Guy James: Thoughts on returning home

Countertenor Guy James writes about returning to Dursley with The Gesualdo Six this summer:

One of my earliest musical memories is of standing next to my mum, Lynn James, singing with the Parish choir of St. James the Great in the parish centre in Dursley. I was effectively on probation with the choir and despite this I was applying myself with some gusto when a sudden drop in dynamics left me performing my very first (totally unintentional) solo. Thankfully this oversight didn’t prevent me from joining the choir properly when I was 7 and I then enjoyed the best part of 10 years with the choir before a change of schools prevented any more weekly contributions. I continue to be humbled that my 10 years singing at St. James constitute barely a fraction of the service of the more venerable members of the choir. During my time I was extremely lucky to benefit from the enthusiasm and talents of everyone in the choir and especially it’s director and organist Nigel Davies. Not only did I receive much of the most formative years of my musical education for free but also access to innumerable opportunities for performance and the concerts and tours that the choir provides, not to mention a little pocket-money. Undoubtedly however, the most valuable gift I received over my time with the choir is a love for the music and heritage of the English choral tradition.

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