RUTTER: The Sprig of Thyme
CARTER: Benedicite featuring children from Fletewood School

Minster Church of St Andrew
Saturday 24 June at 3.30pm


Christopher Fletcher considers himself to be both fortunate and privileged to have been Plymouth Philharmonic Choir’s conductor since 1996, during which time the choir has come to be recognised as one of the best in the South West. As well as the choir’s regular concerts with professional orchestras and soloists in Plymouth he has conducted the choir in cathedrals and churches all over Europe, including Notre Dame in Paris.

Christopher was born in Leeds. At an early age he began to show considerable musical talent. At the age of ten he won the Northern Choirboy’s Championship in Harrogate singing Hear ye Israel from Mendelssohn’s Elijah and two years after this he became the first boy treble in the Bradford Diocese to be awarded the R.S.C.M. St. Nicolas Award.

In 1978 Christopher was awarded a scholarship to study at Trinity College of Music, London. After graduating Christopher moved to South Devon, since when he has been actively involved in choral singing, church music and teaching. He has been organist and Master of Music at Plymouth R. C. Cathedral since 2001, previously holding a similar post at the Parish and Priory Church of St. Mary, Totnes.

In addition to Plymouth Philharmonic Choir, Christopher is also currently conductor of the Stanborough Chorus, Kingsbridge, and is a former conductor of The Lupridge Singers, The Chagford Singers and the South Devon Choir.

As well as being in demand as a workshop teacher, Christopher helped to found the annual Rotary Club Come and Sing in1999.This is now an annual event which, under his direction, regularly attracts two hundred singers from all over Devon and beyond.

In 2008 he was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International.

Plymouth Philharmonic Choir are delighted to be joined by the children of Fletewood School in singing Carter’s Benedicite.

John Rutter’s The Sprig of Thyme brings you three fine song cycles which explore every aspect of love. We hear of innocent maidens and handsome young men, of love won and lost, married bliss, the pain of betrayal and the wisdom which maturity brings.

Folk songs have passed down from generation to generation, telling timeless stories of ordinary people’s lives. In The Sprig of Thyme John Rutter has collected eleven songs from across the British Isles and Ireland which make up a colourful musical patchwork of human experience. Through simple, direct language and lilting melodies, the songs tell us about the complexities of human life – especially where love is concerned!

Andrew Carter’s Benedicite is for mixed chorus, children’s choir, and small orchestra. The words are from the Book of Common Prayer, with three additional movements especially suitable for the children’s choir. The music is written to convey a child-like perspective of the wonders of Creation.