Girls’ choir debut in the cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne has become the only cathedral in the southern hemisphere with a designated girls’ choir, partnering with Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School in Essendon.

Eighteen girls from the school will form the Girls’ Voices of the Cathedral Choir, which will make its debut later this year. The girls provided a short performance at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, February 12.

The Dean of Melbourne, Dr Andreas Loewe, is delighted at the new venture. “Many cathedrals in Australia have mixed choirs. We are privileged in adding an entirely new choir to our traditional choir of boys and men, which has been leading choral weekday and Sunday services since 1888.”

Dr Loewe says the new choir is a matter of equity. “The Cathedral believes that women and girls should be given the same opportunities for leadership and ministry in our Cathedral as men and boys: whether they aspire to be archbishops or choristers.”

Lowther Hall, which has a strong track record as a leading educator in arts and music, was chosen as the Cathedral Girls’ Choir School after a rigorous 18-month selection process.

The principal, Ms Elisabeth Rhodes, observes: “This is a significant milestone for our school and an appropriate recognition of girls and women within the Anglican Church. We are honoured to have been selected. It is a wonderful opportunity for the girls and will enhance Lowther Hall’s extensive range of musical offerings for our students.”

St Paul’s music director Philip Nicholls says the 18 girls will sing with a small group of experienced women who will act as mentors and role models. He envisages that the girls’ choir and male choir will sing on different days, and combine at important festivals.

The Girls’ Voices of the Cathedral Choir are being supported by the Friends of Cathedral Music (UK) and other philanthropic partners. If you would like to support them, tax deductible donations can be made to our Music Foundation.

The Girls’ Voices project has been generously supported by the Gross Foundation, and the Friends of Cathedral Music (UK).

Hear the girls’ voices sing in St Paul’s: