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Acting Organist and Director of Music

Tuesday 9 August 2016    

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Toyne as Acting Organist and Director of Music at St Matthew’s from September.

Simon is Executive Director of Music of the David Ross Education Trust (DRET), where he is responsible for the development of music across over 30 state primary and secondary schools in the East of England, including conducting the Choir of Malcolm Arnold Academy.

Simon lives locally, and is a regular worshipper at St Matthew’s. His new responsibility, which he will be fulfilling in conjunction with his work for DRET, will doubtless be mutually beneficial, and facilitate our already productive relationship with the Trust. Simon will also enable us to provide that all-important continuity and care within our music department as in due course we look forward to identifying a new director of music.


"I am indebted to Simon for taking on this role at such a key moment, and I look forward to working with him. I feel sure that with his help and expertise we may look to the future with confidence, and our music-making will go from strength to strength."

(Fr Nicholas Setterfield)


Born in Exeter, Simon received his early musical training as a chorister in Exeter Cathedral Choir and then as a music scholar at Eton College, before becoming Organ Scholar of University College, Oxford. In 1991, he was appointed Director of the Tiffin Boys’ Choir, and in 1994 took up the post of Organist and Director of Music at All Saints’ Church, Kingston upon Thames, holding both positions until Summer 2015. Under his direction, the Tiffin Boys’ Choir worked with the major conductors in the world, including Pappano, Rattle, Gergiev, Maazel, Elder, Masur and Salonen, performed each year with the Royal Opera and the London orchestras, and featured on the soundtrack for many major films, including The Hobbit and Philomena. Simon led the choir on over twenty foreign tours, including to Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Russia, and conducted the choir in concert with the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Sinfonia Britannica and Philharmonia Orchestra. As Assistant Head and Director of Music of Tiffin School, a state grammar school in Kingston upon Thames, he led an outreach programme which saw the formation of the Thames Youth Orchestra and the Tiffin Children’s Chorus, as well as the project Choirs for Schools, in which choirs were formed and developed in all 32 primary schools of the Borough of Kingston. During his tenure at All Saints’ Church, whose choir sings Cathedral repertoire at two services each Sunday, the choir broadcast on BBC1, Radio 4 and World Service Radio, and over 20 choristers gained choral scholarships to Oxford and Cambridge.

Simon has led workshops on conducting and singing for Oxford and Cambridge Universities, the Association of British Choral Directors, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, the Kotuku Trust in New Zealand, and the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus, New York. He was Director of the National Youth Training Choir of Wales and Music Director of Riverside Opera, and his performances as organist have included both Cathedrals of Liverpool and the National Auditorium of Madrid. Simon is a Director of the Eton Choral Courses, and will be leading the course at St John’s College this summer.




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