One of Richmond’s oldest choirs is saying farewell to its current conductor with a concert of his favourite choral music.
Richmondshire Choral Society has been under the baton of Edward Seymour since October 2015 when he stood in at short notice due to the ill health of his predecessor and at the end of that season took on the role of music director officially.
Having then contracted to remain with the choir for two years, Mr Seymour now finds that his full time teaching job leaves him insufficient time to devote to the choir as he would wish and has taken the sad decision not to renew.
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For his final concert with the RCS, in St Mary’s, Richmond on April 21, however, he has chosen to go out on a stirring note with a series of anthems by Hubert Parry most of which will be well known to audience members even if the composer himself is not.
These will start with the famous coronation anthem I was glad and end with a rousing chorus of Jerusalem when the audience will be invited to join in.
They will be accompanied on the organ of St Mary’s, Richmond, one of the finest in the north of England, by Andrew Christer, one of the finest organists in the north of England, who promises that he will ‘unleash the Full English Cathedral sound to the full’.
Earlier in the evening the organ will produce a different timbre to accompany Haydn’s Nelson Mass, held by some to be the composer’s finest work and also full of great melodies and contrasts of mood.
Edward Seymour is also a fine solo singer and in August takes part in a four day singing and cycling tour of the Lake District with his brother, John, also a musician, giving lunchtime and evening recitals to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research in memory of their mother.
Although he will have left them by then, the choir members have been supporting him in this venture via his JustGiving page.
The choir’s new conductor, Peter Stallworthy takes office in June and rehearsals start in September. He has said that he is greatly looking forward to this and the choir’s current high standard is due in no small part to Edward Seymour.
Information about Richmondshire Choral Society is at richchoral.org.uk