23:30 December 7, 2021
An Ipswich choir headed by Christmas superstar Ed Sheeran released their own festive album to celebrate the season.
On ‘The Road to Bethlehem’, boys and girls under the age of 18 sing traditional Christmas carols and original songs, including ‘There is No Rose’, written by internationally renowned conductor and composer Ben Parry, who grew up in Ipswich.
Former Framlingham chorister Ed Sheeran became patron of the St Mary-le-Tower Choral Foundation in 2018.
Music director at the church, Christopher Borrett said: “I didn’t hear him say anything [about the album] yet I think he is on the other side of the Atlantic.
“But he’s really supportive. He recently videoed the choir singers, saying how happy he was that everyone was hanging out during the pandemic.
“He said, well done for taking the opportunity, because these are the seeds from which anything can grow – look what happened to him. It was great that he took the time to tell the backing vocals, listen, you might find that a Sunday afternoon service in mid-January when it’s cold and humid isn’t the most thing. exciting, but it’s part of a journey that will take you somewhere in life, whether it’s musical or not.
Mr. Borrett has worked tirelessly in his role to develop the musical potential of young people.
He said: “The offer of music in schools has been extended. Thus, the opportunities for high-level musical creation for talented young children are increasingly important. This is what the church choir offers, whether the children are religious or not.
“There are so few opportunities it is important to us that people know that in the eastern part of Suffolk those opportunities are there for those who are ready to seize them.
“There will be children with an innate musical talent, who must have the opportunity to explore it, to grow musically and to make friends outside of their school environment, to make lifelong friends.”
Mr. Borrett also gives music workshops in public schools.
He speaks with pride of his choir, which strives for excellence.
“The Road to Bethlehem” is available on the online streaming services Apple Music and Spotify, or from Tower Street Church.