A bitter row has broken out, throwing the genteel world of choral singing into a spin, with one disgruntled chorister, Tracey Armitage, claiming her choir's conductor 'does nothing of any importance during a performance. ' Further suggesting, 'conductors in general are just people dicking about in front of the singers waving their hands or a short stick around vaguely in time with the music.'
'Take our choir,' she says. 'We do the work but Ted's the one getting all the plaudits. None of us look anywhere near him, and even if we did, what purpose would it serve? It's not as if he can tune us up if the baritones are pitching a quarter-tone flat.'
However, the choir's conductor, Ted Armitage shakes his head sadly. 'I'm afraid Tracey wasn't too best pleased when I broke the news Janette Ryan will sing solo at our performance when Songs of Praise visits St. Stephen's in April,' explains the sprightly octogenarian as he polishes his baton (not a euphemism).
Meanwhile, the nation's Choirmaster General, Gareth Malone, has entered the fray. 'Conductors add an invaluable dynamic to any performance. OK, so we don't really do a lot, but the public expect a choir to have someone pratting about at the front during the performance then looking smug whilst taking the credit and applause.'