Ely chorister Patrick Aspbury, who shot to fame in classical trio The Choirboys, is remembered as ‘a much-loved son, brother, family member and cherished friend’
- Credit: Archant
Former Ely chorister Patrick Aspbury – who shot to fame aged 12 after landing a £500,000 classical record deal – has died.
A founder member of The Choirboys whose early career was mentored by Aled Jones, has been remembered as “a much-loved son, brother, family member and cherished friend”.
Patrick died aged 23, on April 12 at around 4pm, when he was hit by a train near Chelmsford railway station.
In 2005, whilst at Ely Cathedral, he helped to form the classical trio The Choirboys following a talent search designed to promote choir music to a wider audience.
They were selected from cathedral choristers around the UK for a recording contract with Universal Classics and Jazz, and released their self-titled first album in November.
After appearing on television and radio stations, they performed at several events, including the Southwell Minster St. Cecilia Concert, Ely Cathedral May Day Concert and charity concerts in London venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.
Their debut self-titled album sold 100,000 copies in its first week, making it the fastest-selling classical debut album and landing a gold disc which was presented to them on Blue Peter.
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In 2007 The Choirboys received a platinum disc for their album as sales topped £300,000.
At the age of 14, Patrick became a music scholar in Year 10 and a member of the King’s Barbers, the close harmony group of former choristers.
Ahead of an inquest into his death, Patrick’s family released a statement paying tribute to him.
“It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the loss of much-loved son, brother, family member and cherished friend Patrick,” the statement said.
“In addition to his singing, Patrick was also a talented and promising composer, keen footballer and Spurs fan, and above all a sensitive, thoughtful, and caring person.
“He will be sorely missed. We would ask that everyone respect our family’s privacy, and Patrick’s memory, during this difficult time.”
The funeral service was held at Bentley Crematorium, Ongar Road, Pilgrim’s Hatch, Brentwood last Thursday (May 4).
Donations, if desired, should be made to Shelter or Crisis and sent to T Pennack and Sons Funeral Directors, 1-3 Maldon Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford.