St Paul’s Cathedral to start girls’ choir

Eighteen Lowther Hall Grammar girls to form Girls’ Voices of the Cathedral Choir at St Paul’s.

PHOTO: Mark Farrelly Photography

February 15 2016St Paul’s Cathedral 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 gave a short performance for news media at the cathedral on February 12.

The Dean of Melbourne, Dr Andreas Loewe, said he was 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.

“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 choral tradition and music, was chosen as the Cathedral Girls’ Choir School after a rigorous 18-month selection process.

The principal, Ms Elisabeth Rhodes, said: “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 said 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.