Music is a big part of what I do, despite the fact that I've been sure that I want to be a scientist for quite a long time. In the ancient days of prehistory, I was a pianist first, then a violinist; I started learning the organ and the flute at secondary school (the flute didn't last long; I got my ABRSM Grade 2 with Merit, no less) and then gave up. The viola came next, when at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama junior department; even they were desperate for people who could read the clef.
Then, I somehow avoided picking up any more instruments (apart from timpani) until I arrived in Cambridge, where as part of avoiding work in my physics degree I took up singing (four times a week; does wonders for your sightreading and breath control). And there the count has stopped, except that on occasion I pretend to play the harpsichord.
Today, the most important thing I do is probably direction of Les Joly Boys, a slightly whimsical name (it's French for “the beautiful woods” and not anything else you may have thought) for a rather fine vocal ensemble, specializing in the secular repertoire of the 15th and 16th centuries that is so rarely done in Cambridge and, indeed, elsewhere.
Also, my solo singing career has started; last summer, while at Dartington International Summer School I sang the alto solo line in the Domine Deus from J. S. Bach's Lutheran Mass in G major. More recently, I have sung Von den Strikken in Bach's John Passion with John Mark Ainsley and the Hanover Band. I have also given vocal recitals, including recitals of English Lute Songs, Vivaldi's Stabat Mater, and Pergolesi's Stabat Mater.
I also play the viola in a string quartet, the Lark ensemble, whose other regular members are Karl Sandeman, Venetia Bigley and Déirdre Hollingsworth. Karl is the administrative contact, should you wish to hire us for your function.
I was treasurer of the Jesus College Music Society for three years, and still retain an active rôle; currently I manage its recital series. I was also an alto choral scholar at Jesus for three years, during which time I sang four or five services a week, coupled with the odd concert. Currently I sing only with the mixed choir, on the grounds that it's both more fun and better, as well as continuing my individual lessons with Charles Brett.
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© Christophe Rhodes, 2001, 2002. Absolutely every single right reserved.