Durham Cathedral organist set to make history

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A SUNDAY service will make history when Durham Cathedral welcomes a woman organist to its staff for the first time.

Francesca Massey has joined the cathedral as sub-organist, having previously held positions at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge, Manchester Cathedral and Peterborough Cathedral.

Her recital venues have included major concert halls and cathedrals in the UK and she has performed throughout South Africa, Sardinia, Sweden and Denmark with Caius Choir.

She is one of a number of new faces as Durham Cathedral choir starts its new year. Also joining the team are new choristers Carlson White and Joseph Ha.

Robin Crinson becomes lay clerk, joining his fellow professional singers in the men’s voices.

New girl choristers Flora Halford-MacLeod, Rebecca Dover, Carly Jackson, and Daisy Bradshaw are being admitted to the choir at Matins on Sunday, October 2.

All choristers spend a year as a probationer, or trainee chorister, before they become full members of the cathedral choir.

The performers are preparing for a series of events in addition to the regular services, including the world premiere of a new anthem commissioned as part of the Durham Book Festival on Friday, October 21.

Choristers are taking part in Carols of Light on Thursday, December 8, staged in partnership with the SAFC Foundation.

The whole choir will also start preparations for Advent and Christmas in the coming weeks.