Director of Music
Neil Taylor won a Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, and whilst a student, was organ scholar at St Albans Cathedral. On graduating he 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 and directed the Cathedral Girls’ Choir. He has been Organist and Director of 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, the Czech Republic and the USA) and broadcast frequently on BBC Radios 2 & 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, all to high critical acclaim.
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 St George’s Singers, Manchester, and of The Sheffield Chorale; he appears frequently with the BBC as Musical Director and Organist on BBC Daily Service, Songs of Praise and Sunday Worship.
Assistant Director of Music
Joshua 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 Sheffield Cathedral Schola Cantorum, and an Organ Tutor at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester.
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. He has performed on both television and radio.
Acknowledged as one of Britain's “most brilliant and exciting young musicians,” Joshua is the recipient of many awards including the 2012 Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) Organ Recital Prize, the 2012 May Dale Young Organ Recitalist Award, and was a finalist in the 2012 Northern Ireland International Organ Competition.
He began his musical career as a treble chorister in Sheffield Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Neil Taylor, who was to later become his first tutor in the organ. As an accompanist, continuo player, and conductor, Joshua has worked with a number of choirs, ensembles, and orchestras, performing in venues such as Ripon, Gloucester, and Manchester Cathedrals, Eaton Hall (The Duke of Westminster's residence), and Tatton Park House.
Liturgically, he has held posts at Doncaster Minster, Manchester Universities Catholic Chaplaincy, St Wilfrid's Church, Northenden, and St Clement's Church, Chorlton. Additionally, Joshua was also assistant musical director to the Manchester Universities Gilbert and Sullivan Society for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Joshua has recently completed his undergraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating with a First Class degree with Honours, as a principal study organist, studying with Darius Battiwalla.
SING! Project Leader
After graduating from the University of Sheffield, Nick took up the role of Songman at Sheffield Cathedral. With the Cathedral Choir he has toured Normandy, Paris, Carlisle, Budapest and Prague, has recorded a CD of music dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, 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 to help every child find their voice.
Michael J Tinker
SING! Project Animateur
Michael 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 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.