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Girls' choir sings at Canterbury Cathedral

A rehearsal has taken place of the first girls' choir at Canterbury Cathedral after more than a thousand years of male-dominated singing

Let's hear it for the girls: first rehearsal of Canterbury Cathedral's choir ends 1000 years of male domination

Canterbury Cathedral Girls Choir rehearses for the first time with choir director David Newsholme Credit: Press Association

A rehearsal has taken place of the first girls' choir at Canterbury Cathedral after more than thousand years of male-dominated singing.

Their first ever public performance will be later this month.

Sixteen local girls aged between 12 and 16 were selected for the Canterbury Cathedral Girls' Choir, the first to be assembled under the name of the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Saskia Jamieson-Bibb (left) and Ellen Spurling get to try on their Cassocks

They met, rehearsed and tried on cathedral cassocks for the first time yesterday ahead of their public debut at Evensong on January 25

Being a chorister at the cathedral has historically been an exclusively male preserve but leaders have said introducing a girls' choir would be an "exciting addition"

The girls' first service later this month will include music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Dyson and Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

The cathedral has a long tradition of choral music and some notable musicians have distinguished themselves there over the years, including Harry Christophers, Trevor Pinnock and Sir Mark Elder.

Senior figures at the cathedral said the girls' choir would add to the cathedral's historic choral tradition but exist as a separate entity to the boys.

The girls will initially sing at services when the boy choristers, who are boarders at St Edmund's School, are on their twice-termly breaks.

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