This week, the Cathedral Clergy and staff would like to recognize one of our three Cathedral Choir members who will graduate from High School this year. Each of these students has reflected on his or her experience in the Chorister program and Cathedral Choir.
Jordyn Tatum, Class of 2020
I first heard about the Chorister program from my Kindergarten art teacher who encouraged me to audition. I had just started first grade when I joined the program in 2008; little did I know that almost 12 years later it would still be a major part of my life. I can still remember my very first rehearsal… I cried. Upon walking into the choir room I immediately started crying for no reason that I can recall. I guess I became a little overwhelmed. Fortunately I was taken under wing by an older chorister who took me for a short walk around the cathedral space, and I calmed down within a few minutes.
Now this is not the most entertaining memory, but looking back it’s one of the most impactful ones. What if because of that one bad day I had decided not to actually join the program? What if I had quit right then and there? Fortunately, that was not the case.
I don’t think that I can put into words how amazing it has been to be in both the Chorister program and the Cathedral choir. In a lot of ways, being in the choir has shaped me into the person I am today. From a young age choir has taught me the importance of commitment, communication, and time management.
Over the years I have been blessed to have had/have amazing mentors who have guided me, and showed me the value of being a chorister. Now, I can pay it forward as a mentor to younger choristers who are in the same shoes I once was. I find this really humbling because it is one way I can give back to a program that has given me so much.
To me, being a Chorister has meant inspiring people and spreading the word of God through music. Over the years I have had the opportunity to participate in Cathedral recording projects, tours, and anthem commissions. These programs are crucial to outreach because they help spread our sound, and our message to people all over.
When we take our anthems and hymns to other Cathedrals, and countries, we leave behind a musical footprint. These footprints are a way of building connections with people all around the world. Having had the opportunity to work with various different composers through the Cathedral Commissions program has been such an incredible experience. To be able to meet the composers, work with them, and perform their piece with them in attendance, is a very special occasion and it further nurtures the idea of building connections not just with people, but with music itself.
The ultimate goal of choral singing is not to be the most famous choir out there, but to be the choir that can sing with such emotion and diligence that you are able to inspire people both spiritually and emotionally in ways that words can’t.
I still remember being asked in our confirmation classes a few years ago “What service is God calling you towards?” This has always been an easy answer because I am certain that I am meant to serve God through music.
I have been told various times at Royal School of Church Music courses “No matter what, always keep music a part of your life”. These words never fail to make me emotional… because I can’t imagine life without music. Thinking about going to college is a little scary, and exciting and full of change. However, I know that because of my time and experience in the Choir and at this Cathedral, I’ll be ready for whatever this next chapter brings.