In 2005, music directors in the New York area expressed interest in joining together to form a chorister experience of the highest caliber for girls. The Choir School was delighted to offer space, resources and experience to the endeavor. Since then, the Choir School has proudly taken full ownership of the course and developed a schedule and musical standard parallel to that of the boys during the academic terms. In 2008, the course expanded to nine days. Sarah MacDonald and Sarah Baldock, two distinguished organists & directors of music, shared the musical direction of the.
The girl chorister course is known for its high expectations, rigorous schedule and numerous rewards. The girls prepare two treble Evensongs and the Sunday service, sung with the gentlemen of the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys. Services at Saint Thomas are web cast and heard by thousands from around the world. In addition to rehearsals, theory classes and private voice lessons, participants have daily exposure to the opportunities of Manhattan, including a Broadway show, other outings, and a sports program that features games in Central Park or the school’s full gym.
Music Director Biolgraphy
Katherine , MA, BMus, FRCO, Hon. ARSCM, Hon. GCM was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral in January 2008 following six years as Director of Music at the Collegiate Church of St. Mary, Warwick. She is also the Musical Director of the Winchester-based chamber choir, Southern Voices.
Katherine was born and educated in Wellington, New Zealand and studied for a BA in Modern Languages and a BMus at Victoria University, Wellington. Katherine was Organ Scholar at Wellington Cathedral from 1988 to 1991 when she was appointed Assistant Organist there.
Katherine came to England in 1991 to take up the post of Organ Scholar at Winchester Cathedral and Assistant Organist at Winchester College. She has also held posts as Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, Assistant Organist and Director of the Cathedral Girls’ Choir at Norwich Cathedral prior to moving to Warwick as Director of Music at the Collegiate Church of St. Mary.
She is a sometime guest tutor for the Royal College of Organists and is regularly asked to be a guest choral workshop leader for the Royal School of Church Music in the UK, South Africa, the USA, Canada and Australia. Katherine has given several organ recitals in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, U.S.A., Bermuda, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and Singapore. She has performed as organ soloist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, the City of London Sinfonia and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and has taught a masterclass at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, USA. She is also active as a composer, having received several commissions both in the UK, the USA and New Zealand.
Katherine holds a Master of Arts in Music and Liturgy from Leeds University. She features both as organist and choral conductor on several recordings. She is in demand as a choral workshop leader in the UK, the USA and several other European countries. In January 2016, she directed the RSCM Australia/NZ summer school in Canberra, Australia. Further engagements in 2016 include a weekend workshop with the choir of Trinity Church, Asbury Park, the Girls’ Choir course at St. Thomas’, New York and a choral workshop for choristers in London, Ontario, Canada. She has recently been elected into her secondary school’s ‘Hall of Fame’ as an outstanding alumnus (Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Wellington, New Zealand).
Other interests include languages (her BA is in French and German), travel, reading and fitness. She is a Knight of the Grand Order of Vitéz and a Knight of the Order of St. Ladislau (Hungary).
Katherine is married to Patrick Williams, and they have a daughter (a Guildford Cathedral girl chorister) Hannah.