recommend any actions which should be considered.
  • Liaise with the Treasurer over current membership numbers and jointly develop proposals for annual renewal rates if required.
  • Within the confines of the Data Protection Act, provide the Committee and Officers with any data held on the membership data base.

Recommended Experience

  • Computer literate, knowledge of mail merge with experience of administering simple databases such as Excel.
  • Ability to communicate effectively by email or conventional letter.
  • Good organisational skills, ability to adhere to deadlines.

Podcast Appeal

The Association has launched a fund raising appeal for the installation of recording equipment in the Cathedral to enable transmission of Services through a high quality podcast on the internet.

Having tested a system from ‘About Sound’, one of the market leaders in choral webcasting, who spent several hours recording Evensong in the Autumn, we are now hoping to raise £23,000 to make this a gift from the Old Choristers’ Association to the Cathedral. Examples of their system may be found by listening to podcasts from King’s College Chapel and St. John’s College Chapel, Cambridge.

A fund at ‘Stewardship’ (Stewardship Services (UKET) Limited) has been created and you can contribute online by credit or debit card either for a one off gift or several small pledge payments. You can access the STEWARDSHIP website at www.give.net/20214100

The advantage of using ‘Stewardship’ is that if you are a UK tax payer, for every £100 we receive from you, we receive another £25 via Gift Aid less a small administrative fee. If however you would prefer to send a cheque, please make it out to Rochester Cathedral Old Chorister’s Association and send to the Honorary Secretary marking the back “Podcast Appeal”.

Rochester Cathedral Celebrates Success in BBC Chorister of the Year

Congratulations to current Cathedral Deputy Head Chorister Edward Hyde and former Cathedral Head Chorister Rupert Walker on reaching the final of the BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year Competition.

This is a National Competition with Choristers being auditioned from the length and breadth of the Country. Only four boys are selected for the final and it is therefore a wonderful achievement that 50% of those were from King’s Rochester (the other two finalists were from Canterbury Cathedral).

The competition was won by Edward Hyde at the final held in Manchester Cathedral on October 24th 2016.

 

12th Edition of Choristers of Rochester Cathedral

I’m pleased to present (after some hard and diligent work by one of our old choristers – James Strike) the 12th edition of Choristers of Rochester Cathedral. This book contains the names and dates of all Choristers from 1679 to 2015 as well as some interesting information about cathedral music in Rochester over the years. The book has also been updated to include all Girl Choristers.

This professionally printed and published book can be purchased via me for £5 (plus postage if you’d like it posted).

Drop a line on our contact us page if you’d like one.

Tom Richley

 

Reflecting on the June 2016 Evensong

There’s something timeless about Cathedral evensong.

Whatever madness is going on in the outside world, calmness reigns within the cathedral as it resonates with the glorious music that permeates evensong.

Last Saturday (the day after the Referendum result) eight RCOCA members joined the choir for the day. We met for a splendid lunch in the Conference Centre in the grounds of St Margaret’s House (with the Paddock looking magnificent) and then proceeded to the cathedral for a very short practice (just enough time to go through everything once) before evensong itself. Just like being a new chorister really: stand next to someone who knows it, concentrate like mad and hope for the best. And the best it was: lovely Tomkins responses (responding to the beautiful singing of the Organist!), 15 verses of Psalm 119 (with some challenging pointing), the magnificent Brewer in D Mag and Nunc and the beautiful Elgar anthem The Spirit of the Lord. All topped, tailed and accompanied by
some excellent organ playing.

A thoroughly enjoyable day – not just for the joy of making beautiful music with like-minded colleagues, but also for all memories that came flooding back.

David Holloway
Chorister 1955 – 1957

Old Chorister Christopher Gabbitas on singing with the King’s Singers at Rochester Cathedral

Since joining The King’s Singers in 2004 I’ve been fortunate to sing in many of the world’s great music venues, but the concerts that remain with me are always those where there is aChristopher Gabbitas clear personal connection. Whether it’s family ties (my wife is from Kentucky so anything in that state is always special) or a particularly favourite venue (The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam takes some beating) some places rise above the every-day performance.

I sang as a chorister in Rochester Cathedral from 1987-1992, under the direction of Barry Ferguson, but haven’t sung in the Cathedral for nearly 20 years. The chance to return with The King’s Singers and perform in the building where, for me, it all began, is something I’ve hoped for ever since I started in the group. Rochester has nurtured some amazing musicians over the centuries, since the choir school taught its first chorister back in 604 AD.

It’s always good to close the circle, and returning this year in the company of so many distinguished fellow choristers from across the UK will be a wonderful way to return. Every member of The King’s Singers trained as a chorister in a cathedral or school choir, and we owe our success to the incredible foundation that the English Choral Tradition gives to the boys and girls who sing in our world-class choirs, across the country. Performing a concert for other old choristers seems appropriate!

Christopher and the rest of the King’s Singers are performing on Friday, September 26th as part of the FCOCA weekend at Rochester.

Evensong with the RCOCA, Girl Choristers and Lay Clerks

On the afternoon of July 19th, old choristers were once again welcomed to sing along with the Cathedral Choir.  On what was a particularly hot day, walking into the calm coolness of the Cathedral for the Evensong rehearsal brought back many fond, and for some distant, memories.

Claire Innes-Hopkins who was recently appointed as Assistant Director of Music conducted us and our dusty voices were quickly brushed off with the efficient rehearsal.Music list

We sung Stanford in C and Parry I was glad, both of which were great to sing again, and the girl choristers sounded truly wonderful.

Scott Farrell, Director of Music, certainly demonstrated the mighty Manders organ, and I must admit for me personally, it was a joy to sing with such a fine instrument so brought to life. The last time I heard the intro to I was glad I was rather nervous at my own wedding only 11 months ago!

Thank you also to the Old Choristers who came to listen and support.

Chairman, Chris Royall reflects:

For me the day was a trip down memory lane, beginning with a meeting in Garth house which was part of the music dept back in the sixties when I attended Kings.
Lunch on a baking hot day was in the Castle Club scene of many old choristers’ dinners and hosted by our oldest old chorister John Bradley who, when I said I was going to Cromer to visit my old choirmaster from St Stephens Chatham, Keith Miller, told me that they were exact contemporaries at school in the 1930s!
After a delicious a lunch we rehearsed in the slightly cooler cathedral where I found myself assuming the role of alto lay clerk again to help out Toby. I had sung as a lay clerk in 1969-70 before going to St. John’s Cambridge.
Old and present choristers mingled with lay clerks and organists to plan future events and we concluded that the day had been such an enjoyable experience it must be repeated next year.

 

 

The next time we meet will be the National Federation of Old Choristers weekend which we hope many Rochester old choristers will try and attend. Places are filling up quickly, so please do book now to avoid disappointment.

Thanks to Tim Royall for some of the photos. If any other old choristers would like to contribute their experience of the day, then do please email in.

King’s Singers Concert on Sept 26th

Rochester Cathedral has just updated their site with the poster and ticket information for the King’s Singers concert on Sept 26th at Rochester Cathedral.

Many of you will already know about the concert as part of the Federation Festival which will be at Rochester that weekend.

Christopher GabbitasIt is a particular pleasure to have the King’s Singers at Rochester as our very own OC Christopher Gabbitas has been a member of the group since 2004. He will no doubt thoroughly enjoy singing  in the building again, and it will also be a great opportunity to catch up with him and hear about his adventures with such a fine vocal group.

 

 

Member update June 2014

We have just published our 2014 Member Update outlining the arrangements for evensong in July and the information pack for the Federation of Old Choristers festival weekend to be held on Rochester between the 26th of September and the 28th of September.

As mentioned earlier in the year we have been invited again to sing Evensong with the choir on the 19th July 2014.  After evensong we will have the association AGM followed by a BBQ.  Singing with the choir last year was a great experience for those involved and those who listened so singers and listeners alike are encouraged to come along.  So I can prepare the Assistant Director of Music and the caterers please complete the slip in the letter attached if you are interested in singing or coming to the BBQ after evensong.  Returns need to be made by the 4th July 2014.

The Federation Festival in September has been long in the planning.  The information pack is pretty self-explanatory but members should note that the dinner on the Saturday evening (27th September) will also be our annual dinner.  On that basis, members should return the booking form for the dinner as soon as possible as combining our numbers with the expected Federation numbers means places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Thanks,

Tom