Tom Bell was born in Liverpool and raised in Lancashire. He studied with Kevin Bowyer at the Royal Northern College of Music, with Ann Elise Smoot in London, and with Jacques van Oortmerssen in Amsterdam. One of the leading performers of his generation, Tom has performed extensively across mainland Europe and the USA. His repertoire is broad, but a love of new music means that many of Tom’s performances have been innovative firsts. Tom is Artistic Director to the London Organ Day, teaches the organ for the Royal College of Organists and the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk, and has led or participated in many outreach projects, including Heritage Lottery-backed schemes in the City of London, Wimbledon and Southall, and the long-running Organworks project at Eton College, which works with schools in Slough. Tom is Royal College of Organists Director for the North of England, North Wales and the Isle of Man.
Harry Wakefield Bramma is a British organist and composer of Anglican church music. He was educated at Bradford Grammar School, studying organ with Melville Cook, organist of Leeds Parish Church. He read theology and music at Oxford University, studying as Organ Scholar of Pembroke College. He graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in 1958 and a Master of Arts in 1960. Harry Bramma initially started a career in teaching, spending two years at King Edward VI Grammar School in East Retford. In 1963 he moved to Worcester to be Assistant Organist at the Cathedral and to teach at The King's School, becoming Director of Music in 1965. His students at King's included a number of noted musicians, among them Nicholas Cleobury, Stephen Cleobury, Andrew Millington, Jonathan Nott, Adrian Partington and Geoffrey Webber. In 1976 he became Organist and Director of Music at Southwark Cathedral, and in 1989 moved on to become Director of the Royal School of Church Music. He was Director of Music at All Saints, Margaret Street from 1989–2004, where he planned the organ restoration.
Katherine is Organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral. She is a trustee of the Royal College of Organists, President of the Cathedral Organists' Association and a trustee of the Organists Charitable Trust as well as Vice Patron of the Society of Women Organists.
She greatly enjoys her busy organ recital schedule, as well as her organ teaching and orchestral work, alongside her choral directing which has taken her all over the world as performer, recording artist and conductor.
It all began in New Zealand in her last year of school and her career path was formed whilst an undergraduate at Victoria University where she read for a BMus in Music and a BA in Modern Languages whilst holding the post of Organ Scholar at Wellington Cathedral.
She left New Zealand in 1991 to take up the post of Organ Scholar at Winchester Cathedral and has continued to immerse herself in the musical life of the UK.
Sarah MacDonald is a Canadian organist, conductor, and composer, living in the UK, and she holds the positions of Fellow and Director of Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and Director of the Girl Choristers at Ely Cathedral. She has been at Selwyn since 1999, and is the first woman to hold such a post in an Oxbridge Chapel. She studied in the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto and at the University of Cambridge. Her teachers included Leon Fleisher, Marek Jablonski, John Tuttle, and David Sanger. She leads a busy international career directing, writing, recording, and composing.
Based in London, Cecilia McDowall is perhaps best known for her choral works, though her output extends far beyond this and into the realm of organ music. She has won many awards including the British Composer Award Choral category in 2014 for her haunting work, Night Flight. McDowall’s distinctive style fuses fluent melodic lines with occasional dissonant harmonies and rhythmic exuberance. Her music has been commissioned and performed by leading choirs and artists, including the BBC Singers, The Sixteen, Oxford and Cambridge choirs, ensembles, and at festivals worldwide. One of her most recent CDs has been recorded by William Fox on Naxos of her entire organ catalogue. In 2021 the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, release a CD of her choral and organ music on Hyperion. In December 2020 McDowall was presented with the Ivor Novello Award for ‘outstanding works collection’ for a ‘consistently excellent body of work’. This was a 'gift' from The Ivors Academy.
(photo: Karina Lyburn)
William McVicker is Organ Curator at London’s Royal Festival Hall and Director of Music at St Barnabas Church, Dulwich. He is Chairman of the Association of Independent Organ Advisors, Professor of Organology at the Royal Academy of Music, Organs Adviser to the Diocese of Southwark and to the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE).
He has performed at numerous prestigious venues, including the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Westminster Abbey, and King’s College, Cambridge. Concert highlights have included solo appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and, with Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, he has performed Saint-Saëns’s Third Symphony (three times), Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass. Recent recital and consultancy work has taken him to New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Nigeria, and Penang in Malaysia. An Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Musical Instrument Technology, William was recently elected an Honorary Research Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.