Wells Cathedral appoints first female Vicar Choral in choir's 1,100-year history

By Tim Lethaby

25th Nov 2021 | Local News

Natalie Manning
Natalie Manning

Wells Cathedral has announced the appointment of Natalie Manning as an Alto Vicar Choral, making her the first woman ever to have been appointed to a full-time position in the cathedral's choir in it's 1,100-year history.

Natalie Manning currently sings in The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge under Stephen Layton, where she is also Choir Administrator.

Prior to relocating to the UK, she was a professional singer and high school choral director in her hometown of Dallas, Texas.

She graduated with a double Bachelors of Music in vocal performance and music education from the University of North Texas in 2016, during which time she fell in love with Anglican choral music while singing in her home parish, the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation.

She moved to the UK in 2019 to undertake the Masters in Choral Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Wells Cathedral's Director of Music, Jeremy Cole, said: "I am thrilled that Natalie will be joining the Choir as a Vicar Choral.

"She has a wealth of experience as a musician working at the highest level, and will be a brilliant addition to the team here. I know that the whole Cathedral community will welcome her warmly upon her arrival."

Natalie said: "I am so excited to have been appointed the newest Alto Vicar Choral at Wells Cathedral, and especially to be the first woman in the role in the Cathedral Choir's long history.

"I look forward to arriving in Wells as its musical life emerges from the silence of the pandemic, and to be living and working among the people who make the Wells community exceptional.

"I'm so thankful for my time in Trinity with Stephen Layton, who has been instrumental in shaping my experience in the UK so far, and I'm looking forward to taking everything I've learned in Cambridge to my new role in Wells."

Wells Cathedral Choir currently consists of 18 Boy Choristers, 18 Girl Choristers, and the altos, tenors and basses who comprise 9 Vicars Choral and 3 Choral Scholars.

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