Following in Father’s Footsteps

Ben Wili_Chorister at Chichester CathedralHead chorister at Chichester Cathedral’s choir school, 12 yr old Ben Wili has been signed up for a major solo with the Gaudeamus Chorale – a mixed voice choir of some 120-plus singers which begins its summer tour of the Southern Cathedrals at Chichester on August 14.

Centrepiece of their tour programme is Faurė’s sublime Requiem in which Ben will be singing the poignant Pie Jesu under the baton of the Chorale’s conductor and music director – his father Graham Wili.

Ben joined the choir school (Prebendal School) at the age of eight and was appointed head chorister in September last year.  Music in some form or another is very much his life.  Already a useful pianist (grade seven with distinction) and trumpeter, Ben also finds time to compose.  He was the 2012 winner of the chorister’s composition competition and had his winning work performed by the choir.  He has also formed a jazz group with fellow choristers for which he arranges popular music.  He leaves Chichester this year to take up a music scholarship at Cranleigh School.

In addition to the Faurė work, the concert programme will include Ave Maris Stella by Cecilia McDowall, Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens and Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs.  A strong team of musicians join the choir for this concert.  Welsh baritone Dyfed Wyn Evans will sing solos in the Vaughan Williams and Faurė; and, organist Iestyn Evans (Director of Music at St. James’s Roman Catholic Church, Spanish Place, London W1) will be performing the first movement – the technically demanding Allegro Maestoso – from Elgar’s large scale organ work, the Sonata in G. A feast for organ and choral lovers alike!

As well as Chichester, the choir will be performing at Salisbury (Aug 15) and Winchester (Aug 16).  All proceeds from the concerts will go to Cancer Research UK.   The choir has a history of raising money for charity and this will be its third summer tour in partnership with Cancer Research UK.

Tickets for the concert which starts at 7.30pm are available from  Chichester Tickets (box office in the Cathedral shop) on 01243 813595 or


About Cancer Research UK

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