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Former Lichfield Cathedral chorister picks up the baton and ensures the 2018 Lichfield Festival show must go on

A former chorister and student of Lichfield Cathedral Choir School will step into the breach at a Lichfield Festival concert next week after its conductor became unwell.

Patrick Craig

Patrick Craig

Patrick Craig was expecting to join his fellow singers in a concert by The Cardinall’s Musick at Lichfield Cathedral on Monday (July 9) but instead will pick up the baton in place of Andrew Carwood, Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Patrick, who was a chorister in the city between 1977 and 82, said he was looking forward to returning to familiar ground.

“I have a unique attachment to Lichfield and its cathedral,” he explained. “My dad, brother and nephew were all head choristers here and although I never reached those dizzying heights, I have gone on to make a living out of the sacred music that I was first introduced to in this place.

“I have a vivid memory of singing the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City from a precarious ledge in a transept at the same height as the organ loft. Singing Allegri’s Miserere in the Whispering Gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral, where I’ve worked for nearly a quarter of a century, still makes my stomach wobble in much the same way.”

The Cardinall’s Musick is a highly-acclaimed vocal ensemble which has won many prestigious awards in classical music. Particularly regarded for its performances of Renaissance music and for commissioning new work, the concert – The Music Makers – showcases both and includes Praetorius and Byrd alongside recent music by Judith Weir and Paul Crabtree.

Judith, the first female Master of The Queen’s Music, can also be heard in a pre-concert conversation at Wade Street Church at 5pm.

Patrick said: “It’s always bittersweet to get the opportunity to conduct the wonderful singers of The Cardinall’s Musick as it inevitably points to the ill health of our inspiring founder conductor Andrew Carwood.

“But this is a special programme featuring new music that I have memorably premiered at significant festivals in Spitalfields, Orkney and at the Proms and the Wigmore Hall.

“It will be a thrill to conduct these works back in the cathedral that I grew up in, and in front of two of the composers to whom we owe so much.”

For more information and ticket details visit www.lichfieldfestival.org.

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