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May 8th, 2016 - Diamond Jubilee Concert for Friends of Cathedral Music
Diamond Jubilee Concert for Friends of Cathedral Music

Leeds Cathedral Boy Chorister Federico Molina Lythe was invited to represent all the children of Leeds Cathedral at a concert at St Paul's Cathedral in London. The event celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the charity The Friends of Cathedral Music which has generously supported the music in the Diocese of Leeds over the past decade.

Federico writes about the event:

I was invited to sing at St. Paul’s Cathedral, at a concert organised by the Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM), representing Leeds Cathedral Choir. Choristers from all over the British Isles were invited. The concert marked the start of FCM’s Diamond Fund, which is hoping to raise £10 million by 2020. This money will all go to choirs around the country to cover the expenses of running choir activities.

On the 26th of April my father and I took a train to London. We arrived at twelve noon and took the underground metro to St. Paul’s. We went to the church of St. Vedast, which was just across the road from St. Paul’s, where we were to meet up. We rehearsed all the songs for the concert, such as Friday Afternoons and a Ceremony of Carols by Britten and Zadok the Priest. Every one and a half hours we would go outside for a break, where we were given a water bottle. Next to me in the choir stalls were two boys who were also from Yorkshire, Alex from Skipton and Bill from Bradford.

On the second day, my dad and I arrived half an hour early to St. Paul’s, so we decided to look around the building. After fifteen minutes of looking around my dad dropped me off at the entrance. There was only one other boy there, whose parents had seemed to have the same idea. He turned out to be from Westminster Cathedral, one of the only catholic cathedrals in the the country with children's choirs like ours. During the breaks, in this rehearsal they took us up to the dome, and we tried out the whispering galleries. I thought it was truly wonderful that a building four hundred years old could be so magical.

Soon after, we went down to St. Paul’s choir school, where we watched the film, Inside out, and had dinner. Once we had finished eating, we went out into the school playground, where we played a variety of sports, but mostly cricket. After about half an hour they called us all in to get ready for the concert. We put our cassocks on and as we were all from different choirs, we looked like a rainbow. One boy was wearing a bright green cassock. The concert went extremely well. We were conducted by Andrew Carwood. We were honoured to be in the presence of two of the composers, whose songs we sung. A Gaelic blessing by John Rutter and Bring Us O Lord, composed especially for this concert by Philip Stopford. There were a few speeches in between the songs. One by the Duchess of Gloucester and another by Alex Armstrong, an ex-chorister, who presents the hugely popular TV quiz show, Pointless.

All in all, I think, the concert and the evening went very well. I would like to thank Nikki for organising the whole event and to the FOCM for sponsoring the event. But most of all, my gratitude goes to Mr. Saunders, Mr. Ford, and Ms. Haigh for teaching me!


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