Posts Tagged ‘Ella Taylor’

Cathedral Choir to feature on BBC Sunday Half Hour again

Friday, 4 November, 2011

On Sunday 20 November, BBC Radio 2′s weekly broadcast of Sunday Half Hour will feature (for the second time this year) music performed by the boys, girls and men of Sheffield Cathedral Choir, and former chorister Ella Taylor, who was the BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year for 2010/11. As usual the choir is directed by Neil Taylor and accompanied by Anthony Gowing.

The programme, which airs at 8.30pm, will be a special edition for UN Children’s Day, and will feature a mixture of hymns appropriate to this theme. In July, the same performers featured in a special edition about the author CS Lewis. Further information will be available at the Sunday Half Hour page on the BBC web site.

You can also catch Ella (who was a chorister at Sheffield from 2004 to 2010) on the radio this Sunday (6 November), as she performs with the choir of Lancing College on BBC Radio 4′s Sunday Worship programme at 8.10am.

Cathedral Choir and Ella Taylor on BBC Radio 2 Sunday Half Hour

Monday, 18 July, 2011

On Sunday 31 July, BBC Radio 2′s weekly broadcast of Sunday Half Hour will feature music performed by the boys, girls and men of Sheffield Cathedral Choir, and former chorister Ella Taylor, who is the current BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year.

The programme, which airs at 8.30pm, will be a special edition about the author CS Lewis, who is perhaps best known for his fictional novels including The Chronicles of Narnia, but was also a successful Oxford academic and devout Christian.

The choir will also feature in a second broadcast of the same show later in the year – on Sunday 20 November, in a programme on UN Children’s Day. For further information, please visit the Sunday Half Hour page on the BBC web site.

A South Yorkshire Christmas

Wednesday, 15 December, 2010

A South Yorkshire Christmas

Sheffield Cathedral is preparing for a real South Yorkshire Christmas. This Sunday (19 December) at 18.30 hrs, the Cathedral’s choir will combine with Ella Taylor, BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year 2010, to sing local, traditional carols, as well as pieces from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols.

Ella, 16, now a student at Lancing College, but formerly chorister in Sheffield Cathedral Choir, where her father is Director of Music, won the prestigious competition at the end of October 2010, in its special twenty fifth anniversary year.

The programme includes the well known carol “While shepherds watched their flocks by night,” to the tune Cranbrook (now more commonly used for “on Ilkley moor bah tat”), as well as Andrew Carter’s “A maiden most gentle,” and the eighteenth century favourite, “Hark, hark! what news the angels bring,” composed locally by John Hall, a blacksmith of Sheffield Park.

Britten’s work is itself based on Middle English texts, and captures the essence of a freezing, atmospheric English Christmas time.

The local carols have their roots in the vernacular tradition of playing musical instruments to accompany carols and other sacred music in churches prior to the introduction of the organ. On becoming redundant these church “bands” and “quires” did not, however, disappear altogether, they simply moved their music into their community, visiting houses and hostelries for example. Although this tradition has largely died out it still survives in some villages around Sheffield, usually, though not exclusively, centred at a village pub. The style of the playing and singing is typically robust and assured, the participants taking great pride in maintaining an important local tradition.

The carols themselves derive from various sources. Some, such as Hall’s Good News (“Hark, hark! what news the angels bring”) were composed locally. Some appeared in broadsheets circulating around the country and became favourites, for example “Cranbrook” by Thomas Clark, a Coventry shoemaker. Some would travel by “word of mouth,” sometimes undergoing a change to the words or tune or even a change of name in the process.

The style of performance may also vary. At the Black Bull in Ecclesfield, the carols are unaccompanied. An organ accompanies the carols at the Royal Hotel in Dungworth, whereas it is a piano at the Blue Ball in Worrall and the Traveller’s Rest in Oughtibridge. In Grenoside (Old Harrow and Old Red Lion) a string band leads the singing. These carol sessions begin in early November and run on a regular weekly basis up to Christmas Day. Many other events at this time of year include some input of local carols.

Whatever the performance style, and whatever the venue, these local carols form an important part of our local history, cultural tradition and identity. Sheffield Cathedral is committed to preserving local musical traditions, and to interpreting the history of our region through contemporary liturgy.

Sheffield singer wins National Radio Competition Final

Monday, 8 November, 2010

A Sheffield teenager has sung her way to success to be presented with the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers Of The Year prize in this special Silver Jubilee anniversary year of the Competition. A chorister from Durham won the prize for the boys category.

Ella Taylor, aged 16, was awarded the Radio 2′s Young Choristers Of The Year title at. The Grand Final which took place on Friday 29 October at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The show was hosted by Aled Jones, presenter of Radio 2′s Good Morning Sunday. It will be broadcast on Sunday 7 November at 8.30-10pm on Radio 2.

Ella joined Sheffield Cathedral Choir at the age of ten whilst a pupil at Westways Primary School in Sheffield.  She has enjoyed tours with the Cathedral Choir to Germany, France and Hungary and has also broadcast regularly with them on BBC Radio 3.  She thoroughly enjoyed her time as a cathedral chorister and has benefited from singing lessons from Vivien Pike in the last two years, as well as the support she has received from the David Clover Competition for young singers, under whose auspices she won the Intermediate Recital prize and also the Sacred Song prize in March 2010.  She left the Cathedral choir in July 2010 to take up a music scholarship at Lancing College in Sussex.  She also played violin in the string ensemble Highly Strung (led by Martin Cropper) while she was a pupil at Tapton school.  Following a recent Eton Choral Course she has been invited to join the prestigious Rodolfus Choir.  Ella’s interests extend beyond classical music and she has sung in the backing group for local band Screaming Maldini during the last year.   She enjoys badminton, swimming and watching films to relax.

The Director of Music at Sheffield Cathedral, Neil Taylor, said, “We are delighted about this fantastic news – Ella was a wonderful asset to the Cathedral Choir, and all of us at the Cathedral are over the moon about the result.”