The boy choristers in the 17th century were called pueri symphonie. The present choir consists of boy choristers, girl choristers, choral scholars and lay vicars choral (adult male singers). The boy choristers and girl choristers sing separately with the adults.
The boys attend choir practices as follows:
Wednesday 4.30pm – 6.00pm
Friday 4.15pm – 5.15pm
The boys also sing one service on Sunday (including a rehearsal beforehand), either the Choral Eucharist (10.15am – 12.15pm) or Choral Evensong (2.30pm – 4.15pm) This is usually on an alternating basis with a list of dates being given at the beginning of each term. There are also occasional Feast Days and Holy Week services.
Regular attendance is essential to maintain a high standard and membership of the choir is undertaken in the awareness of this commitment.
The choir does not attend practices or services during July or August, half term holidays and the week after Christmas and the week after Easter.
Overseas and Domestic Trips
These always contain a ‘fun’ element as well as music making and contribute towards the social aspect of the choir. In April 2018 the choir travelled to St Davids Cathedral, Wales. In April 2019 they travelled to Hamburg and Lübeck in Germany. In April 2023 they travelled to Amsterdam, and also sang in Haarlem and Leiden as well as visiting the zoo.
Voice for Life
Singing in a choir such as Saint Fin Barre’s is an excellent musical training and can complement the learning of an instrument as it develops music reading, concentration and aural skills. As part of the training scheme choristers follow the Royal School of Church Music Voice for Life programme.
The choristers are rewarded for their hard work with a monthly sum of money based on their attendance. Bonuses are awarded for special services.