Philip Lawson needs very little introduction to Salisbury audiences, having arrived here in 1982 to sing as a bass lay vicar in the cathedral choir, after York University and a career as a freelance singer in London. In 1993 he successfully auditioned for The King's Singers, and began a new life of full-time touring, recording and broadcasting, performing in over 2,000 concerts, together with multiple recordings, TV and radio appearances, and choral workshops. After the departure of Bob Chilcott in 1997 he became the group’s principal arranger, contributing over 50 arrangements to the repertoire, including ten for the 2008 album “Simple Gifts”, which won a Grammy award for Best Classical Crossover Album.
Philip's compositions and arrangements are sung worldwide and are published mostly by Hal Leonard. More locally, he has worked closely with Andrew Mackay over many years as the composer of four original stage shows, culminating in the major commission of Magna Cantata, which was performed by adult professionals and hundreds of local schoolchildren in the cathedral to celebrate the 8ooth anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015."
NEWS UPDATE FROM FARRANT SINGERS – MARCH 2021
During lockdown our musical director and conductor, Andrew Mackay, has been considering his professional duties which, of course, include his role with The Farrant Singers. He has decided that he needs to make more time available for other commitments and has asked to undertake slightly less for the choir. After consideration, the choir has agreed that Andrew will still conduct our Chamber Concerts and Cathedral Services, but he would look to share the conductor duties for our main concerts with another equally capable musical director. Consequently, we are absolutely delighted to announce that Philip Lawson will undertake this shared conductor role for an initial period, with effect from our re-commencement of singing in June (hopefully!) this year until the end of the summer term 2022. We greatly look forward to singing under him and there is a biography of Philip below. Happily we will not be saying goodbye at all to Andrew. He will be joining the bass line of the choir for those concerts when Philip is conducting. This is a double benefit for the choir and something we are all excited about.
We are hoping to hold a Chamber Concert in the coming summer term but no full concert. This is hopefully going to be at Steeple Langford on Thursday the 22nd July.
Looking forwards, we have plans for two more Chamber Concerts in the Advent Term, in Fontmell and Kingston Deverill - dates to be confirmed. We also have a possible date for a full concert on the 23rd October in St Martins, the Monteverdi Vespers in the Cathedral on the 20th November (with other choirs) and our own Christmas Concert on 18th December.
We hope to resurrect our visits to other Cathedrals during 2022 and also hope to sing some evensongs in Salisbury Cathedral when the Cathedral Choir is on holiday (dates to be confirmed).
We will be changing our rehearsal venue from The Cathedral School, to the Medieval Hall with effect from the re-commencement of our singing, thanks to the very kind offer from John and Jane Waddington. We thank The Cathedral School for hosting our rehearsals for decades and making us so welcome. The change will make it easier for the school in today’s safeguarding climate, without the presence of adults visiting a residential educational environment after hours.
When we do sing again, initially in our Chamber Concerts, we will have a new programme and details of this and our main concert programmes will appear on this website in due course.
The committee and the choir are all looking forward to singing together again and welcoming our regular concert goers, guests and visitors. We will update you with further news as soon as choral singing is unleashed!
Click on a link below to watch and listen to more from the Farrant Singers
Meet the Farrant Singers
"If, next Christmas, you are looking for an experience to get you in the Christmas spirit then I recommend The Farrant Singers' annual Christmas concert in the lovely setting of St. Martin's Church...............So, when you write your Christmas list next year, I suggest that you put 'Tickets for the Farrant Singers' Christmas Concert' at the top." (Salisbury BID)
"The Farrants’ go-ahead new regime looks to be a winner." (Church Times)
"The Brahms concert was superlative... The choir sang with great commitment, passion and sensitivity." (a Farrant Patron)
"As a choir they go from strength to strength and Salisbury is lucky to have them." (Salisbury Journal)
"The Farrant Singers are fast becoming one of Salisbury’s best choirs. If you haven’t heard them yet, you should definitely get to their next concert." (Salisbury Journal)
"From the first trump of the inimitable Parry, via the stunningly beautiful Victoria and the effortlessly scaled heights of the Allegri, to the triumphant Vaughan Williams, it was a complete delight from start to finish." (Audience member)