Staff

The music department comprises nine full time and nine part time members of staff.
There are 30 parental volunteer chaperones and a Management Board comprising 12 members.


 

Choral Scholarship vacancies for all voice parts
Worth up to £2,000 a year, university students in Leeds have the opportunity to sing with one of the country’s finest cathedral choirs and broadcast regularly on BBC Radio and Television. For more information click here.

To apply contact: office@dioceseofleedsmusic.org.uk / 0113 244 8634


 

Jess Shears

Administrator and Fundraiser

Jessica Shears graduated in 2016 from Leeds College of Music with a First-Class Degree in Classical Music. During her studies, becoming passionate about the benefits of the arts within education, she specialised in Community Music. Jessica has worked as a full time Music and Arts Practitioner; working as a woodwind tutor for Bradford Music and Arts Service, as a Performing Arts Specialist for Artis Education, and as the Classical Tutor for Leeds College of Music’s Saturday Music School. Jessica is now thrilled to work for The Diocese of Leeds Music Department and looks forward to bringing her experience as an arts educator into the role.

Benjamin Saunders

Diocesan Director of Music

Benjamin Saunders was organ scholar of Downing College, Cambridge University and Assistant Director of Music at the cathedrals of St Giles’ Edinburgh, Blackburn and Chester. Since 2002 he has been Director of Music for the Diocese of Leeds, carrying overall responsibility for the music programme. Benjamin has been engaged by many external organisations as a consultant in the management and development of music departments. He was appointed a Director of Leeds College of Music in 2013 and Visiting Professor of Music at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana in 2015. As an organist, he has performed to HM the Queen, Princess Anne and US President Carter and worked with conductor Carl Davis and jazz virtuoso Dick Hyman. He has given solo organ concerts in France, Italy, Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Russia and the United States and records as a soloist for Brilliant Classics and Herald AV. Further details can be found on his website.

Thomas Leech

Director of the Schools Singing Programme

Thomas Leech enjoys a reputation as an outstanding and inspirational choral director and organist. As the Director of our internationally acclaimed Schools Singing Programme he manages one of the most innovative and successful choral programmes in the country, involving some 50 schools and over 2500 children weekly, with its choirs broadcasting regularly on BBC radio and enjoying international competition and concert success. Tom combines this with his role as Musical Director of Bradford Festival Choral Society and frequent appearances as a guest conductor and workshop leader, with recent projects as diverse as Paco Peña’s flamenco Requiem por la Tierra, Britten War Requiem and the choral soundtrack for the film London Fields. Recording credits include the complete choral works of Duruflé and complete organ works of Arvo Pärt for Brilliant Classics and he has broadcast on BBC1, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, Classic FM and Radio France. His educational work has most recently been recognised by the Worshipful Company of Educators’ Masters’ Award.  For more information follow him on twitter @thomas_leech

David Pipe

Director of the Organists Training Programme and Cathedral Organist

David Pipe heads the new Organ School, a partnership between the Diocese of Leeds Music Department and The Royal College of Organists from May 2016. David was Assistant Director of Music at York Minster since 2008 and prior to this held posts at Guildford and Southwark Cathedrals. He became Principal Conductor of York Musical Society in March 2012. Born in London in 1983, David read Music at Cambridge University, later studying organ at the Royal Academy of Music, having gained a postgraduate entrance scholarship. Under his leadership it is hoped that the new organ school can mirror the success of the Singing Programme by creating the largest and highest quality schools organ teaching programme in the country.

Lucy Haigh

Cathedral Choral Director

Lucy Haigh has been directing high-quality children’s choirs since the age of sixteen. She founded and directed The Hildegard Choir for girls in Oxford in 1991, reaching the televised semi-finals of the BBC Choir of the Year competition in 1998 and 2000 and winning the International Choir Festival of Jersey in 2004. Lucy worked in Perth, Western Australia from 2006-2010, where she held the post of Head of Choral Music at St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls. She has also founded a number of boys’ choirs during her career, including the Palestrina Boys’ Choir in Oxford and The Dragon Singers in Perth. Lucy joined the Diocese of Leeds music staff since September 2010. She established the two Cathedral Junior Choirs in 2011, the Cathedral Children’s Choir in 2014 and the Leeds Trinity Cathedral Choirs in September 2016. In addition to her work at the Cathedral, Lucy visits eleven primary schools each week to lead sessions as part of the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme.

Lucy Appleyard

Choral Director

Lucy was born in North Yorkshire and sang as a church chorister from the age of seven. She went on to study music at degree and masters levels at Leeds College of Music, and was awarded a Choral Scholarship at Leeds Cathedral. Lucy has worked for Scottish Opera and is a regular at the Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. Particular distinction has been recognised in her solo performances of Bach and Handel oratorio with Sheffield Bach Choir, Bradford Festival Chorus and St Peter’s Singers amongst others. Lucy has established and worked with numerous children’s choirs at schools across the North of England and was previously the choral director for St Aidan’s Church Choir in Leeds.

Alexander Kyle

Choral Director

Alexander Kyle read music at the University of Huddersfield, where he studied conducting under Natalia Luis-Bassa and singing with Andrew Slater. A life-long choral singer, Alex began conducting choirs in 2010 and became the Huddersfield Choral Society’s Choral Conducting Scholar in 2011. He joined the Diocese of Leeds Music Programme in 2012 as Conducting Scholar and is now Choral Director for Bradford with responsibility for the Bradford and Keighley Junior Choir. Alex is also musical director of the vibrant Vocalis Chamber Choir in Harrogate, a role in which he regularly collaborates with, and guest conducts, other groups. Recent collaborators include the Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra, Ripon’s St Cecilia Orchestra and English Touring Opera. In September 2015 he shared the conducting podium with John Rutter at the launch concert of the Halcyon Youth Choir.

Charlotte Kitson

Choral Director

Charlotte Kitson graduated in 2011 from the University of Birmingham with a First Class Honours degree in Music, and was shortly after appointed as Choral Director for Bradford in the Schools’ Singing Programme. She left the Music Department in 2014 to pursue a PGCE in Secondary Music at Leeds Trinity University, and then worked as a Teacher of Music and RE at St. Bede’s and St. Joseph’s Catholic College in Bradford, completing her NQT induction and Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) in July 2015. Charlotte first became involved with the Music Department when she joined the Cathedral Girls’ Choir at the age of 16, later becoming a Choral Scholar at Leeds and then at St. Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham.

Sally Egan

Choral Director

Sally Egan was born in Leeds and educated at Notre Dame High School. She read music at Cambridge University and studied singing in Paris with Maria-Grazia Dilluvio and in London with Lillian Watson. She has sung opera and oratorio all over the world under the baton of many leading conductors including Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding, William Christie and Pierre Boulez. Sally also specialises in training treble voices. Prior to her appointment in Leeds, she worked as a vocal coach with the choristers of Westminster Cathedral and taught singing to the choristers of Westminster Abbey. Sally works for Opera North as a workshop leader, choral director and animateur and she also works with choirs all over the country alongside her role as Choral Director of Holy Rosary and St Anne’s Primary School in Chapeltown.

Tom Carr

Organ Tutor

Originally from Northumberland, Tom studied music at Huddersfield University, specialising in Piano Performance, and gained BMus and PGCE qualifications. Settling in Yorkshire, he was a school music teacher for several years before embarking on a more varied musical career. He now combines individual tuition with performing and accompanying, and has played in a range of venues across the North of England, including The Sage, Gateshead, Harewood House, Bradford Cathedral and Leeds College of Music. Concerto appearances have included works by Poulenc and Beethoven. In addition, Tom has played for conducting workshops and opera rehearsals both in Higher Education institutions and at a professional level. Tom is Organist and Director of Music at St Anne’s Catholic Church in Keighley and on the examiner panel of the ABRSM, working across the UK, Ireland and Hong Kong.

 

Philip Meaden

Associate Organist

Philip Meaden studied at the Royal Academy of Music and Goldsmiths’ College, winning prizes for organ, conducting and musicology, and gaining several degrees and diplomas. He has performed in numerous Cathedrals, Churches and concert halls, both as an organist and a conductor, and he also has extensive experience as a senior leader, consultant, examiner, adjudicator and teacher. Philip holds professorships at the University of Bradford and Leeds College of Music, and fellowships of the Royal College of Organists and Trinity College, London. He has a particular interest in the performance practice of Bach and Mendelssohn, having been awarded a distinction for his Master’s study of articulation and motivic structure in Bach’s organ sonatas, and conducted research into Mendelssohn’s performances in England, but his repertoire is very wide and his musical tastes are eclectic. Chief Executive of the Royal College of Organists from 1 October 2014, Philip is committed to promoting both high quality educational opportunities for organists and the profile of organ playing and choral training more generally.

 

Julie Tanner

Deputy Organist

Julie Tanner graduated from Leeds University in Music and English, later gaining a Master’s degree at Hull University. She is a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, London and an Associate of the Royal College of Organists. She has been a member of the Cathedral music staff since 1990 and combines this with her full-time position as Head Teacher at Wakefield Tutorial Preparatory School.

 

Notable former members of staff

Notable former members of staff

2018 Caius Lee (Organ Scholar) appointed as Organ Scholar at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge

2016 George Ford (Organ Scholar) appointed as Director of Music for the Parish of Boston

2015 Daniel Justin (Cathedral Organist and Choral Director for Harrogate) appointed as Director of Music for the Diocese of East Anglia

2013 Keith Roberts (Choral Director for Huddersfield) appointed as Director of Choral Music at St Aloysius’ College, Glasgow

2012 Christopher McElroy (Assistant Diocesan Director of Music) appointed as Director of Music at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

2011 Claudine Tat (Music Department Administrator) retired to Headingley and Tuscany

2010 Christopher Johns (Choral Director for Bradford) appointed as Director of Music at Leicester Anglican Cathedral 

 

...'We constantly strive for the revealing of the extraordinary potential and hope contained within the children we work with. they deserve the very best we can bring them.'
Here's to another great term of singing with our schools and choirs!

...'Classical choral music is all too often a culturally monolithic bastion of privilege - the children we work with deserve the riches of this world too; we cannot allow the improvement of access to be undermined...'

Yesterday, the Director of the Schools Singing Programme, @thomas_leech, spoke to the @CatholicEdLeeds Headteachers' Conference on the many benefits for education, equality of opportunity, character formation and faith that excellent state school singing provides...

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Worth up to £2,000 a year, university students local to Leeds have the opportunity to sing with one of the country’s finest cathedral choirs. With clear progression routes, expert mentoring and regular performances (including BBC broadcasts, the Leeds International Organ Festival and joint concerts with the Gabrieli Consort) these scholarships are an invaluable and unparalleled experience.

Leeds Cathedral now has scholarships available for all voice parts from September 2019. To apply contact: office@dioceseofleedsmusic.org.uk
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Worth up to £2,000 a year, university students local to Leeds have the opportunity to sing with one of the country’s finest cathedral choirs. With clear progression routes, expert mentoring and regular performances (including BBC broadcasts, the Leeds International Organ Festival and joint concerts with the Gabrieli Consort) these scholarships are an invaluable and unparalleled experience. Leeds Cathedral now has scholarships available for all voice parts from September 2019.
To apply contact: office@dioceseofleedsmusic.org.uk

www.dioceseofleedsmusic.org.uk/cathedral-scholarships/
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