St Barnabas Centenary Organ Festival – organist biographies


2.00 pm  Martin Neary has enjoyed an immensely distinguished career as an eminent organist and choral conductor. He was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Winchester Cathedral (1972 to 1987), and Westminster Abbey (1988 to 1999). He has given recitals throughout Europe and USA, and performed several times at the BBC Proms. He has produced many highly regarded recordings of choral and organ works. He was twice elected President of the Royal College of Organists and has received numerous awards including in 2012 a Lambeth Doctorate from the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was appointed Lieutenant of Victorian Order (LVO) by the Queen, in recognition of his services in directing the music at the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.

3.00 pm George de Voil was a choral scholar at The London Oratory School before becoming Organ Scholar at Exeter College, Oxford, where he gained a First Class honours degree in Music, and directed the musical celebrations for Exeter College’s 700th anniversary. He is Organist and Director of Music at St James, Paddington, where he directs the professional choir. He is also Assistant Organist at Wellington College. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, and Classic FM, and has given organ recitals in Liverpool, Bristol, Sheffield, and Truro Cathedrals.

3.45 pm Paul Ayres was born in Perivale, and previous local employment has included director of music at St Peter’s Church Ealing and conductor of Ealing Youth Choir. He is currently choir director at London College of Music (University of West London) in addition to his freelance work as a composer, arranger, conductor and accompanist. Later this year his recording of the organ here at St Barnabas will be released (CD/download) on Priory Records.

4.45 pm Julian McNamara was born in Hull, and was a music scholar at Ampleforth College. Three organ scholarships followed: at St Michael’s College, Tenbury; New College, Oxford, where he read music; and Manchester Cathedral. Following post-graduate studies at the RNCM and the Geneva Conservatoire he returned to Manchester as Assistant Organist at the Cathedral and Organ Tutor at Chetham’s School of Music. He is currently Director of music, Organist and Master of the Schola Cantorum at Downside School and Abbey, while maintaining interests as a composer, arranger, conductor and ABRSM examiner.

5.30 pm Toby Moschard was born in 1981 and was educated at Glenalmond College and at Durham University, where he was Organ Scholar of Hatfield College. He was then Organ Scholar of Durham Cathedral and Director of Durham University Chamber Choir before starting his teaching career at Cranleigh School. He is currently Assistant Director of Music and an Assistant Housemaster at Downside School, and, when not immersed in busy boarding school life, has a passion for long distance running, travel and fine wine.


7.00 pm Christopher Eastwood is Director of Music at St Benedict’s School, Ealing, and Director of Music at Ealing Abbey. He was a chorister at Westminster Cathedral and read Music at Lincoln College, Oxford. Subsequently he was organ scholar at Portsmouth Cathedral, and Westminster Cathedral. Christopher has achieved great success with Ealing Abbey Choir which is recognised as one of the foremost Catholic choirs in England. He has given organ recitals at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Magdalen College, Oxford, and many other venues.

 7.45 pm Stuart Whatton was a King’s and Music Scholar at Canterbury, and later Organ Scholar at University College, Oxford. After 14 years in the Civil Service he decided to follow his heart into music and took a B.Mus with 1st class honours at King’s College London, where he also won the Purcell Prize. During an eight-year schoolteaching career he ran school music departments in Dorset, Essex and Scotland. A former resident of Brentford and current Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, he has been Director of Music at Esher Parish Church since 2011.

8.30 pm Paul Jeanes was brought up in Somerset, and studied at the Trinity College of Music and the Royal College of Music. He was awarded several prizes including the Chappell Composition Prize, and the Rotary Club of St Marylebone Award for Musicianship. He is highly regarded as an organist, accompanist and choral conductor. He has been Director of Music at St Barnabas since 2010, and also Director of Music at Notting Hill and Ealing High School since 2010.

9.15 pm Hugh Mather was a chorister at Westminster Abbey and gained the FRCO diploma with the Limpus and Reid prizes while still at Clifton College. He pursued a medical career and was Consultant Physician at Ealing Hospital from 1982 to 2006, whilst maintaining an active career as a pianist. He resumed his organ playing in 2005, after a gap of over 40 years, and is now organist at St Barnabas Church. He has organised over 1000 concerts in Ealing in the past decade, and raised around £170,000 for the organ.