Can Harrogate man win BBC radio's carol contest for Christmas

One of Harrogate's most important churches is in the national spotlight this festive season thanks to a talented member of staff.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 2:15 pm
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 2:16 pm
Anthony Gray, director of music at St Wilfrid's Church in Harrogate.

Anthony Gray, director of music at St Wilfrid's Church in Harrogate, has been announced as a finalist in the prestigious BBC Radio 3 Carol competition - but he needs Harrogate's support to claim top spot.

His setting of Go to the Child a poem commissioned for the competition, written by Imtiaz Dharker, can be heard on BBC Radio 3.

Anthony said: “I’m thrilled to have been shortlisted for the BBC Radio 3 carol competition.

"It was a great privilege to work with Bob Chilcott and the BBC singers to record my piece, to meet the other five finalists and to hear their fantastic pieces as well.

"Imtiaz Dharker’s text is a wonderfully evocative one, with lots of musical potential, and it’s interesting to see how each composer has interpreted the text differently.

"Voting closes on Thursday, December 19, and the recording of my piece is available on the Radio 3 website, as well as on the station itself.”

Fr Gary Waddington, team rector at St Wilfrid’s Church, which is located on Duchy Road, added “We’re absolutely delighted for Anthony. Since he took up the post of director of music here in September, we’ve rejoiced in both his gifted musicianship and his incredibly warm personality.

"To make the final of such a highly regarded national competition is a real achievement.

"We’re not biased but we hope he wins, we’d love it if as many people as possible vote for him!”

Anthony has been director of music at St Wilfrid’s since September 2019.

He had previously been organ scholar of Southwell Minster after graduating from Cambridge University where he was organ scholar at Pembroke and Robinson Colleges.

Anthony grew up and went to school in Ilkley and as a sixth former, held the organ scholarship at Bradford Cathedral.

If he is to win, the public needs to vote for him online at the BBC Radio 3 website.