The Galilee Choir
The Galilee Choir rehearses twice each week on Thursday and Friday mornings (from 08:15 – 09:00). Membership of the Choir is through a simple audition with the Director of Music. There are a more or less equal number of boys and girls in the group and they perform a repertoire of both sacred and secular music. They regularly sing services of Evensong in the Cathedral throughout the academic year. The Choir also perform at weddings and for carol services and concerts both at school and when booked by other organisations.
For School services in the Cathedral, the Galilee Choir combines with the Cathedral Choristers, to provide a thrilling sound.
A new innovation in recent years has been the introduction of Galilee Choir weekends where a Friday evening rehearsal takes place after school before members attend evensong in the Cathedral to support their Chorister colleagues. The Galilee Choir and Choristers all then enjoy eating together in the Dining Hall before another rehearsal. Some children elect to spend the night in the boarding house with the Choristers before all return on Saturday morning for further extended rehearsal and masterclass sessions. After lunch a combined social event is held to further strengthen the bonds between the choirs.
The Training Choirs in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5
Year 2 pupils, if they wish, and all pupils in Years 3, 4 and 5 participate in the year group Training Choir programme which was borne out of a Chorister Recruitment Committee initiative, where it was decided to develop further the training of voices of the children in these classes so as to prepare them better for a subsequent role in either the Galilee Choir or the Cathedral Choir. They meet in form period slots during the week and in addition to the more secular repertoire one would anticipate for younger children, they are also gradually introduced to some of the repertoire they might need to sing in services in the Cathedral, including psalms. Probationary Choristers continue to sing with the Training Choirs until they become Choristers.
The Senior Choir
All pupils in Years 6, 7 and 8 are members of the Senior Choir. They rehearse for 35 minutes each week and have recently been recorded for television broadcast in Durham Cathedral.