...is Oscar Hammerstein II, who, with Richard Rogers, produced Broadway hits such as Oklahoma and The Sound of Music. Hammerstein was a great fan of the English choral tradition and a regular visitor to Southwark Cathedral. On his death in 1961 he bequeathed a sum of money to fund two choir boys, and to this day, the beneficiaries are known as the Hammerstein Chanters. There’s a plaque to Hammerstein in the Harvard Chapel, which in turn commemorates another American connection. John Harvard was a Southwark butcher who emigrated to Massachusetts, USA and founded the university that is named for him. The third US link is a pink granite memorial in the churchyard, to a native North American Indian, Chief Mahomet Weyonomon, who died of smallpox while visiting London in 1735 to petition for the restoration of ancestral lands in Connecticut.
Members of Thames Philharmonic Choir will be singing the Sunday services in Southwark Cathedral (http://cathedral.southwark.anglican.org) on 12th February.