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Summer concert brings together John Bate, his former student and one of the UK's leading organis

Kingston programme features favourite English composers and songs from the shows

Thames Philharmonic's Kingston Summer Concert will bring together John Bate, stepping down after 55 years with the Choir; his former Kingston University student and the Choir's accompanist for the past three years, Ben Costello; and one of the UK's leading organists, Stephen Disley, sub-organist at Southwark Cathedral. The concert will also feature Baritone soloist Dan D'Souza, a former member of the choir at All Saints Kingston – venue for the concert – and former pupil of Tiffin Boys School.

The programme will feature favourite English composers from the first half of the 20th century, including music by Vaughan Williams, Hubert Parry and Charles Villiers Stanford. It will include Parry's I was glad, sung at every British coronation since that of Edwarad VII. Stephen Disley will complement the Parry and Vaughan Williams works with music by Herbert Howells on Kingston's famous Frobenius organ.

As a complete contrast, the Choir will perform arrangements of three favourite songs by Gershwin – I got rhythm, 'S Wonderful and Summertime, with Ben Costello, bringing his expertise in musical theatre to the piano accompaniment.

Conductor John Bate describes the choral pieces as having a substantial literary background. Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs are settings of poems by George Herbert, the text of Hubert Parry's Blest Pair of Sirens is John Milton’s Ode at a Solemn Music, and Stanford's Songs of the Fleet are settings of words by Henry Newbolt, a naval historian.


John Bate has been TCP's conductor and Artistic Director for more than 50 years, having in 1964 started the two choirs that merged to form Thames Philharmonic (the Putney Bach Choir and the Richmond Choral Society). He is well known locally and, in the 1980s and 1990s, was Director of Collegiate Music at Kingston University, responsible for the performing groups and activities for which Kingston at that time became famous in the academic world.

Ben Costello is a freelance musical director, adjudicator, singing coach and accompanist, working internationally. His many roles include Artistic Director of Thames Concerts, Founding Director of Kingston Chamber Singers and Chorus Master for the Leith Hill Musical Festival. He has a long-standing relationship with TPC and has been the Choir's accompanist for the past three years.

Stephen Disley is sub-organist at Southwark Cathedral and Founding Director of its Girls' Choir. As a recitalist and accompanist, he appears frequently at the Royal Albert Hall. He has performed and broadcast with many ensembles including the BBC Singers, and played the organ on the recording of 'Choir Book for the Queen', conducted by Stephen Cleobury. He has accompanied TPC on many occasions.


Thames Philharmonic Choir summer concert

Saturday 15 June at 7.30 pm

All Saints Church, Market Place, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 1JP

Soloist: Dan D'Souza (Baritone)

Organist: Stephen Disley

Pianist: Benjamin Costello

Thames Philharmonic Choir

Conductor: John Bate

Tickets: £20, £16, £5; under 18s and full-time students: £18, £14.50

Box Office: 07522 524081

Online reservations:

or at the door

Free entry to the afternoon rehearsal from 2.30pm

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