Russell Thorndike (known at Windsor as "Thorney") was the Shakespearian actor & novelist brother of Dame Sybil Thorndike. A chorister at St Margaret's, Rochester from age six, and then at St George's Chapel Royal, Windsor Castle from 1895-1901, where he sang on many important occasions, lastly at Queen Victoria's funeral. St George's Choir at this time consisted of 24 boy choristers & 12 lay-clerks.
The Choir of St. George's Chapel, WindsorRussell Thorndike (Arthur) Russell Thorndike (1885-1972): "Children of the Garter. Being the Memoirs of a Windsor Castle Choir-Boy, during the last years of Queen Victoria." (London, 1937: Rich & Cowan Ltd. large 8vo pp. xi, 224. 24 photographic plates.) The author was the Shakespearean actor & novelist brother of Dame Sybil Thorndike. This very readable account of his six years at Windsor is full of amusing anecdotes & affectionate pen portraits. The Master of the Queen's Music was Sir Walter Parrat & Thorndike illustrates his methods like this: "What are you getting nervous for in that 'run'?" he would demand from a new boy. "There's nothing to fear about it. It's a good 'run' I assure you. It has stood the test of time, and is quite a famous 'run'. But it must be treated with a full control, and if you are going to be stupidly nervous, it shows that you are thinking about your silly self, instead of this capital piece of music, which is much more important than the feelings of a mere boy." For a piece of faulty singing we got no pity. It was a crime to let down composer or choir.
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