Cornwall Chamber of Commerce chalked up a ‘musical first’ this week when 34 much younger leaders – Truro Cathedral’s Choristers – joined them for their ‘Big Breakfast’ networking event at the Alverton Hotel. The 100+ members learned about the intense educational pathway behind the chorister-ship, the leadership skills it develops and their world-class reputation. They took time to celebrate the choir’s exciting Coronation news and even had the thrill of singing alongside them.
Having made a dramatic entrance, filing through the dining tables in their crimson cassocks the boy and girl choristers came into formation. Chamber CEO Kim Conchie, then set out a challenge to members to ‘name that tune’ and without further ado, Alverton’s Great Hall filled with a stunningly bright sound. On behalf of the Chamber, Kim Conchie then proudly congratulated the choristers, especially the girls, some of whom will soon be joining Westminster Abbey’s choir to sing for the Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort.
‘Grenfell from Today’, was performed. This piece was commissioned by the charity Cornwall Hugs Grenfell in 2018. It gave a chance to talk about the choristers’ charitable work over the last five years, which has seen them raise nearly £20,000 for Unicef’s VaccinAid and Ukraine programmes. Tables then emptied as members promptly took up the invitation to come and experience the ‘surround sound’ of the choristers. Within moments they were ‘in rehearsal’ and promptly gave a resounding joint performance of the ‘Choristers’ Cornish Blessing.’
The purpose of the visit was to further widen awareness of the chorister programme and invite financial support to ensure it remains open to every gifted child in Cornwall, regardless of family resource. After breakfast, Director of Music Christopher Gray and Charity Campaigner Esmé Page gave a keynote speech detailing the choristers’ intensive five year training and wrap-around pastoral care provided by partner, Truro School. Leadership, excellence and innovation were highlighted as values that resonated with the business audience. The pair detailed the choir’s award-winning reputation in the music industry and its innovative outreach work, raising aspiration and spreading expertise to schools in Cornwall and nation-wide. The keynote ended with a warm invitation to back the programme that develops these young leaders and champion them in their role as ambassadors for Cornwall.
Reviewing the morning, Kim Conchie enthused, ‘The fact that, from all the choirs in the Commonwealth, some of Truro’s girl choristers have been picked to sing at the Coronation is testament to Christopher Gray’s extraordinary expertise and daily dedication of these young singers. As Esmé Page said, these are not just the cathedral’s choristers, they’re Cornwall’s choristers and here at Cornwall Chamber, we couldn’t be more proud of them!’
Reactions from the Chamber
The choristers made big impression on the Chamber’s members and social media was a-buzz after with leaders sharing their experiences.
‘That’s another one ticked off the bucket list – singing with world class choir!’ posted James Ferguson, Director of X-press Legal Services.
‘A real treat to see & hear the Choristers from Truro Cathedral & to celebrate them being invited to sing at the Kings Coronation- what a privilege. Ably led by Christopher Gray and interesting insights by Esmé Page, a wonderful way to start the day. Look carefully and you will see some unexpected choir members!’ wrote Ian Harris, CEO, Cornwall Business Connections
‘To hear and then have the privilege to sing with the Truro Cathedral Choir will be a wonderful memory (really just lip syncing and listening to their incredible voices). A great start to the day and the sun is out too!’ Julian Waring, Regional Fundraising Manager, Fisherman’s Mission.
‘A brilliant Cornwall Chamber of Commerce big breakfast at The Alverton Hotel – a fabulous setting, lovely breakfast and wonderful staff. I was left in awe of the amazing Truro Cathedral Choristers – a real privilege to hear them sing today. It certainly gave me goosebumps!!’ posted Julia Jeffry, Fundraising Officer, Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust.
‘Absolutely brilliant breakfast morning thank you Cornwall Chamber of Commerce for having me. Wonderful to meet you all…. aaaaand i also got to sing alongside the very talented Truro Cathedral Choristers, moving, inspiring and yes I cried!!’ wrote Nadia Mills, People Hub Partnership at Cornwall Council.