Sheffield Cathedral, a place for all people
Staff enjoy themselves at SING!

Sheffield Cathedral music department staff

Neil Taylor, Director of Music

Neil Taylor, Master of the MusicNEIL TAYLOR won a Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he studied with John Birch and Nicholas Danby. Whilst a student, he was organ scholar at St Albans Cathedral, and on graduating was appointed Assistant Organist at Norwich Cathedral. As well as premiering many new works in his time at Norwich, he made numerous broadcasts and recordings with the Cathedral Choir, and toured with them on the continent and in the USA. As well as directing the Cathedral Consort, a 35-voice chamber choir, he formed the Cathedral Girls’ Choir which completed its first CD recording and made a highly successful tour of Germany shortly after its inception.

He has been Organist and Master of the Music at Sheffield Cathedral since 1997, where he is responsible for the Cathedral Choirs of boys, girls and men. Since his appointment, the Cathedral Choir has toured both at home and abroad (including Germany, Holland, France, Hungary and the USA) and broadcast frequently on BBC Radio 3. CD Recordings include Music for a Millennium, a Classic FM Magazine CD of the Year Award Winner, and nine CD recordings with the Cathedral Choirs.

Neil has directed and assisted on choral courses as far afield as Aldeburgh, Mexico City, and the Eton Choral Courses. As solo organist, he has played at many of the major venues in the UK.

In addition to his Cathedral duties, Neil is Musical Director of the St George’s Singers, Manchester, and of the Sheffield Chorale; he appears frequently with the BBC as Musical Director and Organist on BBC Radio 4 Daily Service, Songs of Praise and Sunday Worship.

In his spare time he enjoys reading and walking. A keen cook, he is also an enthusiast of real ales and good wines.

 

Joshua Hales, Assistant Director of Music

Joshua Hales, Assistant Master of the MusicJOSHUA HALES is Assistant Director of Music at Sheffield Cathedral, where he accompanies the choirs in their six weekly services and assists in their direction. He is also the director of the Cathedral's Schola Cantorum.

Joshua began his musical training in his home town of Wigan at the age of eight, learning the trumpet. In 2005 he took up the organ under John Benson, before attending Chetham's School of Music for his sixth form education, where he continued his organ studies with Christopher Stokes, in conjunction with piano, harpsichord and trumpet.

From 2008 to 2009 Joshua spent a year as Organ Scholar of Truro Cathedral, before going up to Exeter College, Oxford, where he read for a degree in Music and held the organ scholarship. As Senior Organ Scholar at Exeter, his duties involved recruiting, training and conducting the respected mixed-voice choir, as well as playing the organ when required. The choir undertook two successful tours during this time, to Italy and Catalonia, which included singing services and concerts at St Mark's, Venice and Barcelona Cathedral. During his time at university Joshua studied organ with Clive Driskill-Smith and conducting with Paul Spicer. For a year following the completion of his degree, he was Organ Scholar at Salisbury Cathedral. Joshua has given recitals in numerous cathedrals, churches and college chapels, and has appeared as a continuo player with a variety of ensembles.

Outside of musical life, Joshua has an interest in history, politics and real ale.

 

Nick Cox, SING! Project Leader

Anthony Gowing, Assistant Master of the MusicNICK COX first came to Sheffield in 2003 to study music at the University. After graduating with honours in September 2006 he took up the role of Songman at Sheffield Cathedral. Having been heavily involved in choral music from an early age the new job was a challenge that he relished and he has grown as a musician under the direction of the Neil Taylor. With the Cathedral Choir, he has toured Normandy, Paris, Carlisle, Budapest and Prague and has recorded a CD of music dedicated to St Peter and St Paul (the patron saints of Sheffield Cathedral) and has sung Choral Evensong live on BBC Radio 3 several times.  He also engineered and sang on Sheffield Cathedral Consort’s CD of Christmas music, Carols by Candlelight.

In 2007, he became the lead Animateur on Sheffield Cathedral’s Sing! project. Over the years he has worked with thousands of Sheffield children over 40 primary schools across Sheffield, mostly within key stage 2, to try and help every child find their voice. The project puts on three large-scale concerts a year at the Cathedral. Each one involves upwards of one hundred children singing their hearts out to an invariably packed-house.  Recent performances have included directing a 150-strong KS2 choir singing songs at City Hall in March 2014 for the Music Hub celebration concert; Directing a choir of 160 KS2 children at the opening ceremony of the Sainsbury’s 2013 UK School Games, at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena (the kids got a standing ovation from the 4,000 strong crowd for their emotional rendition of Something Inside So Strong - the only standing ovation of the night!). And producing Sweet Bells – a CD of traditional chirstmas carols with a modern twist sung by 150 Sheffield primary pupils in December 2103.

Outside of Choral Music, Nicholas is a keen composer and performer of ‘pop’ music, and has achieved various successes in this field with his band Screaming Maldini.  These have included performing at Hyde Park for BBC Radio 2’s Festival in a Day; having two songs soundtrack a couple of awkward moments on Channel 4’s Made in Chelsea; and touring Japan in April 2014 following the success of their debut album over there (peaking at number 3 in the charts).

 

Michael J Tinker, SING! Project Animateur

MICHAEL J TINKER has spent most of his life singing, from lead parts in school shows, the Stockport Youth Choir, and singing competitions to specialising in singing at A-level. Over the last ten years Michael has been performing around Yorkshire and even in the southern hemisphere. He released his debut EP with a 6-piece jazz/funk/ska/country/folk/blues band in 2008 followed by a full live album in 2009.

In 2011 Michael turned professional, taking up music teaching at Holgate Meadows, a behavioural special needs school, teaching privately and also joining the Cathedral's Sing! outreach project. In addition Michael is increasingly found on stage with the Incredible Washboard Pete II and BBC Folk Award nominee Katriona Gilmore with their distinctive blend of folk, americana and Jazz. As well as singing Michael plays guitar, cigar-box slide guitar and cigar-box banjo. The trio, along with Hammond-organ player John Ellis and double bassist Geth Griffiths, plan to record a full studio album in 2012. Further information can be found at www.michaeljtinker.com