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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 30 December 1919Newquay, Cornwall, England, UK
Date of Death 17 September 2015England, UK
Birth NameDavid Valentine Willcocks

Mini Bio (1)

David Willcocks was born on December 30, 1919 in Newquay, Cornwall, England as David Valentine Willcocks. He was married to Rachel Gordon Blyth. He died on September 17, 2015 in England.

Spouse (1)

Rachel Gordon Blyth (1947 - 17 September 2015) (his death) (4 children)

Trivia (5)

He was director of the Bach Choir for many years. He conducted them when they recorded the background vocals in "You Can't Always Get What You Want" with the Rolling Stones in 1969.
As a child, he sang in the choir of Westminster Abbey for four years. He later won an organ scholarship to King's College, Cambridge, where the organist and choirmaster was Boris Ord. He also served at Salisbury and Worcester Cathedrals during his career.
Conductor of the choir of King's College, Cambridge from 1957 to 1974. During his tenure, he brought the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols to international prominence. He made many of the choral arrangements of carols sung during the service, and composed the ethereal descants to familiar Christmas hymns.
During WWII, he served in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in Normandy, attaining the rank of major at a young age. In 1944 he was awarded the Military Cross by Field Marshal Montgomery. His battalion took part in the Normandy landings in June 1944; he managed to track down a piano, and played it while under heavy shell fire to keep up morale.
He was knighted in 1977.

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