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110 - Salisbury Cathedral - 200118 - Photo by Ash Mills
30/01/2018

New choristers for Salisbury Cathedral Choir…and Sir Tony Robinson gets bumped.

On Saturday (20 January) two probationer choristers were admitted to Salisbury Cathedral boys choir during Evensong and welcomed by their peers in the time-honoured bumping ceremony that followed.

Probationers Jasper and Johan were filmed being ‘bumped’ by a Channel 5 crew making the Salisbury episode of Britain’s Greatest Cathedrals, while presenter Sir Tony Robinson looked on.

The Cathedral’s Canon Precentor, Tom Clammer, who heads up the Liturgy and Music Department said:
“No-one really knows when the bumping ceremony started but it marks an important moment for our new Choristers. They are formally admitted during Evensong but this is a behind-the-scenes welcome given by their peers. We were happy for the bumping to be filmed because it shows the fun side of becoming a chorister and the camaraderie that comes with being part of a music tradition that is older than the Cathedral itself.”

The bumping ceremony involves the chorister’s head being lightly tapped on a special stone in the presbytery aisle by the two most senior boy choristers, while the other choristers chant a welcome. The girls choir adopted its own version of the bumping tradition when it was formed in 1991.

Sir Tony Robinson was given a taste of what the girl choristers being promoted during Evensong on Saturday 3 February can look forward to. Grace and Iona, the two most senior girl choristers responsible for carrying out the bumping, put the Sir Tony through his paces on last Sunday morning. They clearly enjoyed the experience - after all it’s not often one gets the opportunity to bang a knight of the realm on the head with a massive prayer book.

Throughout the day on Saturday, the music department will also be holding their girls voice trials. If you know a child who has potential or would be interested in joining trying out for the choir contact Kathy Davies as soon as possible on 07979 378926 or e-mail her on chorister.recruitment@salcath.co.uk

For any other enquiries or further information contact: Marie Thomas at Salisbury Cathedral m.thomas@salcath.co.uk 01722 555148
 

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