Chorister Beatrice Fisher took part in a unique and unforgettable concert given by an 80-strong choir made up of choristers from sixty-three cathedrals on Wednesday 27 April.
The Diamond Fund Concert in St Paul’s Cathedral celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of The Friends of Cathedral Music, the largest grant-giving charity for cathedrals, greater churches and collegiate choirs in the world.
The aim of the Diamond Fund Campaigm and the anniversary concert is to draw attention to the fact that soaring costs are putting many choirs under real financial pressure - and to build on FCM’s current endowment fund and increase the hardship fund that goes towards ensuring that any child who passes a voice trial has the opportunity to sing in one of Britain's fine choirs, irrespective of their gender, background or means.
Felicity Pattenden, a volunteer for FCM’s Diamond Fund Campaign said:
“The Diamond Fund is run by three of us, all volunteers, from Salisbury diocese. We though that inviting one chorister from nearly all the cathedrals in the land to join together for two days of rehearsal with the choir of St Paul's would not only be an amazing experience for the chorister but also a good profile-raiser for our fund. We believe passionately in giving the opportunity to sing in a Church or Cathedral choir to all – and we felt this concert would speak louder than words!"
“Andrew Carwood, Director of Music at St Paul’s, did a superb job of directing the choristers and they produced a wonderful cohesive sound, emphasising the purity and strength of the treble voice. Each chorister was presented with a personal certificate which we hope will be memento of a remarkable and unforgettable occasion.”
The concert featured music from the 17th to the 21st century in a wide variety of styles, showcasing the remarkable and varied skills that are required of cathedral choristers. A specially commissioned work by Philip Stopford had its first performance at the concerts and Philip flew in from New York to hear it.
Other Salisbury representatives at the concert were Dr. Richard Seal, Organist and Choirmaster at Salisbury Cathedral from 1960–1995, who is a Patron of Diamond Fund and Claire Bunce formerly Claire Greville-Heygate, the first Dean's Chorister at Salisbury Cathedral and the first head girl chorister of any choir in the country. The Duchess of Gloucester also attended the concert and lent the evening some royal sparkle.
Anyone interested in following in Beatrice's footsteps and joining Salisbury Cathedral Choir should contact Kathy Davies on 07979 378926 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture credit Graham Lacdao.