Music at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral
While waiting for decisions on the future of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, the Cathedral Choir and Orchestra sing a Solemn Choral Mass at 10.30 am each Sunday at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, where they continue to maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets. During 2011, they travelled to many city parishes, presenting orchestral masses and recitals to appreciative congregations. As a consequence of the demolition of the Music Centre, they have also lost rehearsal venues, and storage facilities for their library and assets. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 on a new musical home for the CBS musicians, alongside the Pro-Cathedral, to provide them with the necessary rehearsal, library, and administrative spaces to maintain their liturgical commitments, and sacred concert outreach to the city. CBS Music is attempting to raise $50,000 towards this cost. Fund-raising will be assisted by benefit concerts.
Despite these impediments, they presented a concert at in 2012 at St Patrick’s Church, Waimate, at 5 pm on Friday, July 6, and in St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Dunedin (with its choir), at 3 pm on Saturday, July 7. In September, the cathedral choir and orchestra set off on their sixth international tour. 39 travellers presented Masses and concerts in the major cathedrals of Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo. In 2013, they visited Melbourne, to sing at St Francis Church and St Patrick's Cathedral.
New repertoire in 2013 included a Pentecostal motet by the late Douglas Mews, together with a beautiful Ave Verum by Irish composer Colin Mawby, with optional string orchestra. On Palm Sunday, first performances were given of Pueri Hebraorum by Victoria, and Hosanna to the Son of David by Weelkes.
A tour to Melbourne at the end of September included solemn High Mass in St Patrick's Cathedral, together with a performance in historic St Francis Church, Lonsdale Street.
Based now at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester Street, the cathedral musicians maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets, sung each Sunday at the 10.30 a.m. Solemn Choral Mass. New members are welcome to the 7.30 pm Wednesday evening rehearsal at Christchurch Boys’ High School. Sight reading ability is expected. Scholarships and awards, worth up to $2000 per year, are available to suitable applicants. Those interested are invited to contact the CBS Musical Director, Don Whelan, phone 358-5873.