Over the last couple of weeks, there’s been quite a few auditionees visiting Dublin and spending some time with the cathedral choir. It’s great to see that the Gap Year Scheme has yielded such a large amount of interest, and we certainly have found several really good singers for next year.

It’s just a shame that we can’t take everyone. When people visit – especially those coming over from England for a weekend – we generally try to look after them, and show them a ‘good time’. As well as the audition itself with our director of music, the auditionees will generally be asked to sing with the rest of the choir in some of the weekend’s services. And we generally take people out to the pub after evensong, and also out to lunch on Sunday.

This time spent with the choir is great for assessing whether a person will ‘fit in’ with everyone – as well as, hopefully, giving the auditionees a flavour of life in Dublin. They also get to ask questions about what we do, and start to get to know people.

The problem comes, however, when you start to make friends with some of these people; not knowing whether or not they’ll actually take up a place in the choir. With any group of people, there’ll always be one or two that you naturally gravitate too, and get to like. But they might not be the ones who get offered a place – and conversely, they might get offer a place, but decide not to join.

In the last 2 weeks we’ve seen 9 auditionees, and have a few more still to go. And I guess only time will tell which of them will end up joining the choir in September.