First woman becomes Alto Vicar of Wells Cathedral Choir
THE first female viola vicar choir was appointed in a cathedral in Somerset.
Natalie Manning is the first woman to hold a full-time position in the Wells Cathedral Choir, since the choir began over 1,100 years ago.
She currently sings in the Trinity College Cambridge Choir, directed by Stephen Layton, where she is the choir administrator.
Natalie was a professional singer and high school choir director in her hometown of Dallas, Texas, before moving to the UK.
“I am very happy to have been appointed the new vicar alto choir at Wells Cathedral, and most importantly to be the first woman to play this role in the long history of the cathedral choir,” she said. .
“I look forward to arriving in Wells as its musical life emerges from the silence of the pandemic, and to live and work among the people who make the Wells community exceptional.
“I am so grateful for my time at Trinity with Stephen Layton, who has helped shape my UK experience so far, and I look forward to putting everything I learned at Cambridge into my new role. in Wells. ”
Natalie graduated from the University of North Texas in 2016, with a dual bachelor’s degree in music in vocal performance and music education.
She fell in love with Anglican choral music while singing in her home parish, the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation.
After moving to the UK in 2019, she obtained a Masters in Choral Studies at the University of Cambridge.
Wells Cathedral Music Director Jeremy Cole added, “I am delighted that Natalie is joining the choir as choral vicar.
“She has extensive experience as a musician working at the highest level and will be a brilliant addition to the team here.
“I know that the entire cathedral community will warmly welcome him upon his arrival.”
Wells Cathedral Choir currently consists of 18 male choristers, 18 girl choristers, and the altos, tenors and basses which include nine vicar choirs and three scholar choristers.
The choir celebrated its 1100th anniversary in 2009, and the boys first sang at Wells Cathedral in 909. In 1994, choir members joined the choir.
Wells Cathedral Choir is at the heart of the cathedral’s worship life, and they sing a wide repertoire of music from the Renaissance to the present day.