Choirmaster’s pride as student stuns judges on ‘The Voice Kids’


A Canterbury Cathedral chorister has wowed judge Paloma Faith on ITV’s ‘The Voice Kids’.

James Hodgkinson, 12, performed a choral version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, prompting Paloma Faith to spin her chair and select him for the next round.

He is a boarder at St Edmund’s School Canterbury, where he sings for over 20 hours a week as part of his role in the Cathedral Choir, under the tutelage of Dr. David Flood.

All of the judges were keen to meet Dr Flood, Master of the Cathedral Choristers and Cathedral organist, who later told the journal:

“I am always very proud when one of our choristers achieves well in a musical event, especially a national one.  It is good to bring the expertise and training of a chorister to the full awareness of the public.  James was determined to enter the contest and he is clearly enjoying every minute!  He really enjoys singing!”

Of the choirsters under his supervision Dr. Food said:

“They are not phased by any situation and they have the solid background musicianship to be flexible and responsive to the challenges which arise. They probably have quite a lot more understanding of how the music works than many other contenders. They turn up and do their job at their very best level.”

Only 24 boys are members of the choir at any one time, and Dr. Flood is keen that more people are aware of this incredible experience:

“To be a chorister in a Cathedral, and especially in one so important and famous and Canterbury, opens the doors to so many opportunities.  Only five boys each year can have this chance and the training is second to none.  The problem is that the magic is not known in the community: fewer people step forward and ask about it.  Being a chorister will set you up for life, not just in a musical role but with confidence and awareness having been in the international eye for five important years.”

Canterbury Cathedral

Supported on the show by proud parents Chris and Angela, James said “I want to prove that choristers can’t just sing in a Cathedral, we can do other things as well”

Paloma Faith leapt from her chair to accompany James on the piano for an impromptu rendition of ‘Walking In The Air’ from ‘The Snowman’

The Rogers & Hammerstein song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was made popular by Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1963 and has since been adopted on football terraces, though rarely performed to James’ standard.

James’ success means he will be appearing on our screens again in the next round.


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