Patrons & Presidents

…. and Vice-Presidents


Patron: The Archbishop of Canterbury

Following his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Hon. & Most Revd Justin Welby has succeeded his predecessor as our Joint Patron with the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Revd Vincent Nichols. The Archbishop of Canterbury writes: “I am delighted to become joint Patron of the Friends of Cathedral Music for the next three years. Your active and generous support of those providing and fostering music within our cathedrals at all levels is greatly valued and appreciated. + Justin Cantuar

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Patron: The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols was born in Crosby, Liverpool in 1945 and received his secondary education at St Mary’s College. He went on to study for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome, gaining licentiates in philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University. He was ordained priest in Rome in 1969 for the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

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SCSir Stephen Cleobury (1948 – 2019)

FCM President 2016 – 2019

Stephen Cleobury was for over 30 years associated with the choir of King’s College, Cambridge. His work there brought him into fruitful relationships with many leading orchestras and soloists, among them the Academy of Ancient Music, the Philharmonia and Britten Sinfonia and he worked with many artists – singers and instrumentalists – of international repute.

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The former Bishopof Brentwood

Vice-President:  The former Bishop of Brentwood

The Rt Revd Thomas McMahon, former Bishop of Brentwood, was born in Dorking, Surrey in 1936. He was educated at St Bede’s Grammar School, Manchester, before training for the priesthood at St Sulpice, Paris, famous for its organists Charles-Marie Widor & Marcel Dupré.

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Vice President: Dr Francis Jackson

Dr Francis Jackson CBE was born in Malton, Yorkshire in 1917 and was a chorister at York Minster from 1929 – 1933 and a pupil of Sir Edward Bairstow. He studied music at Durham University and became assistant organist of York Minster before succeeding Bairstow there in 1946.

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Vice-President:  Dr Alan Thurlow

Dr Alan Thurlow was born in Essex in 1947 and gained his love of church music from his early days as a choirboy at his parish church in Woodford Green. He read music at Sheffield University before going to Emmanuel College, Cambridge for a period of research into pre-reformation English Church music.

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 Ian Hislop

Vice-President:  Ian Hislop

Ian Hislop is best known as the editor of the satirical magazine Private Eye and as a team captain on the popular current affairs TV quiz Have I got News for You.  Behind his wit and a quick-fire brain is a person with a deep love of music.

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 Dame Emma K

Vice President: Dame Emma Kirkby

Dame Emma Kirkby studied classics at Oxford (Somerville College) and became a teacher with, at that time, no expectations of becoming a professional singer. She sang for pleasure in choirs and small groups and was a founder member of the Taverner Choir, most at home with Renaissance and Baroque repertoire.

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Vice President:  Sir James MacMillan

James MacMillan, the Scottish composer and conductor, read music at Edinburgh University and then studied composition at Durham. He lectured at Manchester University before returning to Scotland. He settled in Glasgow, becoming Associate Composer with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

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Peter Allwood

Chairman: Peter Allwood

In June 2017, Peter Allwood succeeded Prof. Peter Toyne as Chairman of the Friends of Cathedral Music. Peter was educated at Tiffin School, Kingston, was a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and then spent a postgraduate year at Durham University. He was Director of Music at Leighton Park, Oundle and Christ’s Hospital before becoming headmaster of Lichfield Cathedral School where he established secondary education through to the sixth form. He is now a freelance conductor, composer and examiner.

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