Three cathedral choirs swap places as part of growing choral festival

The three cathedral choirs of Bradford, Wakefield and Ripon changed places for a day as part of the Yorkshire Three Choirs Cathedral Festival, first held in 2016 and now set to become an annual highlight of the choral music calendar for the region.
Get a flavour of their wonderful sound by listening to the video left.

Three choirsLast year, the inaugural festival of the three cathedral choirs of the Diocese of Leeds was held at Bradford Cathedral. This year, Wakefield Cathedral hosted the festival with a Saturday concert  and Evensong  bringing the might of the three choirs together in harmony.

Choir Previous Yorkshire Three Choirs festivals have been held with different combinations since the 1970s, with choirs from, at various times, Leeds Parish Church or Sheffield Cathedral. But this is only the second year that the three cathedral choirs of the new diocese have come together, with three different organisists and three different music directors taking turns to accompany the singing.

Hosting and introducing the Festival concert was  Tom Moore, Music Director of Wakefield Cathedral (pictured right). He said that the Festival was particularly important at a time when cathedral choirs were threatened by funding cuts. "Our aim is to keep this Festival surviving well into the future. I think that cathedral choirs are consistently in danger. There are so many funding cuts these days making life very difficult. But more importantly, as far as boys are concerned, there are so many options for them these days and so many things they can do... Life as a chorister is a massive commitment and it's not  always easy to make boys see how important it is and how much fun it could be when there are so many other things that they could do.

He said the standard of this year's Festival was particularly high. "I think it's very exciting to put the choirs together because it's an absolutely fabulous noise as you've just witnessed. I also think there's a bit of one-upmanship that goes on. Every choir, of course, wants to show that they're the best and therefore that really encourages the boys to give of their very best when they all get together."

This year’s festival celebrated Francis Jackson, Organist Emeritus of York Minster, whose 100th birthday fell on 2nd October this year.