Some ex-lay clerks show off their gold and platinum discs!
|Guildford Cathedral itself may be relatively young but its Old Choristers' Association is, of course, even younger.|
The Association was officially formed on October 4th, 1986. There is an active and enthusiastic membership of just under 200, which naturally represents a very high proportion of the musicians who have served at the cathedral since its consecration.
The OCA is an active organisation that has a busy social life but is closely involved in fund-raising activities on behalf of the cathedral choir. It has recently fulfilled its long-standing aim of funding its very own cathedral chorister.
|History||In May, 1977 two ex-Guildford choristers met at the cathedral with Norman Johnson of the
National Federation of Old Choristers' Associations, to discuss the possibility of establishing
an Old Choristers' Association at Guildford. Although a proto-organisation was eventually
formed, none of those involved had the time or resources to carry the project through and the
initiative eventually petered out.|
A few years later, however, the efforts of people like of Michael Barry and Simon Deller resulted in the revival of the idea of an Association. The Guildford OCA was officially formed in October 1986.
|Aim||The Association's main aim is to maintain contacts between the membership and the cathedral and its present choir. To this end various events are held each year, the most important of which is the annual AGM, always preceded by Evensong in the cathedral, and the annual Reunion Dinner.|
|Events||Other social events during the year vary in quantity, style and location. A special effort is made to include at least one event that might (legally) be enjoyed by those members who are still under 18.|
|In 1996 the Association played host for the first time to the National Federation of Cathedral Old Choristers' Associations. The weekend included a highly popular talk on the Consecration, given by ex-organist Barry Rose in one of the lecture theatres at the University of Surrey (surely the only time he will be seen lecturing in a university) and a special luncheon at which Simon Carpenter's new book about the early days of the choir, The Beat is Irrelevant, was officially
launched. The first printing of 500 was sold out within days.|
At the Saturday evensong in the cathedral the Guildford choir gave the first performance of the winning entry in the National Federation's Choristers' Composition Competition. Purely fortuitously, the winning composer was an ex-Guildford chorister, Matthew O'Sullivan. We hasten to assure everyone that this was not a fix...