In this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet Amy Reynolds, a former member of the Cathedral Consort, and current student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
On Tuesday 31 July at 1.15pm, Amy will be giving a piano recital in the cathedral. Admission is free, and all are welcome.
In this centenary year of women's suffrage, we are celebrating the women who play important roles in the daily life of the Cathedral community.
Each Saturday of the year, we will be sharing a different story here and across our social media.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and search for the #BlessedIsShe hashtag.
What’s your connection with Bristol Cathedral?
I joined Bristol Cathedral Choir School for sixth-form and began having organ lessons with Paul Walton before joining the Consort Choir as a soprano. I used to spend almost every day in the Cathedral whilst at the school, whether that was having a lesson, practicing, singing or having coffee with friends.
How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?
Almost three years.
What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?
The architectural beauty and stillness of the building, and how you can feel the presence of the lord. I love how everyone who works and volunteers there is passionate about what they do; to me it feels like coming home when I step inside of the building.
What have been some of your personal highlights?
Performing my first solo lunchtime recital in September 2016 which helped me to prepare for my diploma in piano performance and for auditions to music college. Being invited back for a second recital this summer is another highlight.
One of my favourite pieces we ever sung must be Haydn’s Mass No.6 Missa Sancti Nicolai. I also enjoyed singing Paul’s descants at Midnight Mass and his arrangement of Silent Night. Another thing I enjoyed about the music in the Cathedral was that we got to sing so much contemporary repertoire alongside more widely known composers, David Bednall’s works were thrilling to sing.
Our Valediction service at the end of last year is the most moving service I have sung during my time at the Cathedral; there were tears in everyone’s eyes as we sang the final Hymn.
Creating life-long friendships with people from the Cathedral is one of the most valuable things I have gained from my time in the Cathedral.
What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?
I would love to see the rebuild of the organ go smoothly so that it is well restored. Another thing I am passionate about is for the Cathedral to continue with their work with equality throughout the Cathedral. I hope that it will influence other Anglican Cathedrals in the UK to follow in our footsteps by hiring female choristers and choral scholars. One hundred years after women’s suffrage, I believe this is especially relevant in the 21 st Century.
What does the Cathedral mean for you?
The Cathedral is a place of sanctuary for many people. When my family was going through a difficult time, the one thing I looked forward to was rehearsing on a Thursday evening and participating in services. Even though I am not currently part of the choir, I continue to keep in contact with the Cathedral staff. Being part of the Cathedral has strengthened my faith, and it will always be my place of spiritual comfort.