from St Anne's

Congratulations to Jack Wilson on new appointment

Jack Wilson, Assistant Director of Music at Belfast Cathedral, has been appointed as Graduate Organ Scholar at Ely Cathedral.

The appointment of our Assistant Director of Music, Jack Wilson, to the join the Music Department of Ely Cathedral as Graduate Organ Scholar has been announced today. Jack will be joining a team of six organists and choir directors at a cathedral whose musical tradition spans 1,000 years, back to the time of King Canute!

Jack Wilson began his training as an organist under the guidance of Dr Ian Mills at St Columb’s Cathedral, in the city of Londonderry. In 2016 Jack was appointed Organ Scholar at Belfast Cathedral while studying for his Music Degree at Queen’s University. During his final year at Queen’s, Jack was appointed as Acting Assistant Organist from September 2018. On completion of his degree at Queen’s, Jack was appointed to the three year post of Assistant Director of Music at Belfast Cathedral from  September 2019, to work with Mathew Owens, the newly appointed Director Music at St Anne’s Cathedral. However, for his first year Jack was given leave to study for his MMus degree as organist at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Unfortunately for Jack, his time at Sidney Sussex College, and subsequently in the post of Assistant Director of Music at Belfast Cathedral has been curtailed by the Covid pandemic and the restrictions imposed on the musical life of Belfast Cathedral since March 2020. Never the less, over the past twelve months Jack has performed as accompanimental cathedral organist at significant cathedral services and events, both those which were performed to a live congregation present in the cathedral, and events which have been livestreamed. These have included the Remembrance Sunday performance of the Durufflé Requiem, the Christmas Eve Carol Service and Christmas Day services performed under Covid restrictions, the performance of the Stainer Crucifixion on Good Friday, and cycle of Easter Services, along with regular Sunday duties. Most recently, at the end of June, Jack accompanied the Cathedral Choir in making two significant CD recordings under the direction of Mr Matthew Owens.

On receiving the news of Jack’s appointment to Ely Cathedral the Dean of Belfast said “Throughout his time at Belfast Cathedral, Jack has contributed both musical skill, and a commitment to this cathedral which he holds dear. Regrettably his time as Assistant Director of Music, working under the direction of Matthew Owens, has been curtailed by the impact of the Covid pandemic on the musical and worshipping life of Belfast Cathedral. While I will be very sorry to see Jack leave the staff of our cathedral, I recognise that his appointment to Ely is a tremendous opportunity for Jack to develop his skills and broaden his experience. Jack will be working under the direction of Edmund Aldhouse who shares with Jack a particular passion for the French organists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While the cathedral staff and congregation will miss Jack at Belfast, I wish him all success in his new position, and I shall follow his career with interest.”