Choristers . . . 'Quo Vadis'?
The author was himself a chorister in Salisbury Cathedral under Sir Walter Alcock in 1928. Life in those far-off days was vastly different, but the choir school was housed in Wren Hall, which is still there on the far side of the green. He played cricket on the green in front of the school and bathed in the River Avon at the back of the house. There were, at that time, only some sixteen choristers, and girls as choristers had not even been considered. On leaving the choir school he went on to Lancing College in West Sussex having gained a music scholarship. The Second World War (1939-1945) intervened making going up to Kings College only a dream, instead he studied whilst in choral societies under various conductors including, Dr Heathcote Statham, John Russell, Sir David Willcocks, Charles Proctor, Sir Henry Wood, Sir Adrian Boult and Jonathan Willcocks. He also studied under Gerald Finzi and that led to his founding and conducting the Newbury Junior Orchestra. Up until his eighty-fifth year he was still singing bass in his local choral society in Worcestershire. He also, more recently, appeared in the BBC Documentary ‘Angelic Voices’ which was shown on the television channel BBC Four over the Easter period of 2012.