He is a choral singer, choral director, composer, organist, politician and teacher born in Wales who received his education at Radley College and took further studies at St. John’s College, Cambridge where he sang with the College Choir under a choral scholarship and was a recipient of the Arthur Quiller-Couch Prize.
He later entered the Royal Academy of music to study composition and received his doctorate from the University of London.
His professional career has seen him as a Tenor Lay Vicar in the Choir of Westminster Abbey and singing/directing as a member or guest of many British acclaimed choral ensembles including the Avison Ensemble, Cambridge Singers, the Light Blues, the Monteverdi Choir, the Oxford Camerata, The Sixteen and the Tallis Scholars.
In 2000 he went to work at Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal as the Composer, Choirmaster and Organist and two years later he found himself taking responsibility for a lot of the music used at the Golden Jubilee service.
His work as a composer saw him writing the music for “A Hymn for the Golden Jubilee” after an invitation by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and it has since been performed nationally and internationally and also appears on the official recording marking the Jubilee by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
He took responsibility for the music performed at Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mothers’ funeral in 2002.
Five years later, in 2007, he wrote the commissioned A British Symphony. This became a very controversial piece when the world premiere, which was to be performed by the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, did not go ahead as the conductor, Barry Wordsworth, said he “did not believe” in it.
His compositions are many and include an a cappella opera, a one-woman opera, other musical operas, choral and orchestral works, oratorios and works for children.
In 2013 he began publishing his works with Profile Books with titles that include Christmas Carols: from village green to church choir and O Sing unto the Lord: a history of English Church Music.
His work as a Liberal Democrat councilor saw him elected to Oxford City Council in 2014 and being re-elected in 2016 when he took over as Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Leader of the Opposition.
Here is his “What Child Is This?”…