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07 May 2021

The Revd Michael Gill writes:

AS I read the obituary of Dr Richard Shephard (Gazette, 26 March), my mind went back to a day in the early 1990s when I was Dean’s Vicar and Succentor of Hereford Cathedral. I met Dr Shephard, who was on the panel visiting Hereford Cathedral to gather information for the Cathedrals Review, and my turn came to make a submission.

One of my duties as Succentor was to look after visiting choirs, and on that day we had a girls’ choir who had travelled some distance to sing evensong, the cathedral choir being away. After seeing the panel, I went to look in on the choir, who were rehearsing in a hall in the cloisters downstairs, to make sure that everything was in order — only to find that they were rehearsing an anthem by Richard Shephard.

I shall never forget the look on the conductor’s face when I explained that I had just been talking to Dr Shephard upstairs. Little did they realise when they set off for Hereford that they would be singing an anthem in the presence of the composer himself.


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