Music for the Church: The 44th Annual Choirmasters’ Conference

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Registration for the 2017 Choirmasters’ Conference will close on Monday, April 24.

This year’s conductor is our own Organist and Director of Music Daniel Hyde. You can download other resources here.

A Brief History of the Saint Thomas Choirmasters’ Conference

The Choirmasters’ Conference was created in 1973 by Saint Thomas Church’s legendary Organist and Master of Choristers, Gerre Hancock. One of Hancock’s many disciples and conference participants, organist Neal Campbell, describes Hancock’s conferences as “magnificent innovative events that took full advantage of the Anglican tradition.” Campbell explains that the conferences gave participants the opportunity to “come to New York for a day or two and rub elbows with the great to learn a new trick or two to take home.” “We could immerse ourselves in the nitty-gritty of rehearsal technique”, he writes, “and in lectures learn first-hand about the inner workings of some famous choirs in England we’d hitherto known only through recordings and broadcasts, and we’d sit at lunch with the likes of George Guest, David Willcocks and Philip Ledger.”

Daniel Hyde, Organist and Director of Music at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue

Born in the UK, Daniel Hyde began his education as a chorister at Durham Cathedral. Whilst at school he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the age of 17, and won the organ scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge. During his time at Cambridge University, he served under Dr Stephen Cleobury, performing world-wide with the renowned King’s College Choir; he studied the organ with Dame Gillian Weir and Nicolas Kynaston. Upon graduation with First Class Honours in Music, he was appointed as Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, serving five very happy years developing the College’s music programme, and training of a choir of men and boys and a mixed-voiced choir. In 2009, he took up the post of Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was also an Associate Professor in Oxford University’s Faculty of Music. During his time there, the Choir became known for its “particularly fine trebles” (The Observer); a distinctive sound described in The Times as “vibrant and appealing”. This September he moved to New York to take up the post of Organist and Director of Music at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue.