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New Director of Music at St Benedict�s School

Published Monday 14th of July 2014 08:13:09 AM

Christopher Eastwood will take up the post of Director of Music at St Benedict�s School, Ealing from September 2014, taking over from Dicky Thomas, who has led the department with distinction for the last three years. Christopher is well placed to step into his new role, having been Head of Music at St Benedict�s Junior School for the past two years. Alongside this role, he has also been the Director of Ealing Abbey Choir since 2006.

Christopher began his musical studies as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, under the direction of James O�Donnell, and was then awarded a music scholarship to The Oratory School, Woodcote, where he studied the organ with Quentin Thomas. A degree in Music at Lincoln College, Oxford, furthered Christopher�s studies. While at Oxford, he was Senior Organ Scholar with responsibility for the choir and the music in the college chapel. During this period he also directed the choir in a recording of music by the Wesley family, which was released in 2003 to favourable reviews.

Following his graduation from Oxford, Christopher was appointed as organ scholar to Portsmouth Cathedral and, in 2004, as organ scholar at Westminster Cathedral. He has toured extensively in the United Kingdom and in Europe with various ensembles, has performed on the Remembrance Day Songs of Praise programme and been involved in radio broadcasts for Radio 3 and 4. In 2005, Christopher accompanied Westminster Cathedral Choir for the live broadcast on the occasion of the Requiem Mass for Pope John Paul II. As an organist has given recitals at Westminster Abbey, St Paul�s Cathedral, Magdalen College, Oxford, and many other venues.

Christopher has achieved great success with Ealing Abbey Choir and with the Concert Choir at St Benedict�s School. The Abbey Choir are recognised as one of the foremost Catholic choirs in England and regularly undertake tours, most recently to Rome (2008), Strasbourg (2010), USA (2011) and Poland (2014). Their recent release Personent Hodie on the Herald label has been highly acclaimed. St Benedict�s Concert Choir sing at numerous school concerts and parish events and their tour to Holland and Belgium in April 2013 was a resounding success. Recent performances have included Handel�s Messiah, Bach�s St John Passion and, in March 2014, Carl Orff�s Carmina Burana at St John Smith�s Square, London.

Music is a high profile department at St Benedict�s School and Christopher has great ambitions to build on present success and take things to a higher level. He is keen to attract more music scholars to the school and to offer organ scholarships. But perhaps his most exciting initiative is a proposed partnership between St Benedict�s School and Voces Cantabiles Music (the educational arm of Voces 8), which will involve a Young Leaders Programme and Music workshops across the school, all aimed at raising standards and aspirations in Music at St Benedict�s.
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