The Friends of the Choir
Founded by long-time Director of Music, Dr. Lloyd Cast, The Friends of The Choir of The Cathedral of All Saints is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide financial, logistical, and administrative support primarily to The Choir of Men and Boys as well as to other choral ensembles across the United States and abroad. Each year, The Friends provide partial and in some cases full scholarships to all choristers who attend the Royal School of Church Music’s annual training courses. The Friends provide funding for the choir’s publicity, sponsor concerts, fund a variety of visiting artists and conductors, assist with chorister recruitment, and provide support for choir travel. The Friend’s membership roster contains many individuals, families and businesses who give of their time and money to support this unique choral tradition.
In addition to their support of the choir, The Friends of the Choir provide full financial support for The Lloyd Cast Organ Fellowship, a two-year full-time residency for a deserving young musician. This Fellowship, named for The Cathedrals’ long-serving Director of Music, is unique in the country in its support for emerging organists.
The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys
Established in 1872, The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys is the oldest continuously performing choir of its kind in the country. As the principal choir of The Cathedral of All Saints, the Choir of Men and Boys sings choral services in the Cathedral during the academic term. The choir enjoys an international reputation for musical excellence and acts as a vital link to the ancient choral traditions of England and Europe; all the while remaining distinctly American. In addition to its liturgical role, the choir is heard regularly in concert and has performed with The Albany Symphony, The Boston Symphony, and at The Tanglewood Music Festival. In recent years, the Choir has made two tours of England.
The choir is made up of trebles (boys ages 7-14 with unchanged voices) who sing the soprano line, while a dedicated group of professional men sing the alto, tenor and bass parts. Boys rehearse twice weekly during the academic term, and the gentlemen join them once each week for musical preparation. Choir members come from all parts of the Capital region, and represent a wide variety of backgrounds, faiths, and cultures. The quality of their music making, coupled with their uncommon dedication to excellence has helped make The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys “Albany’s Boy Choir” for more than 145 years.
The choristers are trained according to the standards set forth by The Royal School of Church Music. As they move through the training scheme, they earn ribbons of various colors that represent their rank in the ensemble. The boys not only work hard, but they also play hard. Choir parents organize weekly dinners for the full choir, and the boys enjoy regular non-musical outings, giving them a chance to enjoy a lighter side of the chorister experience.
If you know a boy who likes to sing, please tell him about the choir. The choirmaster, Woodrow Bynum, is always happy to meet with prospective choristers and their families. Auditions are held throughout the year by appointment, and no previous musical training is necessary or expected. For more information, e-mail The Director of Music or call 518.465.1342.