Continuous Cathedral Chorister Champion?

Is 75 years a world record?

We’d love to know if anyone can beat it?

David Kirby joined the Choir of St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, as a boy soprano at the beginning of 1942, aged 8 years. He was awarded a choir scholarship, which helped defray educational costs at the nearby Hutchins School. He never left the choir, and at the end of 2016, celebrated 75 years of singing as a Cathedral chorister.

During the 1940s, the Organist and Master of the Choristers, a relatively young John Nicholls, was anxious to retain talented boy choristers in the choir when their voices broke, and they were unable to sing soprano. Certain boys were encouraged to remain in the choir and sing in the lower ranks.

David was one of the first to be selected in this trial, and the first to stay the course. After a short period singing alto, and then tenor, he became a bass at the age of 14.

He served as a bass from 1947 to 2016. When a leading tenor left the choir at Easter 2016, David was asked to fill the gap in the tenor ranks. At the age of 83, he switched from bass to tenor, which involved learning a new part and greater concentration.

David has completed 75 Christmases in the choir – 5 as a choirboy, 69 as a bass and one as a tenor. This period of continuous service in a Anglican Cathedral choir is believed to be an Australian record, and possibly for English Cathedrals as well.