Awards and Training Section
ECS is a choir comprising choristers from RSCM-affiliated churches [or individuals, who are full RSCM members] mainly from the area of Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands). It currently has approximately 35 members.
The main focus of ECS activity is a week of Cathedral singing in the summer [usually the first week in August], during which all choral services would be sung. This would normally include choral Evensong daily, two or three services on Sunday and any other special services as planned and directed by the cathedral. At these services we all wear our own choir robes, reflecting the mixed composition of the choir. ECS also provides choral support for some special services in the Archdeaconry of NW Europe [eg ordinations], and occasionally gives concerts.
The choir has a core of regular participants, and other members, who join us from time to time, so new singers with the appropriate voices and skills are welcome. In line with other RSCM Cathedral singers groups in the UK, it is expected that our members will have attained [or be at a level of ability, equivalent to] the RSCM Silver Award. Where an applicant does not yet have such a qualification, a voice and music test would normally be required.
We are a varied group in ages and nationalities and the language of the choir is English. If you are interested in joining the ECS, please contact Martin van Bleek.
Welcome to the North-West Europe branch of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).
For a list of current and upcoming events, click on the link “2017 Events” in Latest News, top right.
The Royal School of Church Music is an ecumenical Christian charity, whose core purpose is education. It was started in 1927 and has members all over the world.
Through its educational mission the RSCM aims to encourage and inspire:
- good use of music, above all in Christian worship;
- the highest standards appropriate to each individual church and community, taking into account resources and circumstances;
- a culture of learning through practice, experience and reflection, leading to the development of both skills and understanding;
- individuals to engage in education and training in order to serve their church or community, and to fulfill the RSCM’s mission at a local level.
In North West Europe we provide support to affiliated church choirs within the Archdeaconry of North West Europe, which means Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and a part of Germany. A committee meets twice a year, and there are regular meetings with the RSCM in the UK.
We organise an annual Choral Festival, held in a different country and area in turn. The 2016 Choral Festival of the Archdeaconry of North-West Europe was held in Ghent on Saturday 4 June. This tied in with the 200th Anniversary of the Anglican Church in Ghent. Music will be from the 2015 RSCM festival book ‘Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done’. The service was a Choral Evensong.
There is an annual workshop with a trainer from the UK, which is usually held on a day in spring or autumn. More information on dates in 2017 later.
ECS at Wells Aug 2016
The European Cathedral Singers (ECS) is a choir formed from singers of RSCM NW Europe choirs of the area. The ECS sing services for a week in an English cathedral in the summer, and occasionally for other services in our area or further afield.
In 2016 we sang the services in Manchester Cathedral (1-3 April) and Wells Cathedral (8-14 August).
Some of the churches within our group are following the Voice for Life scheme. For all levels we now (as of Easter 2014) follow a central syllabus. For the Bronze and Silver medals we have our own examiners (up to Silver medal standard), and for Gold awards exams are organised centrally. These are available to both junior and adult singers.