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Celebrating Karg-Elert, Handel, Jongen and Lefebure-Wely
Lunchtime recital. Free entrance with a retiring collection; your donations will help us to maintain our historical ‘Handel’ organ.
Peter was born in Portsmouth. Musical education was at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied Organ, Piano and Cello. Whilst there he gained prizes for choir training, organ accompaniment and harmony and gained the following diplomas: G.R.S.M. (Lond). F.R.C.O., L.R.A.M. (piano teacher) and A.R.C.M. (organ performer) and has since been awarded the honorary A.R.A.M. He then went to Bretton Hall College in Yorkshire to gain a Diploma in Education. Further accolades achieved in the 21st century include HonMMus (Derby University), FGCM and ARSCM.
In 1974 he was appointed Assistant Organist at Wakefield Cathedral and music teacher at Honley High School. He eventually became Head of Music at the same school in Huddersfield, Yorkshire and also assistant chorus master to the Wakefield Festival Chorus and conductor of the Cawthorne Choral Society. During his time at Wakefield he was involved in many professional recordings and broadcasts with the choir.
In 1983 he became Master of the Music in Derby Cathedral. Initially this was a joint appointment with Derby City Council where he also taught for three days a week in local junior schools. Later this post was abolished and for many years then combined the post with part-time teaching in two secondary schools. For many years he was an accompanist to Derby Bach Choir and worked as an examiner for ABRSM touring the UK and Far East over the period 1984 – 2017.
Peter has given organ recitals in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, Birmingham Town Hall, Kings College, Cambridge and York Minster and given at least one organ recital in Derby Cathedral in each of the 32 years that he was organist there. In his final two years in Derby he toured every Anglican church in the diocese giving short recitals on the 278 different organs. You can see more about this on youtube by going to ‘Peter’s pipe pilgrimage’.
Peter retired from Derby Cathedral on 6th January 2015 after 32 years in post and a total of 40 years of working in English Cathedrals. He is pleased to know that no less than four of his Derby Choristers currently have professional organist positions in English Cathedrals. He now lives in Waterlooville, just north of Portsmouth.
It seems that musicians never retire and Peter was Interim Director of Music at Romsey Abbey for a term until Easter Day 2019. During the same year Peter played at 113 different churches in the Portsmouth Diocese and raised £3,000 for the Bishop’s Lent Charity.He is the membership secretary of the Cathedral Organist’s Association and is the Portsmouth representative for the Cathedral Music Trust. When not involved in music he enjoys rail travel and can sometimes be found issuing tickets in the Booking Office at Alresford Station on the Mid Hants Steam Railway
Amongst the more recent organ recitals were venues in New Zealand which included Wellington Cathedral, in mid March 2020 (a day before lock-down!). Last year he played in Alton, Romsey Abbey, Hull City Town Hall, St Anne’s Derby, the Waterlooville Festival, Alverstoke Parish Church, Hull Town Hall, Durham Cathedral and Hereford Cathedral. He is also busy deputising in major Parish Churches and Cathedrals in the South of England.