Children's chance to sing at Beverley Minster
IT HAS been going for centuries and given countless East Riding youngsters a reason to be proud.
Beverley Minster Choir has been a county institution for more than 800 years.
Now, for the first time, the choir is staging a recruitment day in an effort to formalise how it selects boys and girls.
It is a chance for young would-be singers to join a high-profile group that has enjoyed appearances on both radio and television in the past few months.
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Children aged eight and above are invited to try out for the choir on Saturday, February 23, at the Minster.
Minster director of music Robert Poyser said: "We have had all sorts of exciting strategies with the choir but this is a new one.
"It's something that gets done at cathedrals across the country.
"The choir is in really good form at the minute but we have a couple of our older members who have turned 14 or 15 .
"Our three senior choristers have had to move down the choir."
If members of the boys' choir start early enough they can get up to about seven years in singing as trebles before their voices break.
Mr Poyser said: "We've had one lad called Peter who managed seven or eight years.
"His mum used to bring him in from Pocklington.
"We have another who comes from South Ferriby.
"Of course, other choirs are available but ours is a Hull and East Riding choir.
"We do quite a bit more than other choirs can.
"We are singing more than other choirs are and we've got an iconic building.
"There's a pride in being able to sing in a building that's had a choir for 800 years."
Beverley Minster Choir is well-known enough to be invited for special performances.
Most recently, it has appeared on a BBC Radio 2 half-hour special as well as on a lunchtime TV show called Country Tracks.
Despite that high profile, the boys' choir presently only has 13 members when it needs about 20.
The girls' choir, started by Mr Poyser when he joined the Minster three-and-a-half years ago, has 14 members.
In a fast-moving world, Mr Poyser believes some youngsters may be unaware they have the opportunity to join the choir or what opportunities it might bring them.
He said: "To be part of something like that is a great."
For more information, e-mail minster@beverley minster.org.uk or call 01482 868540.