|The post of Organist & Master of the Choristers is peculiar to the Anglican cathedral tradition and dates from the Middle
You might think that the cathedral organist's main job was to play the organ, but in England he is, in fact, mainly occupied with training and conducting the choir. It is the Sub-Organist who usually plays at cathedral services, although he will also take over the choral duties of the Organist if the latter is absent.
|Guildford has been fortunate in the quality of its musical leadership since its foundation and the reputation of the choir is directly connected to the standards of those who have been in charge of the music down the years.|
Stephen Farr (1999 – )
|Stephen Farr: detailed biography to follow.|
Geoffrey Morgan (1998 )
|Geoffrey Morgan studed organ with John Webster, Harry Gabb and Flor Peeters. After a period as organ scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford he was assistant organist of Westminster Abbey. For most of his ten years there he worked with Simon Preston. He also played for the Royal Wedding in 1986. After leaving the Abbey he became Visiting Lecturer in Organ at Yale University in the States before taking up his present post of Sub-Organist at Guildford in 1989.|
Geoffrey is well known as a solo recitalist and has recently toured Denmark and the USA.
Barry Rose (1960-74)
|In the opinion of many, Barry Rose is the greatest choir trainer in Britain. He came to Guildford at the age of 25 (at which time he was the youngest cathedral organist in the country) as a surprise appointment from St. Andrew's, Kingsbury. He moved to St. Paul's Cathedral in 1974 as Sub-organist and was appointed Master of the Choir in 1977. His enforced resignation in 1984 caused a storm of publicity in the national press. He subsequently moved to the King's School, Canterbury as Master of the Choirs. From 1971 to 1986 he was Religious Music Adviser to the BBC, a job that included booking the choirs for the weekly Choral Evensong broadcasts. He officially retired from his last post as Organist & Master of the Choristers at St. Alban’s Abbey on Christmas Day, 1997, although it has been suggested that reports of his retirement are greatly exaggerated. In June, 1998 he was awarded an O.B.E. for his services to cathedral music.|
Philip Moore (1974-82)
|Philip Moore came to Guildford from Canterbury Cathedral, where he was Sub-organist. He is known as a composer of church music, much of which was written while he was at Guildford. He is also a talented organist with a great deal of flair and a special interest in French music. He was responsible for establishing the Choral Scholarships in conjunction with the University of Surrey and for broadening the choir's repertoire considerably.|
He took up his appointment as Organist & Master of the Choristers at York Minster in 1982. A more detailed biography of Philip Moore can be found on the Guild Music site.
Andrew Millington (1982 – 1999)
|Andrew Millington was born in 1952 and studied the organ at Worcester Cathedral under Harry Bramma and Christopher Robinson. He became organ scholar at Downing College, Cambridge and in 1975 was appointed Assistant Organist at Gloucester Cathedral. In 1983 he succeeded Philip Moore as Organist & Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral. Since that time the Guildford choir has undertaken numerous recordings, tours and concerts, in addition to the daily worship in the Cathedral. It was under his direction that the choir crossed the Atlantic for the first time when it visited Canada in 1988. Andrew Millington did much to maintain the strong musical tradition at Guildford in increasingly difficult times. He was appointed Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral in September 1999.|
|Gordon Mackie, the first official cathedral Sub Organist, was particularly admired for his skill at improvisation.|
He was tragically killed in a bizarre traffic accident in London in 1969, when he was hit by a taxi while waiting at Waterloo Station.
Biography to come
Gavin Williams (1965-70)
|Gavin Williams was one of a long line of talented organists connected with Guildford Cathedral. Probably the most modest man ever to have worked in the place, he was renowned for his extraordinary capacity to remain calm whilst under stress (the ‘stress’ in question usually taking the shape of Barry Rose). His fine playing and sensitive accompaniment contributed greatly to the choir’s development in the second half of the sixties. |
He left Guildford in 1970 to become Director of Music at Rochester Grammar school.
Tony Froggatt (1970-77)
|Tony Froggatt was (and still is) a legendary figure at Guildford. He was the first incumbent of the (then) new ‘cathedral
residence’ at Shamley Green, a sort of bachelor’s accomodation which he shared with a varying number of lay clerks. Many stories are told about this residence but very few indeed could be presented on this website. Tony was a very fine organist, particularly famed for his reliability. A mistake by Tony Froggatt was a very rare occurrence.|
He was appointed Organist of Portsmouth Cathedral in 1977.
Peter Wright (1977-89)
|Peter Wright holds the record as the longest-serving Sub Organist. Coming straight from Cambridge University in November 1977, he took over where Tony Froggatt had left off, creating a new — and even more dubious — fund of ‘Shamley Green’ stories and earning a reputation for certain culinary skills. A talented accompanist and international recital organist, he was particularly appreciated for his taste in rainwear (!) and, of course, for his great musicianship. The shock effect of his unusual registrations of Tudor church music will certainly never be forgotten.|
He was appointed Organist of Southwark Cathedral in 1989.