Stanford: Songs of the Sea
Carter: Horizons

Minster Church of St Andrew, Plymouth
Saturday 22 June at 4pm

Tickets available here:
Or click the poster and scan the QR code


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.


Andrew Carter’s Horizons
is a serene setting of seven sea poems as a parable for life’s voyage, namely: Where lies the Land (Hugh Clough), My Soul is awakened (Anne Brontë), Roadways (John Masefield), Exultation (Emily Dickinson), The Long Trail (Rudyard Kipling), Now Voyager Depart (Walt Whitman) and Crossing the Bar (Alfred Tennyson). Scored for soprano solo, SATB choir (with divisions), and orchestra, Horizons offers audiences a momentary glimpse of something beyond their own imagination. It is an atmospheric concert piece that transcends the mundanities of everyday life. Published: 1998.

Charles Villiers Stanford wrote songs for baritone with orchestra and chorus, setting nautical verses by the popular poet Henry Newbolt. From its premiere at the Leeds Musical Festival in October 1904, Songs of the Sea was a great success. The work demonstrate Stanford’s mastery of orchestral technique and sureness of touch. Newbolt’s texts alternate between heroic and sentimental moods; Stanford responded with music that is dramatic and atmospheric indeed, with some of the most remarkable textures of his whole oeuvre.