Director of noted English choir leads Grand Rapids ensemble

Mar 27, 2014

Andrew Nethsingha of the St. John’s College Choir at Cambridge University is helping the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys prepare for two weekend concerts.
Credit Courtesy/Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys

An unusual choir of men and boys based in Grand Rapids will present a Lenten season program this Friday and Saturday at St. Andrews Cathedral in downtown Grand Rapids.

90.5 Classical producer and afternoon music host Jody Knol is friends with  the director of the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys, Scott Bosscher. They sang together in choirs and musicals at Grand Rapids Christian High. That friendship grew at Calvin College where they traveled with the Calvin Capella Choir to England during a January interim to study the English choral tradition.

The Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys has brought in the director of the St. John’s College Choir, Andrew Nethsingha, to be in residence this week culminating in 2 concerts this weekend. St. John’s College Choir is at Cambridge University in England and is considered one of the finest choirs in the world.

Nethsingha's father, Lucian Nethsingha, grew up in Sri Lanka where he was a boy treble in an Anglican choir. He went on to study in Cambridge, England and later became organist and choirmaster of Exeter Cathedral, where, in turn, his son, Andrew was a choir boy.

Andrew Nethsingha studied organ and choral conducting and served as organist under the legendary George Guest at St. John’s College Choir.  In 2007 he returned to lead the choir.