Choristers are educated at the Minster School whose first recorded Schoolmaster was Henry de Hykeling in 1313. For all that time, men and boys have sung the praises of God in this place, led by a director of music whose title, ‘Organist and Rector Chori’ (literally ‘ruler of the choir’), dates from the sixteenth century.
Names of Singingmen are known from 1571, and knowledge of choristers begins in 1469 when one, Milo Hogesone, was admitted to the choir on 8th October. For centuries the choristers swore allegiance to the Chapter in the Chapter House; many of these documents (in Latin until the 18th century) are preserved.
Southwell Minster Choir There are many CDs of church music, and not a few of Bible readings, but a CD combining the two appears to be unique. The CD Words of Comfort, Music of Peace was the idea of Jon Bell, who, remembering how his mother loved to have the Bible read to her, thought there was a place for a CD of short, reassuring readings interspersed with sacred music. He and Canon Richard Orchard put together a collection of texts from St John’s Gospel, most not longer than three minutes, and a suggested programme of much-loved music such as Stainer’s God so loved the world, and Mozart’s Ave verum.
Southwell Minster ChoirBen Inman A promotional DVD about Southwell Minster Choir giving prospective choristers and their parents a ‘behind the scenes’ taste of life as a cathedral chorister.
The 15-minute DVD has been produced by choir parents Emma and Quentin Rayner, who followed the choristers over the past year filming the musical, social and educational aspects of their lives. The DVD includes interviews with the choristers and their parents, Aled Jones, with the Dean of Southwell, the Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham and with former choirboy-star Aled Jones. It also gives an insight into the academic education that choristers receive at the Minster school. The choir’s celebrity chorister, Ben Inman, who is a member of The Choirboys band, is also featured on the DVD, talking about his experiences in the past year.