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Andrew is the first non-organist to lead the music at St Paul's since the 12th century. He is responsible for training the Choir, selecting the music and maintaining high standards of performance. He has gained a reputation as one of the most versatile musicians of his generation, having had an illustrious career as a singer before focusing attention on conducting and choral direction. He trained as a choral scholar at St John's College, Cambridge, and was a lay clerk at Christ Church, Oxford and Westminster Cathedral, before holding the post of Director of Music at the Brompton Oratory in London.
As a conductor his reputation was established with The Cardinall's Musick and together they continue to perform throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Renowned for their emotional directness and vocal colour, the group has won three Gramophone Awards as well as many other European plaudits.
Simon Johnson - Organist & Assistant Director of Music
Simon took up his present position of Organist & Assistant director of music in 2008 and performs with the choir as well as leading the Cathedral's organ programme.
Simon was Head Chorister of Peterborough Cathedral Choir and went on to hold organ scholarships at Rochester, Norwich and St Paul’s Cathedrals, before becoming Director of Music at All Saints’ Church, Northampton and Assistant Master of Music and Director of the Abbey Girls’ Choir at St Albans Cathedral in 2001.
Simon's recordings have attracted widespread critical acclaim (most recently 5* "stunning” Choir & Organ). As director, accompanist and soloist, Simon's work has taken him to France, Germany, Holland, Italy and the USA and has been broadcast on BBC television and radio. He has also worked as soloist and continuo player with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, London Baroque and The Cardinall’s Musick.
Most recently, Simon has made a DVD about the St Paul’s Organ, an excerpt which can be viewed online. Future plans include more work in the field of organ transcription, the first performance of a new piece for organ by Peter Maxwell Davies and an appearance at the Fagersborg Organ Festival in Oslo in 2012.
Peter Holder - Sub Organist
Peter Holder took up the position of Sub Organist in September 2014.Peter was previously the Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey, a position that he held whilst undertaking postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music (from where he also graduated with first-class honours). Whilst an undergraduate, he also held the position of Organ Scholar at St Albans Cathedral. Amongst numerous awards at college he was the recipient of HRH Princess Alice the Duchess of Gloucester’s Prize for exemplary studentship and his association with the Academy will continue through a fellowship and teaching. He already enjoys a national and international career as an organist, and brings to us a rich experience of music-making at the very highest level.
Rachel Mahon - Organ Scholar
Rachel Mahon took up the position of William and Irene Miller Organ Scholar in September 2014. For the previous year, Rachel was the Organ Scholar at Truro Cathedral. She studied at the University of Toronto and has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes in Canada, including 2nd place at the 2013 Canadian National Organ Playing Competition. In addition to playing the organ, Rachel is also a fine pianist and a freelance professional soprano. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) recently declared Rachel to be amongst the top 30 Canadian classical musicians under the age of 30.
Tom Daggett - OBE Organ Outreach Fellow
Tom Daggett took up the newly created, part-time, position of OBE Organ Outreach Fellow in September 2014. A former Organ Scholar of Lincoln College, Oxford, Tom has a wealth of experience in the field of outreach, principally from his association with the London Contextual Theology Centre, where he continues to work part-time. He also runs the Hackney Children’s Choir and has a deep vocation to help the disadvantaged, particularly through his own enthusiasm for and experience of music.
The creation of an Organ Outreach Fellowship is the result of detailed discussions between the Officials of the Order of the British Empire, the Cathedral Chapter and the Cathedral Music Department. It is a unique, pioneering project, given impetus by the new organ in the OBE Chapel, and it will encourage diversity among people using the cathedral, identifying and working with under-represented and frequently disadvantaged groups. It is hoped that the project will develop into wider musical outreach and engagement later.Tim Jones
Choir Representative and Choir Librarian.