Ronny Krippner Organist & Director of Music
Ronny Krippner is Organist and Director of Choral Music at Croydon Minster and Whitgift School in London (UK). Furthermore, he is Specialist Tutor of Organ Improvisation at Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London.
Born in Bavaria, he is in the distinct position of having been formed in both the German and British choral traditions. He studied organ playing and improvisation with Prof. Franz-Josef Stoiber at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Regensburg while at the same time working as Assistant Choirmaster of the Regensburger Domspatzen (Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows), Regensburg Cathedral's famous boys' choir. After graduating, Ronny went to Exeter University to take his master's degree (M.A.) in “English Cathedral Music” whilst singing in the Cathedral Choir as a Choral Scholar.
Building on these twin musical foundations, Ronny went on to take up various posts. After a period working at Newport Cathedral, Wales, Ronny moved to London where he was Organist and Teacher of Music at King's College School, Wimbledon. In addition, Ronny was Assistant Director of Music at the celebrated 'Handel church', St George's, Hanover Square, with its professional choir and annual Handel Festival.
Being fascinated from an early age by organ improvisation, Ronny has made this a specialism. Finalist in the prestigious Organ Improvisation Competition in St Albans in 2009, he won two Prizes in the International Organ Improvisation Competition in Biarritz in the same year. The DVD ‘Ex Tempore – The Art of Organ Improvisation in England’, featuring improvisations by Ronny Krippner, has received high critical acclaim.
Tom Little Sub-Organist
Tom Little is the Sub-Organist at Croydon Minster where he accompanies the Minster Choirs. He has also held positions at Southwark Cathedral, Ealing Abbey and King's College, London.
Tom began his early musical training as a chorister at York Minster under the direction of Phillip Moore. At 13, he moved to Ampleforth College as a music scholar where he continued to take lessons in Piano, Violin and Voice. It was here that he took up the organ, studying with Simon Wright.
Leaving school in 2003 he spent a year at the Conservatoire Nationale d'Angers in France before moving to Truro. As a choral scholar in the Cathedral, he sang six services a week, participated in live broadcasts and several recordings. The following year, Tom decided to leave the stalls in favour of the loft and took up the organ scholarship. In 2006, Tom was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, where his principal professor was Margaret Phillips.
Since graduating, Tom has combined his duties at Croydon with a variety of freelance work. Recent highlights have included recitals at London cathedrals and a concert for the John Armitage Memorial, performing with Onyx Brass and Nicholas Cleobury. Tom also teaches at the London Oratory School, Whitgift School and sings regularly with choirs in London.
Jack Oades Organ Scholar
Born in 1994, Jack studied at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School before gaining a place at Pembroke College, Cambridge, to read Music. While at Cambridge, Jack was the Organ Scholar of St Edmund’s College, where he was responsible for recruiting and running the Chapel Choir. Following graduation, he became the inaugural Organ Scholar of St German’s Cathedral, Isle of Man, where he was based until August 2016. Jack is an Associate of the Royal College of Organists and has lessons with William Whitehead.
A prize-winning composer, Jack has written a large number of works for choir, organ, string orchestra, piano, synthesizer and various chamber ensembles. His music has been performed all over the UK, including King’s College, Cambridge (and a number of other Cambridge chapels), Kettle’s Yard, the Southern Cathedrals Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, Carnglaze Caverns (in Cornwall) and a number of cathedrals, churches and concert venues in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Recently, Jack’s setting of ‘O Most Merciful’, a new commision to mark the 150th anniversary of composer Charles Wood’s birth, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Upcoming premieres include Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.
Other musical pursuits include playing the violin and bass guitar; Jack has been a member of bands spanning many genres including funk, jazz, rock, reggae, folk and alternative. He is also a professional DJ. Outside of music, Jack enjoys surfing the South West coast, reading philosophy and travelling.
Dr Charles MacDougall Vocal Coach (Minster Boy Choristers)
Charles MacDougall is a tenor, choral animateur and vocal coach. Early experiences in musical theatre and church music were nurtured when Charles gained a choral scholarship at University College, Durham, and a place in the Royal School of Church Music's (RSCM) Millennium Youth Choir. Graduating with both a Batchelors and Masters degree in Classics, he went on to gain a PhD in Classics and Musicology from the University of London.
Charles was a founder-member of vocal ensemble VOCES8, singing with the group for over 7 years, annually performing over 100 concerts internationally. He gave his final performance with them on Christmas Day 2012 in Shanghai. As an animateur, he works for the LSO Discovery programme, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Youth Choirs and is Vocal Coach at Portsmouth Cathedral. He has a busy schedule of masterclasses and workshops with choirs across Europe and is delighted to represent The Voices Foundation and deliver key training programmes for them.
Martin How MBE Organist Laureate
Born in Liverpool, where his father was Rector of St Nicholas Church. The family then moved to Brighton, where Martin's father was Vicar at St Peters Parish Church. The family then moved to Glasgow just before the second world war, and Martin spend most of his childhood there.
Educated at Repton School where he was a Music Scholar. Awarded an Organ Scholarship at Clare College, Cambridge, where he read Music and Theology. In this post he had responsibility for the Chapel Choir of men and boys, and Choral Society. He was a keen athlete, and ran for the university, narrowly missing being awarded a 'Blue' for cross-country running.
After university he was in the Army for two years where he gained a National Service Commission. He still claims that this experience was invaluable for his later profession.
Later on he was for some years at Grimsby in Lincolnshire where his post as Organist and Choirmaster at Grimsby Minster was combined with school teaching and various musical activities.
Martin has spent most of his career with the Royal School of Church Music where he was known principally as a choir trainer specialising in the training and motivation of young singers. In this capacity he initiated and developed the RSCM Chorister Training Scheme which has since been used in various forms in many parts of the world. He also inaugurated the RSCM Southern Cathedral Singers, a group which has broadcast frequently on BBC Radio's Choral Evensong from Canterbury Cathedral and elsewhere.
Has travelled widely as a choral conductor, accompanist, lecturer and adjudicator. In this capacity he has worked in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Belgium and Holland.
Appointed MBE for 'Services to Church Music' in the 1993 New Year Honours List.
Since his retirement from the RSCM he has returned to organ playing as an honorary member of the music staff at Croydon Minster. Composing continues to be his main activity. Some of his compositions are available on his website.
Previous Minster Organists
Before the fire of 1867 records are incomplete, but include:
Thomas Attwood Walmisley 1830-1833
After the fire of 1867
- John Rhodes 1857-1868
- Frederick Cambridge 1868-1911
- F Rowland Tims 1911-1918
- H Leslie Smith 1918-1948
- Edward Shakespeare 1948-1952
- J.A. Rogans (Hon) 1952-1953
- B. Aldersea 1952-1957
- J.A. Rogans (Hon) 1957-1958
- Derek Holman 1958-1965
- Roy Massey 1965-1968
- Michael Fleming 1968-1978
- David Brookshaw 1978-1980
- Simon Lole 1980-1985
- Carl Jackson 1986-1990
- David Swinson 1990-1992
- Peter Nardone 1993-2000
- Nigel McClintock 2000-2007
- Andrew Cantrill 2008–2012
- Tom Little (Acting) 2012-2013
Professor Derek Holman 2011-
Dr Roy Massey MBE 2011-