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by Michael Ford last modified 30 Sep, 2021 12:33 PM

We have tutors available right across the Diocese for those who wish to take up lessons.

JOHN CHALLENGER (Salisbury Area)

PipeUp Tutor John Challenger.

John is Assistant Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral, where he accompanies the services on the cathedral’s historic Father Willis Organ. John was educated as a chorister at Hereford Cathedral, and later as an Organ Scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge. He has been at Salisbury Cathedral since 2012.

TIM EYLES (Marlborough Area)

PipeUp Tutor Tim Eyles

Tim is Director of Music at Christ Church, Swindon, a position he has held since 1997. He has taught organ to many pupils during this time and has been a Pipe Up tutor since 2013. The choir at Christ Church has recorded three CDs and sung at many cathedrals since he took charge. Tim teaches from home using Skype and WhatsApp, as well as at Christ Church, Swindon on the 34-stop Gray and Davison organ. He is also a piano teacher and freelance organist, playing for funerals and weddings at other churches.

CHRIS FAY (Salisbury Area and South of the Diocese)

PipeUp Tutor Chris Fay.

An alumnus of Bristol University, Chris studied the organ with Dr Glyn Jenkins. He has recently retired as Director of Music at Bishop Wordsworth’s School, Salisbury and is now working freelance as a teacher, choir trainer and accompanist. He was, for many years, Director of Music at Highfield Church in Southampton, and he has conducted choirs and played the organ in many cathedrals in the UK and abroad. In his spare time, Chris enjoys travelling, and suffering the exploits of Portsmouth Football Club.


PipeUp Tutor Richard Godfrey

Richard worked as a hospital consultant until his retirement in 2002. For many years he has had a secondary career as an organist and music teacher, winning the RCO’s Percy Whitlock Prize for organ teaching in 1999. He was also a member of the RCO Academy’s teaching staff. In 2005 he helped to establish the Salisbury Diocesan PipeUp Scheme and, during his time as coordinator, recruited a number of organ teachers in different parts of Dorset and Wiltshire. He has personally taught 38 young organists within PipeUp, the majority of whom have achieved good results in the higher grade ABRSM exams. Three now have full-time careers in music and many more are playing regularly for church services. Richard now lives on the edge of the Salisbury Diocese in Lyme Regis, but continues to support PipeUp strongly and currently has eight excellent young pupils.

JOANNA HUGHES (Sherborne Area)

PipeUp Tutor Joanna Hughes

Joanna has over 30 years' successful experience as an instrumental and class teacher, working across primary, middle and secondary school age ranges, as well as with adults. In addition to the organ, she teaches piano, flute and clarinet. She obtained her Music degree and Organ Teaching diploma LLCM(TD) at the London College of Music. Previously she was an organist at Alexandra Palace in London and Radstock in Somerset, and more recently at Thornford in Dorset. She regularly covers services in the Sherborne and Yeovil areas, teaching on the magnificent two-manual organ at Bradford Abbas. Joanna welcomes pupils of all ages and abilities and is an enthusiastic and patient teacher.

BEN MATON (Salisbury Area)

PipeUp Tutor Ben Maton

Ben was taught by Stephen Farr at Oxford University, where he read Music and was Organ Scholar at St Peter's College. Since graduating in 2018, Ben has been a full-time musician, regularly accompanying St John Singers, Salisbury Chamber Chorus and Salisbury Community Choir and playing for weddings and funerals around Wiltshire. He is currently Organist and Choirmaster for the churches of the Woodford Valley, where he recorded his first album, OrganStops: Classical Favourites in Lockdown in aid of Salisbury District Hospital’s Stars Appeal. Read more at

UTE SCHWARTING (Salisbury Area)

PipeUp Tutor Ute Schwarting_

Ute took up the organ when she was 13. She studied to become an Organist and Choirmistress in her native Freiburg in Germany under Christoph Schoener and Ludwig Doerr. She went on to train as a piano teacher in Berlin before coming to Salisbury, where she now teaches organ, gives piano lessons at home and in several Salisbury schools, and is the organist at St Thomas's Church. She is also a sought-after accompanist on the piano and the organ, both for soloists and choirs.

JAMES THOMAS (Weymouth Area)

PipeUp Tutor James Thomas

James studied at Trinity College of Music and London University. He holds Fellowships from the Royal College of Organists and Trinity London, as well as an MA in Composition and Performance. James has held several teaching positions as well as prestigious organist posts, including Oundle School (as Director of Chapel Music), Shrewsbury Abbey, and St Mary’s Bourne Street. He studied the organ with David Sanger, James Parsons, and Margaret Phillips, piano with Christine Croshaw, and conducting with Bernard Keef and Vernon Handley. His MA research and performance was concerned with the little-known romantics August Ritter and Johann Töpfer.

James has a wealth of experience in teaching, having been Director of Music at Kingston Grammar, Christ College Brecon, and Lingfield Notre Dame School. He maintains a busy schedule of recitals and accompaniment, as well as freelance work as an examiner and conductor. He has a long-standing association with ‘Oundle for Organists’ and has taught regularly for the RSCM.

James moved to Hong Kong in January 2014 to take up the post of Director of Music at Harrow International School. He played the organ regularly at Hong Kong Chinese University and was made Associate Organist of St John’s Anglican Cathedral. In 2016, he moved to New Zealand to become Organist and Director of Music at Nelson Cathedral. He then returned to the UK to the town where he was born, to take up the position of Director of Music at St Thomas’ Stourbridge, where he also worked with the Redditch Orchestra and The Wyre Forest Symphony Orchestra. Since 2020, he has been Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church, Weymouth.

SEAN TUCKER (Wimborne Area)

PipeUp Tutor Sean Tucker

Sean began organ lessons at the age of 14 with Paul Morgan, the former Sub-Organist of Exeter Cathedral. On leaving school, he studied at Trinity College of Music, London, where he was an organ pupil of Harry Gabb and Richard Stangroom. He also studied piano and harpsichord with Valda Aveling and harmony, counterpoint and composition with Antonin Tucapsky. Between 1995 and 2002, he was a pupil of David Briggs at Gloucester Cathedral, with whom he studied organ improvisation, both liturgical and concert.

In September 1988, Sean took up the post of Organist at the Minster Church of St Cuthburga in Wimborne Minster, Dorset. After over 26 years in this post, Sean moved to Saint Stephen’s Church, Bournemouth, where he became Director of Music in October 2019. He has previously held posts at Shrewsbury Abbey, Christchurch Priory, St Peter’s Civic Church, Bournemouth and St Aldhelm’s, Branksome.

In addition, he has played the organ for recitals, services and choir tours in many cathedrals and greater churches in England. Further afield, Sean has performed as soloist and accompanist in Bamberg and Bonn Cathedrals, Chartres Cathedral, La Madeleine and Nôtre-Dame in Paris, Antwerp Cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint James, Santiago di Compostela and venues in the Netherlands. In the summer of 2018, Sean made a return visit to Norwich Cathedral, this time as organist and accompanist to the Sheldon Singers. Other engagements have included an appearance with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus as soloist and accompanist in a concert which formed part of the Milton Abbey Festival in 2017. Additionally, there have been organ recitals at the Minster Church, Wimborne, Grimsby Minster, and St Peter’s and St Stephen’s Churches in Bournemouth.

Sean currently maintains a busy schedule of teaching and occasional recitals in addition to his organ-playing engagements. He has performed on several commercial recordings, including a solo organ disc, recorded at Wimborne Minster in 2005, which included a complete performance of Widor’s Second Symphony. In addition to holding an honours degree in music and three performing diplomas, Sean is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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