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The Secret Polyphonic Society

Last night, as most of London was on its way home from work, I cycled along the Thames to Chelsea, to take part in what has become a regular - and in my overactive imagination, top secret - gathering of renaissance polyphony enthusiasts. At about 7pm the invited crowd - an assortment of professional singers, organists, conductors, skilled amateurs and academics (including, crucially, some talented and prolific editors of manuscript sources) - assemble in the gallery of a gloomy church with the requisite resonant acoustic. Copies are handed out, a note is given, someone sets a tempo (there is almost no conducting beyond this), and the music flows out into the darkened nave. This is not a rehe

Woman who wishes she had been a girl chorister opposes female membership of cathedral choirs

On reading Lucy Denyer's piece in today's Daily Telegraph I nearly spilt my coffee down my International Women's Day t-shirt. Denyer's flawed argument opposing female membership of cathedral choirs (despite admitting her disappointment at not being allowed to be a cathedral chorister herself) opens with some Christmas card clichés before appearing to suggest that St Paul's Cathedral have appointed a women to sing the treble line (they haven't: Carris Jones has been appointed to the alto section of the choir). It seems the only musician Denyer could find willing to speak against Jones' appointment is Grayston Burgess, an 84-year-old conductor and countertenor. I am not familiar with Burgess'

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© 2015 by Patrick Allies