The North’s Smallest City Draws Big Names for its Annual Sell-Out Charity Concert by Candlelight

22 November 2022

Now celebrating its 25th year, the Ripon Cathedral Christmas Carol Concert by Candlelight is no stranger to big names. The concert, in aid of charity Macmillan Cancer Relief, has in previous years been host to the likes of television presenter Alan Titchmarsh, author and raconteur Gervaise Phinn and Amanda Owen: the ‘Yorkshire Shepherdess’, all of whom have been guest speakers for the event. It can even boast having once entertained King Charles III (then Prince of Wales) when, in 2004 the Macmillan Patron paid a surprise visit to the Cathedral to see the concert.

Macmillan Christmas Carol Concert by Candlelit, Monday 5 December 2022.

The carol concert, featuring performances by the choirs of leading independent schools Aysgarth and Queen Mary’s, will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary in style with a stellar cast of special guests, including ex-Defence Chief Lord Houghton, the new High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, James Lambert OBE, and rising star soloist Julia Morgan.

This is not Julia’s first solo performance at the Concert, however. Julia’s debut was when she was head chorister as a 15-year-old Queen Mary’s pupil at Queen Mary’s, singing the traditional Christmas solo first chorus of Once in Royal David’s City. Clearly the experience put her in good stead for future events, Julia having treated the audience at the Royal Albert Hall BBC Proms to an awe-inspiring performance of the same piece last year.

Julia, now a singer in the highly regarded Birmingham St Chads Cathedral choir, says she is delighted to be returning to sing at Ripon Cathedral, the very place her passion for singing first began. Julia will be performing With Verdure Clad from Haydn’s Creation at the Concert, a song which took her through to the final of the Birmingham Festival Chorus Society Oratorio Prize in October.

Previous soloists at the event have included 2018’s BBC Young Chorister of the Year Emilia Jaques and last year Cormac Thompson of Aysgarth School, 2021 BBC Young Chorister of the Year finalist, both pupils of Queen Mary’s and Aysgarth schools at the time.

The Macmillan Carol Concert is also delighted to welcome back as their esteemed Master of Ceremonies, Dr Suzy Lishman CBE. With a career in the NHS spanning over 40 years, Yorkshire woman Suzy is currently a consultant histopathologist at Peterborough City Hospital, where she specialises in bowel cancer diagnosis and improving patient care.

Suzy, the current president elect of the Association of Clinical Pathologists, has appeared on numerous television programmes, exploring unexpected domestic hazards in the Hidden Killers series, the fate of plague victims in ‘Digging up Britain’s Past’ and a wartime murder in ‘London Blitz Killer’. Suzy gives regular talks to schools and the public and is coming to the end of a year-long UK Living Autopsy Tour to mark the 6th anniversary of the Royal College of Pathologists.

“I am delighted to have been invited back as Master of Ceremonies at this year’s Carol Concert”, says Suzy, “and I look forward to an inspirational start to the festive season, which I hope will raise a record amount for Macmillan Cancer Support”.

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