This Wednesday, April 27th, choristers representing 60 choirs, churches, and cathedrals across the country will come together with the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral to perform some of Britain’s most-loved choral music. One of Portsmouth Cathedral’s own choristers will feature in this special celebration.
Eleanor Matthews, a student at Portsmouth Grammar School and chorister with the Portsmouth Cathedral Youth Choir, ‘Cantate’, was selected to be a member of this specially assembled choir and concert in support of cathedral music by the Friends of Cathedral Music.
The Classic FM and ‘Pointless’ presenter Alexander Armstrong will also be speaking at the concert and celebration hosted by fellow Classic FM presenter, and former cathedral chorister, Aled Jones.
Recently, The Friends of Cathedral have cited that it costs £250,000 on average to run a cathedral choir for a year, and that across the United Kingdom, cathedrals spend around £15m per annum. These costs are rising while financial support is shrinking. The Friends of Cathedral Music have been supporting cathedral choirs for the last 60 years. This special concert supporting FCM is sponsored by the Genesis Foundation, which plays an active role in nurturing and developing the careers of outstanding young artists, and Classic FM.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Eleanor, to sing in this special concert in such an amazing setting”, said Dr. David Price, Director of Music at Portsmouth Cathedral, “It is wonderful that Portsmouth Cathedral will be represented, but most of all that this concert will support choristers and their families.”
The programme of music will include:
- Allegri’s Miserere, using the architecture of St Paul’s Cathedral to wonderful effect
- Excerpts from Britten’s Friday Afternoons and Ceremony of Carols, displaying the versatility of the nation’s young choristers
- Handel’s Zadok the Priest, which has been performed at every Coronation since that of George II in 1727
- Tippett’s Five Spirituals, drawing on a very different choral tradition
- The world premiere of a specially commissioned work by Philip Stopford
- Parry’s I Was Glad, guaranteed to lift the roof off the cathedral.
The concert will take place in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. It also launches the Friends of Cathedral Music’s new Diamond Fund for Choristers in this, FCM’s diamond jubilee year.