A bitter row has broken out that has thrown the genteel world of choral singing into a spin, with one disgruntled chorister claiming her choir’s conductor ‘does nothing of any importance during a performance’ before going on to suggest ‘conductors in general are just people dicking about in front of the singers waving their hands or a short stick around vaguely in time with the music.’
Tracey Phillips, who sings soprano in St Michael’s Choir Droitwich told fellow choristers that she’s ‘finally had enough and is going to blow the lid off the whole bloody pointless conductor thing!’
‘It’s a bad joke,’ she says, ‘Take our choir. The singers do the work but Ted’s the one getting all the plaudits. None of us look anywhere near him, and even if we did, what purpose would it serve? It’s not as if he can tune us up if the baritones are pitching a quarter-tone flat.’
However Ted Armitage, Choirmaster and Conductor hit back suggesting Tracey’s outburst has come about because she hasn’t been chosen to sing a solo when Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall visit next month as part of the church’s four-hundred year anniversary celebrations.
‘Tracey wasn’t too best pleased when I broke the news to her that Janette Ryan will sing solo in the performance,’ explains the sprightly pensioner as he polishes his baton.
Meanwhile the nation’s Choirmaster General, Gareth Malone, has entered the fray on the broader issue and was quick to pooh pooh Tracey’s claims. ‘Conductors add an invaluable dynamic to any performance. OK so we don’t really do a lot, but the public expect any self respecting choir to have someone poncing about at the front during the singing and then looking smug whilst taking all the applause.’