Pages in this section: Music | Choir | Organ | Organist
The organist and the vicar will have chosen the hymns and the organist will have chosen and practised the music to be played at various points in each particular service. The music is carefully chosen to fit with the liturgical theme of each service. The organist makes sure that the organ is maintained and tuned and chooses the anthems to be sung by the choir, also chosen with the service themes in mind.
Thom Stanbury was appointed Organist & Choir Director of St James's in February 2019. He started his musical life as a chorister in the church where he grew up in Staffordshire, where he also learned the organ.
He read music at Royal Holloway with organ as his principal study, and sang in both the Chapel Choir and Schola Cantorum under Lionel Pike, occasionally accompanying services. During this time he was organist at All Saints’ Church, Windsor, where there was a decent two-manual instrument and a small choir.
His career has been in opera and theatre production and management. He was Administrative Director and latterly Chief Executive of the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch for many years. For ten years from 2006 he programmed, rehearsed and accompanied a mixed-ability choir drawn from supporters of the Queen’s Theatre, leading to an annual concert of Christmas music that became a very popular fixture in the calendar.
Since leaving the Queen’s he has worked on a freelance basis in recruitment, training, and general management, before taking a permanent position as General Manager at Watermans in Brentford in 2018.
He also has developed ongoing musical partnerships with colleagues and continues to perform occasionally for weddings and for funerals and memorial services, more recently returning to accompany carol services at St Peter’s, Kinver - the church in the Midlands where the journey began.
Thom says; “My vision is that music can and should be a key element of worship, strengthening and adding resonance and relevance to the work of a parish church. This vision is informed by my own lived experience.
Music brought me into the church in the first place, first through the junior choir and subsequently the adult choir and as an organist. Since then I’ve sought out opportunities to make music when I can; and most often these have been in sacred music, and they have usually been in churches.
My vision is of a choir that takes joy in unlocking together a new work, or revisiting a familiar one, to find the truest possible performance and understanding.”
Thom Stanbury (Organist & Choir Director)
Find out more
Organists/Choirmasters through the years shows some of what happened from when records began up until 2017. The Annual Parochial Church Meeting Reports show the latest reports from most teams and groups.