Christopher Gray

Christopher Gray
Career: 
Director of Music
Positions
Director of Music
2023

Christopher Gray has been Director of Music at St John’s  College since April 2023. With responsibilities focusing on the College’s celebrated choir and organ, he works with the Choristers, Choral Scholars, Lay Clerks and Organ Scholars to provide music that enhances the liturgy of the beautiful Gilbert Scott chapel, upholding a tradition that dates from the 1670s.

After early musical education in his hometown of Bangor, Northern Ireland, Christopher became Assistant Organist at St George’s Parish Church, Belfast. At the age of 18 he moved to England to take up the organ scholarship at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read music. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, Christopher studied the organ with David Sanger and Nicolas Kynaston at Cambridge. He was subsequently taught by Margaret Phillips at the Royal College of Music, where he was a post-graduate student and a prize-winner. During this time, he also held the organ scholarship at Guildford Cathedral.

In 2000 Christopher was appointed Assistant Director of Music at Truro Cathedral, working closely with Andrew Nethsingha and then Robert Sharpe. In 2008 he became Director of Music, taking on responsibility for the cathedral choir and its seven sung services each week, as well as the Father Willis organ. As Musical Director of Three Spires Singers and Orchestra he conducted most of the large-scale choral repertoire.

During his first three terms at St John’s Christopher has led a collaboration with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Advent Carol Service broadcast, and a tour to Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as well as premiering new works composed for the Choir by Joanna Marsh. In the coming months he will make his first recording with the Choir.
 

Latest webcast

Recorded on
9 March 2024

 

A Meditation on the Passion of Christ is a service of music and readings reflecting on the Passion of Christ. This year the service features music by Byrd, Purcell, Weelkes and MacMillan, as well as the final piece of a triptych of works written for the choir by Joanna Marsh.

Latest news

Magnificat 4 includes two commissions written specially for the Choir of St John's College; Jonathan Dove's 2022 canticle setting St John's Service, and Judith Weir's 2011 service of the same name.

Winner of the 2008 Ivor Novello Award for classical music, Jonathan Dove CBE has composed a broad range of works and is one of the most successful British composers today. 

Jonathan was kind enough to share insights into his St John's Service, the compositional process, and what we can look forward to in the future.

The commitment, projection and natural energy of this choir have never failed to inspire me

Organists’ Review