From an early age I was nurtured by the music and liturgy of the Anglican Church at Emmanuel Church in Shelley, Yorkshire, where my father was the parish priest for 20 years. A former chorister and Canon Precentor of Wakefield Cathedral, he encouraged me to follow in his footsteps, and I joined Wakefield Cathedral choir aged 8, where I was afforded that most singular of musical educations – an English cathedral choral scholar. The rhythm of the church’s year marked my time until as Head Chorister I was singing Faure’s Pie Jesu in the West Riding Cathedrals’ Festival. Beyond university I became a Tenor Songman at York Minster, enjoying again, in its idyllic surroundings the daily rhythm of music in liturgy with its ebbs & flows.

 

A true Yorkshireman who had rarely been south of Watford Gap, London beckoned and I left the north, but not music.

Beyond working with the three choral foundations at St Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, I was singing on film soundtracks, TV advertisements, working latterly with the BBC Singers in the Proms and exploring a more diverse repertoire. Music was complemented by an 18-year career in the marketing communications industry, firstly with EMI Records and then as an Account Director with one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, and it was here that I learned about the importance of the message and the craft of communication – of storytelling.

 

Of course, no story would be complete without its obstacles, and mine is no exception. Having been made redundant I applied for similar positions, but was drawn increasingly to music and realized in time that I wanted to focus exclusively on singing and develop my skills as a musical story teller.

A chance conversation led me to singing teacher Nicholas Clapton. His technical knowledge, intelligence in interpretation, and direct manner gave birth to The Story Tenor. That singing is ‘talking at pitch’ and the singer a vessel for its interpretation chimed with my thoughts, and 3 years hard work saw a vastly expanded repertoire and my first solo CD recording of Finzi song cycles.

 

This tenor’s story continues – in 2020 I will release a download of English song including works by Roger Quilter and Peter Warlock, continue concert and recital work, as well as expanding my repertoire and drawing on Nick’s expansive knowledge; a lifetime’s study continues.

HER TEMPLE

 

From the song cycle 'A Young Man's Exhortation Op.14'.

 

Music: Gerald Finzi
Words: Thomas Hardy

 

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Buy the CD album from Touch Records

AS I LAY IN THE EARLY SUN

 

From the song cycle 'Oh Fair to See
Op.13b'.

 

Music: Gerald Finzi
Words: From 'Poems' by Edward Shanks

 

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Buy the CD album from Touch Records

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IT NEVER LOOKS LIKE SUMMER

 

From the song cycle 'Till Earth Outwears Op.19'.

 

Music: Gerald Finzi
Words: Thomas Hardy

 

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Buy the CD album from Touch Records

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LINKS   |   Photography by Millie Pilkington   |   Website Design by Lou Eldon

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I really hope you've enjoyed reading about the Story Tenor, his musical journey and the songs featured on the site. If you want to find out more about anything you've read here please write to him at:

 

Email: thestorytenor@outlook.com