Sir David Willcocks on Look East

David Willcocks and John Rutter

Sir David Willcocks (left) and John Rutter with the second volume of Carols for Choirs

The former Director of Music Sir David Willcocks and the composer John Rutter were interviewed on the BBC's Look East last night. They spoke about Carols for Choirs, the arrangements of Christmas carols compiled by Sir David, which has become a standard reference for choirs and choral societies.

John Rutter, who was of one of Sir David's students, helped arrange some of the carols. He recalled what it was like having a 'legendary figure' as a teacher. He said: 'We were all slightly in dread of David, in a nice way!'

Sir David spoke about his first time conducting in the Chapel. 'What pleased me more than anything,' he said, 'was the echo in King's, which goes on for three or four seconds at the end of a piece. You hear that ringing sound going round, gradually getting quieter. It was thrilling.'

He also mentioned his childhood enthusiasm for Christmas. 'The excitement of Christmas has never left me,' he said', and I still love it.' On Christmas Eve he plans to attend A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, which he has done since 1957.

12 December 2012