Herbert Howells

Director of Music
1941 to 1945

During World War II, Robin Orr served in the RAF; during this time, Herbert Howells was appointed Acting Organist of St John’s. While Howells’s Music was rarely performed during his tenure, his substantial compositional output includes two works which have particular significance for St John’s: A Sequence for St Michael was a commission for the College’s 450th anniversary, and a setting of the evening canticles was later dedicated to St John’s (Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense). Respected and remembered fondly by his Choristers, Howells took great care over the singing of the Psalms, for which St John's were already renowned.

Latest webcast

Recorded on
23 February 2020



  • Responses: Tomkins (Peterhouse)
  • Psalm 109 (omit vv. 5-19) (Barnby, Hylton Stewart)
  • Stanford in B flat
  • MacMillan: O give thanks unto the Lord
  • Hymns 341, 461 (tune: Corvedale)
  • Preacher: Professor Deborah Howard - Professors Professing: The Human search for God - Architecture
  • Voluntary: Allegro Maestoso (Sonata in G) - Elgar

Latest news

Logie Bruce-Lockhart © Anthony Kelly

We are saddened to hear of the loss of Logie Bruce-Lockhart, a former Choral Scholar (1940-46) who later became Headmaster of Gresham’s School (1955-82)

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer