Richard was a Chorister when Stephen Darlington was Master of the Music, becoming a probationer in 1980 and retiring as Head Chorister in 1984. With fond memories of Choir Camp he maintained contact for many years, often taking holiday to coincide with camp. Richard and Gill (coincidentally with family ties to Minehead) were married at St. Mary’s, Luccombe during choir camp in 2000. They still live in Hertfordshire with their two children who attend school in Harpenden.
He sings Tenor with St. Albans Bach Choir, and was elected to the ECA management committee in June 2016. At the AGM in June 2018 he was elected as Chairman.
In the early 1980s Richard’s father, Bryan, was instrumental in initiating, and presided over, an “Old Choristers’ Day,” attended by over 50 former choristers and where messages from Her Majesty The Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury were read. Following this meeting “The Association of Former Choristers of the Cathedral and Abbey Church of Saint Alban” was established.
Jeremy first started singing as a boy at St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham before joining the Abbey Choir in 1975, where he went on to become a Woollam Scholar. Even though he’s always been passionate about the English Choral Tradition, it was a chance invitation by John Clough to turn pages one Sunday morning that really ignited his love of the organ and of accompanying choirs. He remembers the piece as being Procession of Palms by Malcolm Williamson. Following organ lessons with Stephen Darlington, Harry Bramma and finally with Peter Hurford, Jeremy left school to attend the RNCM in Manchester, but left after deciding that a full-time career in music was not what he wanted to do.
For the past 25 years Jeremy has worked full time in the digital organ industry, and for the past 10 years has been Managing Director of Viscount Classical Organs Ltd based in Bicester. He still maintains a busy part-time music career as both accompanist and recitalist.
Simon sang as a chorister under Simon Preston and Peter Hurford between 1967 and 1972, serving as ‘organ boy’ and Head Chorister in 1971. He went on to study music at Southampton University, at the same time as working as apprentice organ builder with the late Peter Collins in Redbourn.
He subsequently followed a career in IT in Bedford and Cambridge, at the same time as being organist and choirmaster at Oakley near Bedford.
Simon met Jane at university, married in 1980, and have two children, Katie and Andrew. Jane taught music and RE, and recently retired as Headteacher from a Bedfordshire primary school. They retired to Tiverton in Devon, and currently sing with the Exeter University Choral Society.
IT and Communications Manager
Tony Price is a business and IT consultant by profession but is also a Lay Clerk, singing alto in the Cathedral Choir. His wife, Marie, if Director of Music at St Nicholas, Harpenden but previously directed the Parish Singers and Parish Junior Singers at the Cathedral.
His three children have all been choristers – two in the Abbey Girls’ Choir and one in the Cathedral Choir.
As a treble, he was once a finalist in the Chorister of the Year competition (1980).
Representatives for the Cathedral Choir
For the 1950/1960s
Trevor joined the Abbey Choir as a probationer in 1957, under Peter Burton, and was made a chorister a year later under Peter Hurford and continued until 1961, when his voice broke. He went on the first Luccombe camp in 1958.
Trevor studied music in London and at Southampton University, and was latterly Director of Music at Buckfast Abbey, until taking early retirement in 2007. Since then he has worked part-time on the staff of the Royal School of Church Music in Salisbury, running choir-training workshops.
For the 1960s
Nicolas was a chorister through most of the late 1960s and continued his interest in the Cathedral after that, until university, family and career took him away from Hertfordshire. Time spent in Germany and Sweden led to Brighton and finally London where he now ekes out a living in the dark world of political consultancy.
Sadly, nature has seen to it that Nicolas should never sing again in an environment where anyone will hear him, but nostalgia for the music, the good times, the great people associated with the Choir, not to mention the beautiful city, cathedral and football club of St Albans have all brought him back to the Association.
For the 1960s
Peter started singing in St Julian’s Church Choir in St Albans before joining the Abbey Choir in Autumn 1959 where he became a Woollams Scholar before leaving in April 1964. Graduating in Physics at Newcastle University he settled in Leeds to pursue a career in engineering and finance before running an education charity in Yorkshire & Humberside.
Throughout his life he has sung in church choirs, a madrigal group and Leeds G&S Society. He currently sings with Guiseley Parish Church which has visited St Albans on a number of occasions to sing during choir holidays.
For the 1970s
For the 1980s – vacant
For the 1990s
Representatives for the Abbey Girls Choir
Helen was a chorister, and subsequently head chorister of the Abbey Girls Choir, under Simon Johnson. She has been one of the very few girl choristers to have been invited to sing alongside the gentleman lay clerks. She studied music at Trinity College, Cambridge where she held a choral scholarship for three years.
Now in demand as a soloist, Helen appears regularly with orchestras and choirs worldwide. Most recently she has appeared as the alto soloist in Handel Messiah with orchestras in Perth, Adelaide and Seattle, and made her debut at Cadogan Hall singing Schoenberg Lied der Waldtaube with the Facade Ensemble.
Helen is also an experienced consort singer, appearing with many of the UK’s finest vocal ensembles including the Tallis Scholars, Alamire, the Gabrieli Consort, and her own Amici Voices, which she founded in 2012.
Born and educated in St. Albans, Laura Hicks was a chorister at St. Alban’s Abbey from 1996 until 2003, as well as attending Junior Guildhall as a singer and flautist.
Whilst studying Physics and Chemistry at Durham University she sang with many of the chapel choirs and also the University Chamber Choir, Durham Cathedral Consort and the Rodolfus Choir. Having graduated with a first class degree she is now teaching science, alongside maintaining her love of music by singing with many church choirs in London, and has appeared with chamber choirs including Philharmonia Voices, Surrey Voices and Mosaic at venues around the South-East including the Festival Hall, St Albans Cathedral and many others.