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Pre-dinner drinks: LEFT Nils Bersweden, Jonathan Bielby, Paul Simpson and Paul Crabb CENTRE LEFT Tom Moore chats to Helena Dean and Alex Tinker  CENTRE RIGHT JohnHolt (right) speaks to guest RIGHT Graham Thorne talks to John North. 


An excellent meal was served in the nave and enjoyed by all.  CENTRE Neil Collier, of Priory Records, was guest our speaker

Using the Cathedral’s restored crypt and holding the Golden Jubilee Dinner in the nave, ensured the Association celebrated its first fifty years in the best possible fashion.  Everyone who attended, including those who joined us from other Associations, enjoyed the occasion.  The choir was on top form both on the Friday evening for the Golden Jubilee service and also on the Saturday afternoon when the choir sang evensong to close the AGM of the Federation of Cathedral Old Choristers’ Associations, which we had hosted the next day.  A big thank you must be given to the choir members for their excellent singing and to Tom Moore and Sachin Gunga for their contribution over the two days, including being present throughout the Federation day on the Saturday.  The Dean, Jonathan Greener was present at both events as were the committee members  who helped ensure the smooth running of the Dinner and the AGM.  The Cathedral is also fortunate in having some excellent staff without whose support, the Association would struggle.  Roz Cochrane and Kain Dyson both gave of their time on both days, looking after our needs.  It was much appreciated.    

Evensong to celebrate the Golden Jubilee 

The evening began with the Cathedral Choir of boys, girls and lay clerks singing evensong in the newly restored surroundings.  The service began with the beautiful introit by Richard Shephard "To mercy, pity, peace and love", commissioned by the Association to mark the Silver Jubilee of the Association in 1991.  The canticles were sung to the setting in D minor by Dr Percy Saunders, Organist and Master of the Choristers when the Association was founded and the anthem was the Association's newly commissioned work, "Sing a song of joy", by Simon Lindley, the then Master of the Music at Leeds Minster.  The responses were by John Holt, one of the founder members of the Association.  The lives of departed old choristers were remembered while John Scott's anthem, "Behold O God, our defender", was sung. John sadly died in August of last year at the age of 59.  A former Head Chorister & Assistant Organist at Wakefield, he held the post of Director of Music, St Paul’s Cathedral (1990-2004) and was Director of Music, St Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, NY from 2004 until his untimely death.  The lessons were read by Rachel Bennett, first Head Chorister of the Girls' Choir, and Roger Scott, present at the first meeting of the Association whose father, Joe Scott, was the first Chairman.

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