Professional musicians

As well as our regular Organist and now former Assistant Musical Director Richard Walmsley, we have been fortunate enough to have been accompanied at various times by many fine organists, and directed by excellent choral directors, whose details as they were at the time are below.

Matthew Beetschen, Musical Director and Organist of Dunblane Cathedral, Musical Director of the Rosenethe Singers, and chairman of RSCM Scotland.

Geoff Bolton, teacher at Strathallan School.

Revd Rupert Jeffcoat, who describes himself as "born in Scotland but likes to think he worked in England and Australia as a missionary!" For 8 years the Director of Music of Coventry Cathedral, in 2005 he went out to Brisbane to run the music in the Anglican diocese there. Rupert enjoys a vast range of music, and as a priest is also committed to making worship a foretaste of heaven wherever possible.

Geoffrey Woollatt, former chorister at Southwell Minster whose previous posts include Organ Scholarships at both Manchester and Chester Cathedrals, was when he accompanied us the Assistant Organist at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, and was studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  In 2012 he finished his studies and returned to Chester where he was appointed Assistant Organist at Chester Cathedral.

Dr Norman Mitchell, Organist and Master of the Music at Dunfermline Abbey.

Peter Wakeford, Assistant Organist of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow.

Steven McIntyre, Assistant Organist of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow

Michael Bawtree.  A musician with a wide-ranging career, Michael Bawtree has directed the RSNO, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and performances with Scottish Ballet and Northern Ballet across the UK. In France he has worked on Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Rigoletto, Otello, Cosi fan
tutte and Don Pasquale. In Scotland, operatic engagements include Albert Herring, La Clemenza di Tito, King Arthur, Flight, and Okavango Macbeth. A keen advocate of contemporary music, he has conducted world premieres of works by Judith Bingham, Phillip Cooke, Rory Boyle and Paul Mealor and Scottish premieres of works by Magnus Lindberg, Jonathan Dove, Julian Philips, Gabriel Jackson and Tarik O’Regan. Michael studied music at Cambridge University, conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Since 2005 he has directed the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union and Glasgow Chamber Choir; he has also directed the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the RSNO chorus, the RCS chamber choir and the Britten-Pears Chamber Choir. As organist with the RSNO and BBC SSO, he has appeared at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival. Organ recital engagements have taken him to all the major British cathedrals, Notre-Dame de Paris and to Bermuda, New Zealand, the United States and Scandinavia. Recently he has conducted concerts in Sweden, France, Ireland, Holland, the Faroe Islands and Germany, and at the Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Dublin’s National Concert Hall.

Peter Backhouse, assistant organist of St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, began his musical training as a chorister in the choir of York Minster.  Later he studied music at Edinburgh University where he graduated BMus (Hons), having won the 3rd Year Class Medal as well as the Tovey Memorial Prize for his organ playing.  He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and holder of their Choir Training Diploma, as well as an Associate of the Royal College of Music.  In 1977 he was appointed Assistant Organist at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh.  This post, with its daily accompaniment of services, as well as many concerts, recitals, broadcasts and recordings, kept him busy for over 20 years.  In 2000 he was appointed Assistant Organist at St Giles' Cathedral, and combines this post with teaching music at The Edinburgh Academy (a Day and Boarding School).  He has served on the Council of The Edinburgh Society of Organists for many years, including two as President.  He supports the work of the Royal School of Church Music and was for a number of years an organ adviser in the Edinburgh area for the Scottish Federation of Organists. He has played for services and given recitals in many cathedrals, including Westminster Abbey, Canterbury, Durham, Ripon and St Albans Cathedrals, St George's Chapel Windsor, King's College Cambridge, the Temple Church London and recently at York Minster.  As a continuo player he has played with all the major professional ensembles in Scotland.

Dr Peter Christie, former organist at St Mary's Parish Church, Haddington

Christopher Nickol, is quite simply legendary in choral and organ circles in Glasgow, famous for his undoubted organ playing skill but also for his party piece of being able to play anything you care to name, instantly, and without the need for music. Born in Cambridge, he was a music scholar at Ampleforth College, Organ Scholar at Royal Holloway College (University of London), and postgraduate scholar at the Royal College of Music, and is currently Director of Music at New Kilpatrick Church in Bearsden, staff pianist and organist at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, pianist at the Dance School of Scotland, accompanist of Bearsden Choir, and a regular deputy organist at both Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow University. Christopher has performed as an organist and soloist with the BBC SSO, Caledonian Voices, Glasgow Cathedral Choir & Choral Society, Glasgow Chamber Choir, the National Youth Choir of Scotland, the RCS Chamber Choir, the RSNO and RSNO Chorus, and the choir of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow. He has given over 500 concerts on the organ in Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow, including one that went viral on social media on the day that the death was announced of David Bowie when, without any printed music, he played Life on Mars and a mobile phone video recording of it has been viewed on Facebook alone almost 2 million times.  It's well worth a watch/listen and it can be found at
or a shorter clip on Youtube at

In 2017 James Kealey moved to Glasgow from Somerset where he was Senior Organ Scholar and Second Assistant at Wells Cathedral (where our Musical Director Frikki was previously a Vicar Choral in the choir at the same time that our former Assistant Musical Director Richard was a Treble in the choir, small world, isn't it?) and he has taken up the position of Director of Choral Music at St Aloysius' College in Glasgow.  In September 2017 James directed our choir, in the absence of Frikki.

Kevin Duggan was born in Somerset in 1959, and was a pupil of Wells Cathedral School and Wells Blue School. He was interested in music from an early age, learning the piano, composing and singing in church choirs. He subsequently read music at Bath University, and spent a further year at the Royal College of Music. He studied organ with Dudley Holroyd, Richard Popplewell and Nicolas Kynaston, harpsichord with David Ponsford and Ruth Dyson, and composition with George Odam. He took part in organ masterclasses with Gillian Weir, Johannes Geffert and Egbert Schoenmaker. Kevin won the RCM Clavichord Prize in 1981, the West of England Organ Competition in 1983, and reached the semifinals of the 1992 Odense International Organ Competition. Kevin has given organ recitals in many European countries, venues including St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Ulm Münster in Germany, St. Jacob's in Prague, Cagliari in Sardinia and Copenhagen Cathedral in Denmark. He has also accompanied a large variety of major choral works. He is an experienced piano accompanist, and was harpsichordist for Bath Baroque for several years. Composition is an abiding interest. In 2006 he wrote “Kontakion for Bornholm”, a large-scale cantata in connection with the 60th anniversary of Bornholm’s liberation from the Russians. “Sinfonia Nordica” for organ received its first performance in July 2005. Other music varies from songs and instrumental music to a String Quartet premiered by the Carl Nielsen Quartet in 1992. Choral music includes “An Irish Trilogy”, based on medieval poems, and various liturgical works. Kevin has recently completed “Nicolaimessen” for soloists, SSAATTBB and organ, and has been commissioned to write a piece for viola and organ. Kevin was for several years Musical Director of Bristol Chamber Choir, and the small English chamber choir “Nordic Voices”, also working as a church musician. He has conducted music in a variety of styles, ranging from Mozart Masses to new commissions and world music. Having recently been the Director of Music at Rønne on the Danish island of Bornholm in Denmark, a church with a flourishing musical life including two choirs and approximately 50 concerts a year featuring many musical combinations, Kevin is now music director at Dunblane Cathedral. Kevin is an examiner for the Associated Board and has adjudicated for a number of music festivals.