Music Staff

Ronny Krippner

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.

 

Martina Smyth Organ Scholar

Born in Dublin in 1995, Martina recently completed her degree in Organ Performance with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, passing with first class honours. Throughout the four years of her degree, she held the organ scholarships at Dublin's two Anglican cathedrals, Christ Church Cathedral, and later, St Patrick's Cathedral.

At St Patrick's, she played a vital role in accompanying, and conducting the three Cathedral Choirs at their twice daily choral services. She has been very active as a recitalist, and performer on Dublin's diverse music scene, and most recently appeared as the guest soloist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, performing Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, with her performance also being broadcast live on national radio. 

Gavin Cranmer-Moralee Vocal Coach (Minster Boy Choristers)

 

Gavin is the Vocal Coach to the Minster Boy Choristers who attend Whitgift School and provides weekly coaching session on repertoire as well as the foundations of a solid singing technique. Gavin's singing career started when he won the last RSCM Choirboy of the Year competition. With this came regular performances at major concert halls across the UK including the Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican and St John's Smith Square; regular TV and radio broadcasts and during the time he made four CD recordings. 

 

He studied Vocal Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire under the tuition of John Wakefield and Helen Yorke and now performs as a soloist and ensemble singer for many of the leading groups, choirs and churches in London including St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral and Temple Church. He is a regular ad-hoc singer with the BBC Singers for their live broadcasts from London, as part of their diverse concert programme and as part of their Proms season. 

 

Gavin is part of the professional quartet Seraphim based out of St Mary at Hill, Eastcheap and is a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal Choir at Hampton Court Palace. He runs a small but thriving teaching studio from home and is a member of the AOTOS (The Association of Teachers of Singing), the BVA (The British Voice Association) and the MU (The Musicians Union).

 

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

Reunion of former Minster Organists (May 2016):

Back Row (left to right): Simon Lole, Dr Peter Nardone.

Front Row (left to right): Carl Jackson, David Swinson, Nigel McClintock, Andrew Cantrill, Ronny Krippner.

 

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

Organists Emeritus

Professor Derek Holman 2011-

Dr Roy Massey MBE 2011-