Canterbury choirboys delight on their first outing to Fairlight

Review: The Choristers of Canterbury Cathedral, Fairlight Church. Saturday, September 22.

However such was their reputation that every available nook and cranny of the ancient church was occupied by the audience, many coming considerable distances to hear for the first time outside Kent, the youthful trebles of Canterbury Cathedral Choir.

With their tutor, mentor, and presumably sometime father-confessor director of music Dr David Flood as conductor and assistant director David Newsholme as organist-accompanist the boys, aged eight to early teens, were heard in music which spanned the centuries and embraced a wide variety of musical genres.

Opening with the robust Sound the Trumpet by Purcell (himself a boy chorister) the choir followed this with a 1987 piece Wonder by Anthony Piccolo, the solo part being confidently performed by one of the youngest choristers.

The music of 18th century William Boyce, currently enjoying something of a renaissance was heard in his version of the 22nd psalm O Praise the Lord. This showed the Canterbury choristers might be young in experience but were not afraid to tackle a traditional theme, while Charles Villiers Stanford’s Song of Wisdom revealed their talent for singing in unison.

Between items by today’s No 1 composer of mainly sacred music John Rutter, For the beauty of the earth and The Lord bless you and keep you, David Newsholme treated his audience to his version of The Londonderry Air.

For the finale the boys showed their familiarity with ’standards’, from Sweet Charity, ever associated with Sammy Davis Jnr, the compelling Rhythm of Life, the Latin American Girl from Ipanema, and from the pen of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Love Changes Everything.

An original conclusion to a delightful event.

by Marrion Wells