A CONNECTION with Craven has led to Settle Parish Church hosting the St Cyprian’s Singers from Clarence Gate in London.

The singers will perform a concert at the church on Saturday, February 17, in the English choral tradition with music by Byrd, Bainton, Bairstow and Stanford.

The concert will be held at 6pm and on the following morning, on Sunday, February 18, they will be singing at the 10am morning worship (Sung Eucharist) at Settle Parish Church.

Music will include Howells' Collegium Regale and Purcell's Hear My Prayer.

The choir is visiting because of a chance connection facilitated via the Churches Together network in Settle. Soprano member Fran Kelly, who has made the link, is daughter of Paul Kelly, a retired GP living in Giggleswick, who in turn met Settle Parish Church priest Hilary Young through Settle and District Churches Together activities.

Hilary said: “I am delighted to welcome St Cyprian’s Singers to Settle Parish Church, giving us the opportunity to hear and worship through such high quality music in a local setting.”

She added “It’s particularly special for me because of my own time at Selwyn College, Cambridge, where Fran and several of the choir members studied and sang – though I was there quite a while before they were.”

St Cyprian's singers was founded in 2012 and consists mainly of alumni choral scholars from British university chapel choirs.

They accompany regular church services at St Cyprian’s including choral evensong and a particular highlight: the annual nine carols and lessons at Christmas.

Julian Collings, the musical director, is proud that they have become one of the leading mixed voiced church choirs in the city.

He said: “We sing weekly for the regular church services using music drawn mainly from the Anglican choral tradition, but the choir also performs in concerts in the UK and abroad, including recent concert tours in Massachusetts, the Netherlands, New York and Boston.

“This same weekend two years ago we had the privilege to sing for all the services at York Minster. I’m really looking forward to coming and sharing our music in concert and worship in Settle, and it’s a great opportunity to visit a beautiful part of the country.”

When Fran auditioned for her choral scholarship to Cambridge University ten years ago she could not have imagined one day she would be helping to bring a prestigious choir to perform in Settle.

After graduating in Natural Sciences she sang in Dublin Cathedral for a year as a lay clerk, spent time in New Zealand and Hastings before settling in London where she could devote her leisure time to her passion for musical performance.

Fran said: “I was just in the right place at the right moment when Julian was assembling his new choir and so many choristers I knew from Cambridge had also moved into London. Julian was himself an organ scholar at Christ’s College, Cambridge. Everything fell perfectly into place.”