Organ Scholarships 

Worth up to £1,500 a year, university students in Leeds have the opportunity to work with one of the country’s finest cathedral choirs with expert tuition and mentoring, invaluable contacts and regular performances. For more information click here.


Choral Scholarships 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 for our scholarships contact: / 0113 244 8634



Diocese of Leeds Music comprises eight full-time and six part-time members of staff.
There are 30 parental volunteer chaperones and a Management Board comprising 12 members.

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 is Director of Music for the Diocese of Leeds, carrying overall responsibility for the largest church music programme in the UK. Ben has been engaged by many external bodies as a consultant in the management and development of music programmes with particular expertise in fundraising and organisational structure, especially addressing access issues in marginalised or deprived communities. 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. Ben has also been a drummer in two rock bands, keyboardist in the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival and is now studying the classical accordion. From January 2021 he is leading the National Schools Singing Programme across the UK.

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 4500 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 Elgar Dream of Gerontius and Mahler Symphonies 2 and 8. 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 Keyboard Studies Programme and Cathedral Organist

David Pipe read Music at Downing College, Cambridge as Organ Scholar, later studying organ at the Royal Academy of Music. He has given recitals at many major venues, and has performed as a soloist in international festivals. David has appeared as organist and conductor on national television and radio, and has made numerous recordings as organ soloist, accompanist, and continuo player. He has held roles at Southwark and Guildford Cathedrals and was Assistant Director of Music at York Minster before coming to Leeds. As Director of the Keyboard Studies Programme and Cathedral Organist in the Diocese of Leeds, David leads one of the country’s largest keyboard tuition programmes, and is Artistic Director of the Leeds International Organ Festival. He is an examiner for the Royal College of Organists and Musical Director of York Musical Society. In 2018, David was elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, awarded to past students who have distinguished themselves in the music profession.

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.

Alex Kyle

Choral Director

A passionate advocate for choral singing, Alex Kyle began conducting choirs in 2011, and joined Diocese of Leeds Music as Choral Director in 2014. He is co-director of Bradford Catholic Youth Choir, with responsibility for the Senior Boys Choir and Junior Choir, who he has conducted on national television (BBC One, Christmas Day mass broadcast from St Joseph’s Church 2019) and BBC Radio 3. Alex is also Musical Director of Vocalis Chamber Choir and the Leeds Methodist Choir. An experienced conductor of choral-orchestral music, he has collaborated with Leeds Haydn Players, Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra and Ad Hoc Baroque of Leeds. In September 2018, as part of a partnership between Diocese of Leeds Music and Leeds Trinity University, Alex set up a new pop choir for university students, Trinity Voices.

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. In 2019 she completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy with the University of Wales and Voice Workshop, specialising in breathing methodology for singing.

Wil Jones

Choral Director

Wil Jones first began singing in his local church choir, aged five and has since developed a career singing and conducting around the country. Graduating in 2015 from Leeds College of Music, Wil studied classical voice and conducting with a variety of different teachers, most notably Leeds-based Jane Anthony. During his time at university, Wil was very fortunate to collaborate with a range of different musicians; including international tours throughout Europe. Being a chorister for as long as he can remember, becoming a choral director was always an aspiration for Wil and since leaving university, his work includes a variety of different musical engagements both chorally and musical theatre.  

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.

Jake Mehew

Piano Tutor

Jake is a composer, producer, performer and educator based in Leeds city centre. Jake has been practising music for the majority of his life and has recently finished his formal musical education, graduating with a Masters at Leeds College of Music in 2019, studying composition and performance with Matthew Bourne and Ben Lamdin (Nostalgia 77). He currently work as a live/studio session musician playing keyboards for Tom Williams and also for the Invisible Orchestra. Jake creates his own music, producing and writing with his band Space Dolphin and also creates solo piano/ambient records. Having spent his entire musical career collaborating with other musicians and creatives, Jake wants to teach students how to play and interact with other musicians, how to be successful in the 21st century music industry and how to find many years of happiness within musical performance.


William Dore

Organ Tutor

William Dore read Music at Jesus College, Oxford where, as Organ Scholar he studied organ with Nicolas Kynaston and John Wellingham. He spent one year as a post-graduate organ scholar at Norwich Cathedral, gaining the Fellowship diploma of the Royal College of Organists before taking up teaching posts at Ipswich School and Ampleforth College. He was appointed as Abbey Organist at Ampleforth in September 2005 and has performed as accompanist and organ recitalist throughout the UK, Europe and in South East Asia, and continues to work as a freelance accompanist and teacher (piano and organ)  in the North of England. He has recorded a disc for Priory records at Ampleforth entitled The Influence of Plainsong which includes works by Tournemire, Demessieux and Philip Moore. He also founded and has directed the Ampleforth and Ryedale Concert Choir, an important part of the Ampleforth College Music Department’s Outreach Programme. He is an accredited teacher of the Royal College of Organists and a number of his students have won organ scholarships to top universities and cathedrals.


Jane Flynn

Organ Tutor

Dr Jane Flynn is Director of Music at St Edward, King and Confessor, Clifford, and teaches on the Keyboard Studies Programme. She is a Visiting Fellow in the School of History, University of Leeds, and a freelance music teacher. She holds degrees in organ performance from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and Duke University, Durham (USA), and specialises in early music. Her research focuses on music education during the early modern period, especially on keyboard improvisation techniques. Publications include ‘Tudor organ versets: echoes of an improvised tradition’, Journal of the Royal College of Organists 3 (2009); ‘To play upon the organs any manner playnsong’, BIOS 34 (2010); ‘The Education of Choristers in England during the Sixteenth Century’, in Institutions and Patronage in Renaissance Music, ed. T. Schmidt-Beste (Ashgate, 2012); ‘Sum liber thomae mullineri iohanne heywoode teste: The Mulliner Book, the early In nomine, and the Prayerbook of 1559’, RCO (2019).

Anthony Gray

Organ Tutor

Anthony is an organist, choir director and composer based in Yorkshire where he is the Director of Music at St Wilfrid’s Church, Harrogate; Musical Director of the Fairfax Singers and an organ tutor for the Diocese of Leeds. He was previously Organ Scholar at Southwell Minster where he accompanied and directed the Cathedral’s three choirs. In 2018, he graduated from Robinson College, Cambridge where he held the Basil Shone Organ Scholarship. He was also the organist for St. John’s Voices, accompanist for the Cambridgeshire Choral Society, and founded and directed the Robinson Consort, a group of 16 singers focussing on contemporary repertoire. Anthony has also been the Musical Director for a variety of theatre productions and in December 2019, Anthony was shortlisted in the final of the BBC Radio 3 Carol Competition with his setting of ‘Go To The Child’. His music is widely performed across the country, including most recently his setting of the Preces and Responses. 

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. A former Chief Executive of the Royal College of Organists, Philip is committed to promoting both high quality educational opportunities for organists and the profile of organ playing and choral training more generally.

Anthony Beckwith

Organ Scholar

Anthony has been part of the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme since 2008 when he joined the Bradford Catholic Youth Choir. Now studying music at the University of Huddersfield, he also plays the organ in the Cathedral and for the choral music programme as one of the three cathedral organ scholars.



Christopher Hughes

Organ Scholar

Christopher Hughes, comes from Nantwich, Cheshire. Chris has played the piano ever since he was 5 years old, and attended Chetham’s School of Music, where he was taught by Mr John Gough. It is also here he began learning to play the Organ, taught by Mr Christopher Stokes. He now attends Leeds University studying Music. 



Christopher Davis

Organ Scholar

Having played the violin and the piano from a young age, Christopher began organ lessons under John Marsden at St Mary’s Church in Tickhill aged 16. He went on to play Mass regularly at St Luke’s Church, Rossington. He has played solo repertoire in concert and performed in various early music ensembles, including the Hall Gate Orchestra in his home town of Doncaster. Christopher now studies Music at the University of Leeds, whilst also being one of the Cathedral Organ Scholars



Cian Tempest

Junior Organ Scholar

Cian Tempest has been a member of the Cathedral Choir for almost a decade and served as Deputy Head Chorister for three years. He began piano tuition at the age of seven and later started learning the organ as part of the Diocese of Leeds Keyboard Studies Programme. Cian became the Junior Organ Scholar at the Cathedral in 2019.



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 Cathedral


A recording we made a few weeks back after only returning to physical rehearsals a few weeks before that! All singers masked and distances by atleast 2m….

An excellent week of rehearsals this week with @DOLMusic Choirs in Huddersfield! No amount of restriction will deter these individuals from producing top class choral music!

5 days left to apply to join The Twelve!

They're looking for Catholic young people in the @DioecesisLoiden ages 11-18 (high school or college age) to join their team!

Application Deadline: Sunday 20th June!

To apply, please email Ryan Wilkinson at:


You can catch up with our very own @DCJPipeOrganist's @LeedsTownHall recital here - be sure to check out the @LeedsIOF series too!

🎵🎶Bradford Catholic Youth Choir is recruiting! 🎶🎵
Join our family of fantastic choirs for children in Y3 and above. Come along to a rehearsal at St Walburga's Church (Shipley) after half term and try it out! Get in touch via for more details!

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Last Tuesday we were honoured to host a webinar with Judith Weir CBE and Richard Mantle OBE. We were delighted that so many of you were able to join us live but for those of you who missed it, you'll be able to catch up from tomorrow! The webinar recording will be released tomorrow at 7pm on ... See MoreSee Less
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The Director of our Schools Singing Programme, Thomas Leech, is stepping out of his normal choral territory this afternoon to give a live-streamed recital for Leeds International Organ Festival. Featuring Whitlock's beautifully elegaic Fantasie Choral and Duruflé's Suite op. 5, with its brooding Prélude, ethereal Sicilienne and virtuosic Toccata, you can catch it on the LIOF YouTube channel at 1.15pm today! ... See MoreSee Less
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