David Flood: 30 years of music at Canterbury Cathedral

PUBLISHED: 10:43 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:44 26 September 2018

David Flood

David Flood

Archant

David Flood, whose name is known the world over as the man behind the music at Canterbury Cathedral, is celebrating 30 years as its Cathedral Organist and Master of the Choristers

David Flood, whose name is known the world over as the man behind the music at Canterbury Cathedral, is celebrating 30 years as its Cathedral Organist and Master of the Choristers.

The only one among his illustrious predecessors to have either played or directed music for the enthronements of four Archbishops of Canterbury, the distinguished organist has also played in front of a world-wide audience who tuned in to watch Pope John Paul II make his historic visit to Canterbury in 1982.

Responsible for the music at thousands of services and for many recordings, broadcasts, 18 albums or CDs, David, a former ‘Kent Character’ in Kent Life, has nurtured the talent of more than 200 choristers.

He said: “The daily round of sung services is the greatest joy. Performing great music in a great place with your friends on a daily basis cannot be beaten.”

David, 62, first came to Canterbury 40 years ago when the former organ scholar of St John’s College, Oxford, was appointed Assistant Organist, a post he held for eight years.

In 1986 he moved to become Organist and Master of the Choristers at Lincoln Cathedral but two years later he was back in Canterbury taking over from Dr Allan Wicks.

Travels across the globe to give organ recitals and also on tour with the Cathedral Choir have been among his career highlights and in April this year the choir took their music from coast to coast in the USA, performing concerts in seven cities and raising awareness of the Cathedral’s music campaign – The Canterbury Voice.

The highlight, however, came in October 2016 when the Cathedral Choir was invited to sing with the Sistine Chapel Choir at a meeting of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope Francis in Rome.

In July 2002 David was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music by the University of Kent and in 2008 an Honorary Fellowship of Canterbury Christ Church University, where he is a Visiting Professor in Church Music. David is also a Visiting Fellow of St John’s College, Durham. Since August 1997 he has hosted an International Children’s Choir Festival which brings thousands of children from all over the world to sing in Canterbury.

Married to Alayne, the couple have two sons (both former head choristers), two daughters and five grandchildren. Director of the Whitstable Choral Society and a former director of the Canterbury Singers, David is also an examiner with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

2020 is a key date on the horizon as the long-awaited work to build an enhanced main organ for the Cathedral will be completed, ready for the Lambeth Conference in July, which will be the third David has been involved in.

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