History of The Cathedral Voluntary Choir
In 2021 we celebrate the 35th anniversary of Wells Cathedral Voluntary Choir.
The Choir was formed in October 1986 by Fridrik Walker, a Vicar Choral, to provide a choir for Midnight Eucharist on Christmas Eve, and initially there were 26 singers, men & women.
Over the subsequent years the scope and involvement of the Voluntary Choir has grown and today we are an integral part of the music and worship at the Cathedral, singing around 50 services a year when the Cathedral Choir are on holiday, recording, or on tour.
The choir has had 6 Music Directors, and the current incumbent, Michael Cockerham, has been at the helm since 1997, over half the life of the choir.
In addition to a professional Music Director a number of professional organists have supported the choir over the years, and Matthew Redman is our Principal Organist today.
In 1997 WCVC were instrumental in establishing the Association of Cathedral Voluntary Choirs. A national event is held every eighteen months. So far we have met together at 12 different cathedrals. In 2016 it will return to Wells for a 20th anniversary celebration.
In 1998 the Choir took its first week of residency at Hereford Cathedral singing the services for a week. Since then, we have visited 15 different cathedrals and have been to Bad Dürkheim, our twin city in Germany.
In addition to cathedral services we occasionally sing at charity concerts and over the years have supported many Somerset churches with their fundraising.
Noteworthy events over the years have included our Anno Domini Celebration in 2000 when all the psalms were sung in a day. In 2003 the choir took part in a re-enactment of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II with many local children dressed up in period costumes. In 2006 a 20th Anniversary Festal Evensong and Celebratory Dinner was held for members past and present.
In 2007 for our 21st celebration we gave an Anniversary Concert accompanied by the Lorien Ensemble in the Cathedral, performing works by Bruckner, Gabrieli and Pärt together with Handel’s “Dixit Dominus” – which raised £3,400 for the Cathedral Development Project.
For a more detailed history go to History of WCVC