The Queen’s Six: Giving pop music the royal treatment

By | September 18, 2022

Tomorrow, in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Fortress, Queen Elizabeth will probably be buried. And the choir from St. George’s Chapel will fill the corridor with track, because it has finished at royal occasions for practically 700 years. “The choir was based in 1352, so it is fairly outdated,” stated tenor Nick Madden.

In 2008 he and bass Simon Whiteley determined to type a sub-group of the choir, to sing music you will not discover in any hymn. They’re known as the Queen’s Six.

The Queen’s Six carry out “Stand By Me”:

The group isn’t named after the just lately deceased Queen Elizabeth I, however after her a lot older namesake, Queen Elizabeth I.

“So you are not going to vary your identify to King’s Six?” requested correspondent David Pogue.

“No, completely not,” Whiteley stated.

He and Madden had seen that the total chapel choir was typically requested to sing one thing lighter after royal dinners: “The traditional Queen’s Six type of program began with perhaps three or 4 items of historical church, subsequently relationship from 500 years in the past. We may then sing some people songs. After which we’ll go into some Broadway songs and a few pop songs.

Right this moment’s Queen’s Six is ​​made up of Whiteley, Madden, baritone Andrew Thompson, tenor Dominic Bland, alto Lissie Paul and countertenor Tom Lilburn.

As a part of their remuneration, these singers and their households get hold of residences within the coronary heart of Windsor Fortress. Pogue requested: “So after I meet you at a celebration you say, ‘I dwell at Windsor Fortress’, is that simply the best opening line on this planet?”

“Folks simply say, ‘Oh, yeah, nice. Fairly. The place do you Really dwell? “Mentioned Lilburn. “And you need to say, ‘No, no, that is actual. I will present you my driver’s license! »

Eight instances every week, they be a part of the total St. George Choir within the historic chapel to sing for every day providers, that are open to the general public. Their “workplace” is the chapel the place the Queen will probably be buried, alongside centuries of different British kings and queens.

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St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Chapel.

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“We’ve some heavy hitters, Henry XIII and King Charles I,” Madden stated.

“And we’re speaking in regards to the precise stays which are underneath this place?” Pogue requested.

“You by no means get used to singing and dealing in a spot like this,” Whiteley stated.

Over time, they’ve carried out in any respect types of historic royal occasions, from Prince Harry’s marriage ceremony to the funeral of the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, who died final 12 months.

For lots of of years, solely males sang within the choir of St. George’s Chapel. However final 12 months it admitted girls for the primary time, and the Queen’s Six adopted go well with by welcoming Lissie Paul. “We knew she was precisely the appropriate individual,” Whiteley stated.

“Often I sing the upper stuff,” Paul stated, “after which, yeah, I can do the decrease stuff too.”

“That is the rationale she acquired the job — she will be able to do something,” Madden stated.

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The Queen’s Six.

The Queen’s Six

Pogue stated: “There’s additionally a cultural query. I imply, you are stepping right into a bro tradition like that.

“We have by no means been known as a ‘bro tradition’ earlier than!” laughs Lilburn.

They carried out for Queen Elizabeth. “And it was an enormous pleasure to do it,” Whiteley stated.

“Are there any issues about ‘You are Representatives of Royalty’?” Pogue requested.

“We take all of this very significantly,” Madden replied, “and the accountability we really feel for it, in addition to having enjoyable with it, as a result of all of us have a humorousness.”

“Yeah, a few of them are higher than others,” laughed Lilburn.

In February, the Queen’s Six will launch a brand new pop album and carry out dwell at New York Metropolis Corridor.

Madden stated: “It is a calling, and it is a way of life, slightly than a 9-to-5 job. I imply, we do it as a result of we adore it, and we get satisfaction from it, be it spiritually or musically, or all the above!

On the event of our go to this summer season, the Queen’s Six gave a particular present: the world premiere of the theme “Sunday Morning”, “Abblasen”, organized for voice by David Pogue:

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Story produced by Mikaela Burano. Writer: Emanuele Secci.


You possibly can stream Queen’s Six’s “From Windsor With Love” album by clicking the embed beneath (free Spotify membership required to hearken to the tracks in full):