Six choristers add to St Mary’s music ensemble

23 Sep 2021

By Amanda Murthy

The Saint Mary’s Cathedral Choir has expanded once again, this time, welcoming six new choristers into the Cathedral Choir on Sunday, 19 September.

Auditions were held between February to March, and finalised by Holy Week, with the elect training through Terms two and three, with Holy Week being their first major involvement into Cathedral choir life.

St Mary’s Cathedral Director of Music, Jacinta Jakovcevic, said this year some 70 people auditioned – with intake numbers limited due to balance of voice parts in the choir.

“Through our collective hard work and dedication, we strive to draw ourselves and all who encounter us and our music-making ever closer to God.

“Our amazing 2000-year heritage of music comes alive and becomes ‘living’ through us – what an amazing calling,” she said.

“In thinking about being church musicians in particular in a cathedral where we strive to set the exemplar, I’m always mindful that we have an incredible vocation and calling – and in my own reflection and prayer, these words of St Paul always springs to my mind ‘I pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which we are called’ (Ephesians 1:18).”

Fresh in the scene, chorister Kenneth Wu expressed the joy he has experienced since beginning his journey with the St Mary’s Choir.  

“I am so grateful to Jacinta and St Mary’s for giving me this opportunity to sing together with my friends praising God,” Kenneth said.

“Since I started this journey, it has been amazing being able to serve the Church, and learn new things, Church’s traditions and hymns.

“It is hard work but worth it, and I enjoy every training session and singing at the Cathedral,” he added.

Cathedral Choir veteran Year 12 Sholto Foss acknowledge what a privilege it has been to be a part of the fruits of the Music Programme and cathedral choir.

“I began as a timid, quiet nine-year-old and I have endeavoured to absorb and undertake all the knowledge that comes my way,” Sgot said.

“And there’s a lot of it! Probation was such a massive amount of learning and since then it hasn’t stopped! I have learnt so much and grown as a Catholic through my participation in the Choir. As St Augustine said: ‘He who sings prays twice’.

Ms Jakovcevic added that it has been especially rewarding to see these young musicians develop into confident, independent choristers who are also able to function well as part a team – each one having their own special, unique place in that team – and nurtured and encouraged to grow even more fully into that role.

“Working with our Church’s amazing heritage of music allows them to also to encounter the truths of our faith as we move through the Liturgical cycle,” Ms Jakovcevic went on to say.

“Cathedral choirs, in particular, are charged with a specific mission even in documents of very own time – Vatican II documents call for choirs particularly in cathedrals to be ‘diligently fostered’ (Sacrosanctum Concilium 114) and speak about their developing and preserving over many centuries ‘a musical heritage of inestimable value.‘ (Musicam Sacram 20) – This is an awesome responsibility.”