The Music of St James’s Church
Organist and Director of Music
George de Voil
As Organist and Director of Music at St James’s, Paddington, George continues a musical tradition that has included such distinguished organist-composers as Dr Harold Darke and Sir George Thalben-Ball. He is also Assistant Organist at Wellington College, where he is on the full-time teaching staff, and is an Assistant Housemaster. He is accompanist of Crowthorne Choral Society. George has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, and Classic FM, and in the past year, has given organ recitals in Liverpool, Bristol, Sheffield and Truro Cathedrals, as well as a series of annual engagements across the South of France. He holds the Associateship of the Royal College of Organists.
George was a choral scholar at The London Oratory School before taking up the Parry-Wood Organ Scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford. There he gained a First Class honours degree in Music, and was solely responsible for the renowned mixed-voice choir. He also held the post of Master of the Music at Pusey House, Oxford’s famous Anglo-Catholic establishment. During his time at Oxford, George directed the musical celebrations for Exeter College’s 700th Anniversary, including performances in Westminster Abbey, Washington National Cathedral, and privately for the Queen of Spain. He also led tours to Spain, Italy, and the USA, and directed the world premiere recording of Charles Villiers Stanford’s Mass in G, Op. 46. The disc was praised by BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone, and led to George being named a Classic FM “Young Artist to Watch”. MusicWeb International praised his “stylish” direction, calling his recording of Parry’s Songs of Farewell “exciting and full of conviction”, while Martin Bird declared in the Elgar Society Journal, “George de Voil is something of a find… He may be young, but his innate musicianship, his feeling for line, for balance, for phrasing, for the placing of chords, is exciting…”. Choir & Organ remarked, “the fresh-voiced Exeter College Choir achieve a superb blend under their intelligent young conductor”.