Music is a vital and vibrant aspect of Cathedral life. Serving God through active praise, adoration and meditational music, the Liturgy is enhanced in accordance with the promulgations and decrees of the Church. Supporting and extending congregational singing, musicians and singers embrace a rich variety of musical styles from chant, including sung introits and communion antiphons and solemn vespers to Polish traditional music, African music and more contemporary styles of liturgical praise.
This is a key post in the life of the Cathedral, ensuring that the highest possible standards of liturgical music are planned and prepared in accordance with liturgical requirements and priorities. The post demands a wide range of responsibilities including collaborative working with clergy, and all those involved with the organisation and preparation of the liturgy; serving on a wide range of relevant local and national committees and ensuring that all those serving in the ministry of music feel well supported.
The post is currently held by Dr Shelagh Noden who read music at Cambridge where she held the John Stewart of Rannoch Scholarship in Sacred Music and later took her Phd in Post Reformation Scottish Catholic Music at the University of Aberdeen where she was until recently a part time member of staff.
Ronald Leith has been organist of St Mary's Cathedral since 1973 and has served under four Bishops and seven Administrators. Born in Aberdeen, he studied organ at the Royal College of Music in London and has broadcast on Radio 3 many times, as well as giving many recitals in the UK and abroad. In 1978, the Sanctus, Acclamation and Great Amen of his Elphinstone Mass was selected to be sung at the Papal Visit to Scotland in 1978 at Bellahouston Park. Other music has included the Mass for the 125th Anniversary of the Cathedral in 1985. Ronald is especially fond of the magnificent historic organ built by James Connacher for the Cathedral in 1887, one of the few large instruments by this builder now in existence.
Ronald was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontificate Papal medal on the Feast of Saint Stephen 2013, by Bishop Hugh Gilbert, for over forty years outstanding and distinguished service to the Church.
John Horton has responsibility for promoting church music in all the Catholic primary schools of the Diocese. John has a degree in music and theology from the University of Liverpool.
The Cathedral Choir comprises Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass voices and performs each Sunday at 11am Mass. Rehearsals are held at 10.00am in the Upper Hall and on Thursday evenings at 7.00pm in the Upper Hall. If you are interested in joining us to lead and support the Cathedral Choir please contact the Director of Music by email.
As the name implies this group of singers and instrumentalists sing and play every Sunday evening. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings after the 7pm Mass and on Sundays from 4.30pm to 6pm in the Cathedral. There is a particular need for musicians at the present time.
The group performs a wide range of musical styles. If you would like further information please contact Elizabet Abbah by email.
The mission of the African Catholic Choir is to bring a taste of African musical vibrance and energy to the Catholic community in Aberdeen. New members are always welcome and experience/knowledge of singing is not required. Meeting times are Wednesday 6pm-8pm and Saturday 6pm-8pm at the Cathedral Upper Hall. You can contact the choir by email.
The Aberdeen Diocesan Choir seeks to serve the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aberdeen, Scotland, by providing high quality liturgical music from a wide repertoire of sacred choral music.
The enthusiasm and commitment of the choir, along with the support and encouragement of clergy and parishioners, ensures that the choir continues to be a vital force within the life of the Diocese.
Music Director: John Horton
Secretary: Fergus Urquhart
Want to find out more? Contact the Secretary, Fergus Urquhart by email.
From time to time the Cathedral building is sought as a venue for music recitals and concerts. All enquiries to the Director of Music by email.