Historically, music has played an important part in the life of the Catholic Church, and since 1958 in the Cathedral, when a choir of men’s voices to sing in the Crypt was formed by Canon Edward Murphy. In 1960 a Boys’ Choir was established under the direction of Christopher Symons and amalgamated with the Men’s Choir. Since then music has been at the heart of the worship in the Metropolitan Cathedral. A Choir School was established by Archbishop John Carmel Heenan known as The Gables in Woolton. In 1974 St Edward’s College became the Choir School. Today, the Cathedral Music Department is responsible for providing music at eight services every week in term time, plus numerous extra services when called upon to mark a particular occasion. This work is shared between the Cathedral’s three choirs and four organists under the guidance of the Director of Music.
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Director of Music: Christopher McElroy
Dr Christopher McElroy has overall responsibility for the musical content of services and other events at the Cathedral. He manages the Music Department and works closely with his colleagues over matters of content, planning, and development of the musical life of the Cathedral. Specifically, he directs and trains the Cathedral Choir (of men and boys).
Assistant Director of Music: James Luxton
James Luxton assists and deputises for the Director of Music. He plays the organ at some services and is responsible for the day to day training and direction of the girl choristers and Youth Choir.
Sub-organist: Matthew Searles
Matthew Searles plays the organ at many of the weekday choral services in addition to contributing to the wider music life of the Cathedral.
Organ Scholar: Joe Watson
Music Department Administrator: Sarah O’Keeffe
Sarah works on a part-time basis, during choir term times, to support the Director of Music on all aspects of the Cathedral’s musical life. All new enquiries regarding the Music Department should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Friends of Cathedral Music
The FCM supports cathedral choirs and protects the unique heritage of music in cathedrals. Grants are made to offer financial help and to date the Metropolitan Cathedral Choir has received over £38,000. Further information can be obtained from the FCM website.