The Dean and Chapter are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Philip Nicholls as Director of Music of St Paul's Cathedral. He will succeed Dr June Nixon AM who retires in February 2013 after 40 years of dedicated service to the Cathedral as Organist and Director of the Choir. 

The Dean, the Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe, said:

"Philip Nicholls will bring to the Cathedral and its Choir of men and boys a fine track record as a chorister and choral director. He has an outstanding reputation in the Diocese of Melbourne for integrating theological and liturgical insight with high standards of musical performance."

"His many contributions to the musical life of churches and community will assist the Cathedral Chapter to fulfil its vision for music in St Paul’s, as a means of outreach and service to the City and Diocese of Melbourne."

"I welcome his appointment and the opportunity to work with him and all Cathedral musicians to draw everyone who visits the Cathedral to the worship of God through the beauty of art and music."

Philip Nicholls is currently Director of Music at Christ Church South Yarra, a member of the Chaplaincy and Music staff at Trinity College, Melbourne, and General Editor of the Australian Hymn Book Company. His appointment follows an international search process conducted by the Chapter.

Mr Nicholls said:

"I am honoured and humbled to accept the position of Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral. I pay tribute to my predecessors, especially Dr June Nixon, in maintaining the cathedral music tradition in Melbourne." 

"The Diocese of Melbourne may be rightly proud of its Cathedral's liturgy, which I will serve and seek to enhance, guided by the Dean and Chapter."

"I look forward prayerfully and eagerly to leading a fine and established group of liturgical musicians, especially the members of the Cathedral Choir, in furthering its fine tradition."

The Director of Music has responsibility with the Dean for all music performed in the Cathedral. The Cathedral Choir, founded in 1888, has provided music for Sunday services and daily Evensong since St Paul's Cathedral was opened with its magnificent organ in 1891. MrNicholls will be the sixth Director of Music in the Cathedral's 122-year history.

About the new Director of Music
 
Philip Nicholls was a chorister and Head Chorister at Christ Church Brunswick under Paul Harvie and Terry Norman.  During this period he was a principal and children’s chorus member of the then Australian Opera and Victoria State Opera.  At Melbourne Grammar School, he was Senior Choral Scholar under John Kirkham and Martin Rutherford.  Beginning undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne, Philip worked with secular choirs, most notably Melbourne Voices(directed by his brother, Richard Nicholls) and the National Youth Choir ofAustralia.  Encouraged by Peter Godfrey, he made his conducting dbut with the Choir of Trinity College aged 14.  In 1996 Philip won a choral scholarship to the College, and was appointed Assistant Director of Music (under Michael Fulcher, and later Michael Leighton Jones) and Music Tutor later that year.  He has been Director of Music at Christ Church South Yarrasince 2001, a member of the Chaplaincy and Music staff at Trinity College since 2007, and General Editor of the Australian Hymn Book Company since 2006.

Philip studied conducting with the late Robert Rosen, firstly as part of his undergraduatestudies, and privately afterwards. He has participated in masterclasses with choral pedagogues and conductors Stefan Parkman, Margaret Pride, Bob Chilcott and Weston Noble in Australia, and Geoff Weaver, David Willcocks, John Rutter and David Hill in England.  Recordings of Philip directing the Choir of Trinity College singing works by Josquin, Stanford and Arthur Wills are released on the Cherubic and ABC Classics labels.  His musicological studies in liturgical music at the University of Melbourne culminated in a dissertation on the music of the Chapel of Trinity College between 1917 and1957.  He holds a graduate degree in Theology from MCD University of Divinity, and is currently engaged in postgraduate research on the liturgical music of inner-city Melbourne worshipping communities.

He is well known in the province as a sensitive and collegial church musician.  At South Yarra he has built a first-rate parish music program which encourages congregations to sing God's praises. Christ Church South Yarra Musicians are often asked to take leading roles in diocesan liturgies, reflecting the high calibre of music making under his leadership. As a cathedral musician, he will bring a deep Christian faith and commitment to the Anglican Church and its liturgy, a wealth of choir training and liturgical experience, proven administrative skills, and strong connections with Melbourne's arts and philanthropic communities.
 

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