Two choristers at Ripon Cathedral are finalists in the BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year competition.


Joy Sutcliffe (14) and Sophie Reed (15) are former Head Choristers at Ripon Cathedral and founder members of the Cathedral Consort, the choir established last year for girls aged 13-18 to sing regularly at Cathedral services with the Lay Clerks. Both girls receive singing lessons from the Cathedral Choir’s vocal coach, Matt Lennox.



Andrew Bryden with Sophie (left) and Joy (right)

“I am thrilled for both Joy and Sophie,” says Andrew Bryden, Director of Music (pictured with Sophie – left and Joy – right), “and wish them every success. They are such committed choristers that I’m not at all surprised by their success, which is the result of them putting in a lot of hard work over many years. Everyone here at the Cathedral is very proud of them.”


Sophie and Joy have been singing at Ripon for half their lifetimes and are excited about their forthcoming trip to London for the final at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Monday 28th October which will be recorded in front of an invited audience. Only four boys and four girls sing in the final which means that Ripon Cathedral has nurtured half the finalists for the girls’ competition!



Ripon Cathedral’s vocal coach Matt Lennox with Sophie and Joy, his singing pupils.

Canon Elizabeth Sewell comments, “All credit to Sophie and Joy for an amazing achievement. The whole Cathedral community is delighted for them. This is also a wonderful testament to the strength of the Music Department here at the Cathedral and the wonderful training and encouragement which Andrew and his team have given them over the years.”


This year’s winners, a boy and a girl, will receive a trophy and lessons with an established singing coach. There will normally be opportunities for the winners to appear both on national radio and television during the year. As well as musical excellence the judges will be looking for someone who will rise to the challenge of performing on radio and television.


The Ripon Cathedral Consort rehearses fortnightly and sing one or two services each month and an annual concert in the Cathedral. The Consort also sing services and concerts at other venues and perform at private functions such as weddings at other churches. Membership of the Cathedral Consort is by audition. Girls who wish to join the Consort should have a high level of vocal and musical skill, and previous experience of singing in a choir. Your next chance to hear the Cathedral Consort here at Ripon Cathedral is on Sunday 29th September at 10.30am


Choristers2There will be a chance to hear Sophie and Joy sing at a Thursday lunchtime concert on 10th October, 1.15pm at Ripon Cathedral. Flautist Philippa Abrahams and soprano Ruth Sladden have generously given the girls a guest slot during their recital in order to give a Ripon audience a preview of what the London final will hear a couple of weeks later.


For further information about the Cathedral Consort or music at Ripon Cathedral, please contact Andrew Bryden.

Tel 01765 603496 Email: [email protected]