It doesn’t seem that long ago that I first stepped onto a stage with The King’s Singers. I first auditioned for the group in 1987, for the first baritone position being vacated by Tony Holt. Having failed to win that place I concluded that becoming a member of the group that I had idolised in my teens was not meant to be, but founder-member Simon Carrington called me in 1993 asking if I would like to audition for his own job as second baritone, and this time I was successful. An ironic twist occurred two years later when I volunteered to fill the once again vacant first baritone position, thus finally, and to my great personal satisfaction, securing the place which I had failed to win nearly ten years previously! Before joining the group I was Director of Music of a prep school in Salisbury and a Lay Clerk in the choir of Salisbury Cathedral, as well as being the pianist and arranger for a local dance band. Prior to that I had worked as a freelance singer in London, and when exchanging life in the capital for life in the Wiltshire countryside in 1982, vowed I would get a proper job and never again rely totally on singing!
Throughout my 18 years with The King's Singers, composing and arranging formed a big part of my contribution to the life and work of the group, especially after the departure of Bob Chilcott in 1997, and this is now what I mainly do for a living, as well as workshop activity and the odd bit of singing now and then. I have strong ties with Hal Leonard Corporation in the USA but also have pieces in print with other publishers. If you want to see what I've done or am doing you can check out my website or my Facebook page "Philip Lawson: composer, arranger", and if you're in a choir or vocal ensemble and would like me to write something for you just email me!