30 seconds with...

30 seconds with...

Michael Graham is the Organist and Director Chapel Music at the Universityof Exeter. We caught up with him ahead of the choir’s concert in the Cathedral on Saturday 30th May.

Who were your musical heroes when you were growing up?

I’d love to say Bach and Handel but I was really inspired by bands like Queen, Guns and Roses and Nirvana.

What does a typical working day at the Chapel look like?

I can’t imagine starting the day without a strong coffee and then it’s up to the University for a morning of emails and admin in the Chaplaincy office. After lunch I try and make time to practise the organ in the Chapel before the choir arrive as I the job still involves playing for Sunday services on a regular basis. The choir arrive at 16.00 for a short rehearsal for the 17.00 Evensong and then it’s off to the next job: working with a local choral society.

How would you sum up the choir in once sentence?

We try and keep the repertoire fresh and have to cover a lot of ground with limited practise-time so we’re definitely “never knowingly over-rehearsed!”

What music are you listening to right now?

A fantastic major work by contemporary composer Joby Talbot called ‘The Path of Miracles’. It’s a challenging piece for unaccompanied choir based on the great pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

What’s your favourite piece on this Saturday’s programme?

This would have to be Stanford’s unaccompanied “Magnificat” for double choir. It’s one of his finest pieces and one of the most rewarding for a choir to sing. This is definitely the most challenging piece the chapel choir has had to tackle so far.

Come and hear the Chapel Choir

Michael Graham will conduct the Chapel Choir in a concert at Exeter Cathedral on Saturday 30th May 2015.

Tickets are available on the door, from 01392 285983 and online www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/boxoffice

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