Historically, music has played an important part in the life of the Catholic Church, and since 1958 in the Cathedral, when a choir of men’s voices to sing in the Crypt was formed by Canon Edward Murphy. In 1960 a Boys’ Choir was established under the direction of Christopher Symons and amalgamated with the Men’s Choir. Since then music has been at the heart of the worship in the Metropolitan Cathedral. A Choir School was established by Archbishop John Carmel Heenan known as The Gables in Woolton. In 1974 St Edward’s College became the Choir School. Today, the Cathedral Music Department is responsible for providing music at eight services every week in term time, plus numerous extra services when called upon to mark a particular occasion. This work is shared between the Cathedral’s three choirs and four organists under the guidance of the Director of Music.
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Director of Music: Christopher McElroy
Dr Christopher McElroy has overall responsibility for the musical content of services and other events at the Cathedral. He manages the Music Department and works closely with his colleagues over matters of content, planning, and development of the musical life of the Cathedral. Specifically, he directs and trains the Cathedral Choir (of men and boys).
Assistant Director of Music: James Luxton
James Luxton assists and deputises for the Director of Music. He plays the organ at some services and is responsible for the day to day training and direction of the girl choristers and Youth Choir.
Organist: Richard Lea
Richard Lea was born in Wigan, was Organist at St Oswald’s, Ashton in Makerfield, Organ Scholar and then Organist at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, working with Noel Rawsthorne, Philip Duffy and Terence Duffy, Mervyn Cousins, Keith Orrell, Timothy Noon and Christopher McElroy. After two years as Organist at Buckfast Abbey, Devon, he returned to the Cathedral. He has made numerous broadcasts, CDs and a DVD, receiving excellent reviews. He has conducted numerous choirs, including Wigan Choral Society, The Brixi Singers and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Cantata Choir.
Music Administrator: Jacqueline Larrosa