Peter Thompson Music

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Biography

Peter combines an ecclectic career as parish priest and musican, working as Assistant Organist and also as Succentor in Armagh Cathedral, Rector of two parishes in the Diocese of Armagh, composer, and teacher.

He had his first piano lessons at the age of 12, and quickly  graduated to the organ stool when the organist in his parish church needed holiday cover. After a period of self-teaching he studied with Tim Allen in Derry Cathedral for a year before travelling to Dublin to study at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where his teachers included David Lee (Organ), Deirdre Doyle (Piano), and Marie Moran (Harmony & counterpoint). He was an entrance scholar in both piano and organ, and an exhibitioner in organ.

Moving to Belfast he read Music and Theology at Queen’s University, and was Harty-Brennan organ scholar at the University (where he accompanied the Queen’s Consort, the Chamber Choir, and played organ and continuo in the orchestra) and at St Anne’s Cathedral.

Postgraduate studies in theology (in preparation for ordination), marriage and family life intervened, and for almost a decade he did not have time to play the organ or be involved in many musical activities.

In 2010 he was asked to take charge of the music in Armagh Cathedral for two weeks while the Organist and Master of the Choristers was on short-term sick leave, and two-weeks quickly extended into a regular post as Assistant Organist at the Cathedral.

He has lectured in music and worship at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute in Dublin, and was musical editor of Thanks & Praise, a supplement to the Church of Ireland hymnal. His passion is for resourcing amateur musicians, and he publishes regularly in the Accessible Choral Library (Tim Knight Music at Spartan Press) and with Chichester Music Press. He was commissioned to co-compose (with Alison Cadden) a three-volume series of responsorial psalms for the Church of Ireland, published as Singing Psalms by Columba Press.

He teaches organ on the Armagh Diocesan Organ Scholarship scheme and performs regularly as a recitalist in Armagh and further afield. He was awarded the Fellowship of the Guild of Church Musicians by examination, and was uniquely the first (and so far only) fellow by examination in Ireland, and also the first cleric to be awarded the diploma.


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