A Choral Treat Anyone who has come to the Christmas Carols by Candlelight services at St Christopher’s during this and previous years will have heard the beautiful voice of our own boy soprano Philip Curtis. His singing of the first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ to open our service is a hard act to follow.
a concert and once we had located our seats in the circle, we settled down to watch what was to be a very special performance. The choristers were led onto the platform by Philip who looked resplendent in his black gown, clutching his music folder. The 31 choristers were conducted by the college’s director of music Stephen Cleobury and accompanied mainly by the very splendid organ scholar Richard Gower.
Philip’s potential has been recognised and he has become a chorister with perhaps the most famous choir in the country, King’s College, Cambridge. He is now in his second year there and has been selected to take part in the choir’s 2016/17 international concert series. He has already performed in Dublin, Manchester and the Royal Albert Hall and next year he will be singing in San Francisco and appearing at various European summer festivals. In November he met with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall when they visited the chapel during a choir rehearsal.
The first half of the concert started with a piece by Gabriel Fauré, then the choir moved on to perform a touching Requiem by Maurice Duruflé, perhaps not to everyone’s taste but it did display the choir’s musicality.
After consuming a splendid ginger ice cream during the interval we settled down to watch the second half. This was a mixture of advent carols and anthems and included one of my personal favourites, ‘In the Bleak Mid-Winter’. The second half concluded with a rousing version of ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ and The Manchester concert took place on Tuesday then a final encore of ‘Away in a Manger’. 13th December at the Bridgewater Hall and It was really special to see Philip taking part because Philip had been part of the St Christopher’s singing group his parents paid for with such maturity for one so young, and afterwards we met with him in the foyer to tickets for other group members to attend. congratulate him on his performance. His One stipulation Philip made was that Pauline Ward should have a ticket. Over the years with parents must be so proud. This really was a real choral treat. the group Pauline and Philip have built up quite a friendship and have become very fond of each other, so much so that last year Philip was overheard saying to Pauline that she had quite a good voice for an old lady. Despite this and recovering from a recent back operation Pauline and nine other group members attended the concert. Philip : third from left, front row The Bridgewater Hall is an ideal venue for such Page 6
HotPott - February 2017
Pott Shrigley Parish Magazine