[Anglican Communion News Service] The first all-girl cathedral choir in the southern hemisphere has been launched at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia. The choir is made up from 18 girls from Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School and gave a debut performance in the cathedral last week.
“Many cathedrals in Australia have mixed choirs,” the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, the Dean of Melbourne, said. “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.”
The cathedral chose Lowther Hall as its partners after what it describes as “a rigorous 18-month selection process.” The school has a strong track record as a leading educator in arts and music.
“This is a significant milestone for our school and an appropriate recognition of girls and women within the Anglican Church,” Lowther Hall principal Elisabeth Rhodes said. “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.”
The music director at St Paul’s, Philip Nicholls, says 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.