Director of Music
Mark Quarmby playing for Evensong at Westminster Abbey
Mark Quarmby BMus, FDipA, LTCL, AMusA
Mark Quarmby graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium studying organ under Norman Johnston and piano under Marjorie Hesse. He has given recitals throughout Australia, Europe, North America, Asia and New Zealand. For over 20 years he was associated with the music of St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, playing the organ for national live broadcasts, visits of the Queen, funerals of State governors and national memorial services. In August 2009 he was appointed Director of Music at St Stephen's, Macquarie Street.
In Europe he has played in the Cathedrals of St Paul's, London, Canterbury, Salisbury, Oxford, Winchester, Lichfield, Westminster Abbey plus Notre-Dame, Paris, with recitals in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, and Holland. In 2009 he gave the opening recital of the American Guild of Organists Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, playing a whole program devoted to organ music written by Australian composers.
He has been the President of the Organ Music Society of Sydney, has served on the committee of the Royal School of Church Music (NSW) and is currently a National Director of the Organ Historical Trust of Australia and teaches piano, organ and musicianship at St Patrick's College, Strathfield, and privately.
(February 2017 - )
Huw Belling, D.Phil. (Oxon), M.Mus, (RCM), B.Mus (Syd)
Born in Sydney 1986, Huw Belling was educated at St. Andrew's Cathedral School, Sydney where he held a music scholarship (violin) and sang with the Cathedral Choir. Huw's opus 1 The Word was written during this time and has subsequently been performed worldwide.
Huw studied composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Sydney University) during which time he was one of five students selected for 'adopt a musician' sponsorship and was also awarded the Doris Burnett Ford Scholarship for composition. Whilst at the conservatorium Huw studied with Michael Smetanin, Anne Boyd, and Damien Ricketson.
In 2006 Huw wrote Videntes Stellam for the Choir of Christ Church St. Laurence's tour to England and the USA. The work was premiered in Westminster Abbey and Grace Cathedral San Francisco by the choir and soloist Helen Sherman, and has subsequently entered the repertoire of the Choir of Westminster Abbey who performed the work on their recent Australian tour. Huw has since completed three commisions for the Abbey, including a collaboration with New Zealand poet, Richard Major to create The Mountain and the Sea a remembrance anthem for ANZAC day in 2008, since broadcast in other countries.
In 2007 Huw won the tertiary division inaugural national Sibelius young composers' award. His work Impetus was selected from over two hundred entrants, and was premiered by Ensemble Offspring at the awards concert. In the same year, Huw also entered and won another national young composers' competition resulting in a commission from the Canberra International Music Festival for String Quartet. His work Three Quarters was premiered by the Grainger String Quartet in concert and on radio in 2008.
Huw was accepted in 2008 on a scholarship, with the support of Janna Spark, and Ars Musica Australis, into the Masters program at the Royal College of Music London, graduating in 2010 with distinction for his chamber opera Carousel of Blood, and the top of the academic program for his thesis on the music of Thomas Adès. In London Huw enjoyed several Abbey premieres, as well as collaborations with Royal College students, and various instrumental ensembles such as London's Composers' Ensemble conducted by Richard Baker, and the Ossian ensemble, the latter performing – amongst Huw's other works – a tribute to Henry Purcell composed (cheekily) upon his grave. Huw has since worked with the Ossian ensemble, as a guest conductor. He also partook in Masterclasses, performances, and tuition with composers and conductors such as, Hanspeter Kyburz, Mark Anthony Turnage, Liza Lim, Colin Matthews, & Julian Anderson.
Huw tutored at the Sydney Conservatorium High School until 2012. He is artistic administrator with Sydney Chamber Opera, for whom he produced The Cunning Little Vixen and conducted I Have Had Enough (including Nunc Dimittis by Jack Symonds) in 2011, and conducted Glass's In the Penal Colony in early 2012. In 2012 Huw was accepted as a candidate for a Doctor of Philosophy in music composition at St. Catherine's College, Oxford and is proud to be supported by the Ian Potter Cultural Trust. He completed his doctorate in 2016 and returned to Sydney.
(February 2017 - )
Nico Tjoelker at the 1696 Schnitger organ at Herv. Kerk, Noordbroek, Holland
Nico Tjoelker L.Mus.A, A.Mus.A
Nico Tjoelker is a student of organ performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he studies under Philip Swanton. Hailing from the United States, his love of the organ was first inspired at First Presbyterian Church in Bryan, Texas. He completed three summer courses at Baylor University with renowned organist, Dr. Joyce Jones. In summer 2011 he was awarded a scholarship to the Interlochen Music and Arts Camp in Michigan, where he studied under Dr. Thomas Bara.
In July 2016, Nico attended the Organ Scholar Experience course at Cambridge University, UK, and performed an international organ recital tour of five recitals in the UK and the Netherlands. Other recent recitals include a guest performance of the Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3 in C minor for the New South Wales Youth Orchestra's inaugural concert in 2015, performances at Sydney Town Hall for Young Organists' Day (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016), and the Organ Music Society of Sydney recital (2013 and 2016). He was awarded first place in the 2012 junior division organ competition in the Northern Beaches Eisteddfod in Sydney, first prize in the 2013 Sydney Organ Competition – Intermediate Section, and first prize in the 2016 Sydney Organ Competition – Open Section.
In addition to organ, Nico enjoys playing classical and jazz piano. In 2015, he won second place in the Kawai Composition Competition for his piano composition entitled Sydney CBD. In 2012, he was accepted into the Juilliard Winter Jazz School held in Melbourne. From 2012-2016, Nico served as the part-time organist of St. Andrew's Uniting Church in the Blue Mountains. Since 2017, Nico has served as the organ scholar at St. Stephen's Uniting Church, Sydney.
Past Organ Scholars
(August 2015 - )
Benjamin McKenzie A.Mus.A
Benjamin McKenzie has loved music all his life and he started formal music lessons at 6 years of age. He was awarded the AMusA with distinction in piano in 2011 and is a prize winner at several Eisteddfods and music festivals.
Benjamin commenced formal organ lessons in 2009 with Dr Allan Beavis, and he is now studying under Philip Swanton for a Bachelor of Music (Performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, majoring in organ. Apart from the Conservatorium, Benjamin has performed in concerts at Bowral and Picton, and has been a featured guest performer with the L'Estro Armonico string orchestra. He enjoys liturgical music and has been associated with churches in Campbelltown and Picton.
(Sept 2013 - April 2015 )
Joshua Ryan playing the organ at St Bavo's, Haarlem
Joshua Ryan commenced organ studies in late 2009, under the direction of Mark Quarmby. Since then his teachers have also included Oliver Brett and Thomas Wilson.
In 2011, Joshua received a scholarship to study at the 'Prospective Organ Scholar Course', which was held in Oxford University. There he received lessons from Susan Landale, James Parsons, David Goode and Daniel Hyde.
During his time in England and Holland, Joshua was given the opportunity to play many prestigious instruments including King's College Chapel, Cambridge; Durham Cathedral; Westminster Cathedral; St Bavo's, Haarlem and St Michael's, Zwolle; as well as organs at other Oxford and Cambridge University colleges. He also performed in a recital at St Mary's, Warmington in the UK.
In October 2011, Joshua received first prize in the Intermediate Section of the 'Sydney Organ Competition'.
Performances have seen Joshua play in major Sydney venues such as the Sydney Opera House (as part of its open day celebrations in 2010 and 2011), the Sydney Town Hall, St Andrew's Cathedral, St Mary's Cathedral and St Stephen's, Macquarie Street.
In late 2012, Joshua was appointed Organ Scholar at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, and since August 2013, has been the Organ Scholar at St Stephen's, Macquarie Street, Sydney.
In 2014, Joshua began a Bachelor of Music degree, majoring in Organ, at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (University of Sydney).
Organ Scholar and then Assistant Organist
(Feb 2009 - Sept 2013)
David Tagg performing at Sydney Town Hall
David Tagg LTCL, ATCL, BDesArch
David Tagg commenced organ studies while at school and continues to study with Peter Kneeshaw. David has played recitals at a number of venues including the Sydney Town Hall, the Sydney Opera House, St Andrew's Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne and other churches in Sydney.
Upon leaving school he became the Organ Scholar at St Stephen's Uniting Church in Macquarie Street and in June 2011 he was appointed Assistant Organist. Since 2011 he has accompanied Stainer's 'The Crucifixion' with a massed choir in St Stephen's Good Friday concerts and last year accompanied the Sutherland Choral Society's performance of Handel's 'Messiah'.
In 2011 David sat for the Associate Diploma from the Trinity College of Music, London, achieving a distinction in organ performance; he also completed his Bachelor of Design in Architecture degree at the University of Sydney. In 2012 David was a finalist in the Sydney Organ Competition and gained his Licentiate Diploma in Organ Performance with Distinction from the Trinity College of Music, London.
David left St Stephen's to take up the position of Organ Scholar at Christ Church St Laurence on 8th September 2013.
Past Choral Directors
(March 2014 - December 2016)
David Hood BMus, BA Hons, PhD (History), MM (Conducting)
David Hood completed Bachelor of Music (majoring in trumpet performance) and Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English and History) degrees at the University of Adelaide. After this, he completed Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in History. Between 1989 and 2000, David worked for the Australian Public Service. During this time, he continued to pursue musical activities, including playing trumpet regularly with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and conducting a number of amateur choirs and orchestras. In 2000, he resigned from the public service and moved to Sydney to pursue a career as a freelance musician. He has conducted at various times the Manly Warringah Choir, the Inner West Chamber Choir (which he founded), and has been guest conductor for both the Willoughby Symphony Choir and Macquarie University Singers. He was also organist and choirmaster at St Jude's Anglican Church Randwick for 6 years, and choirmaster and later organist at All Souls' Anglican Church Leichhardt for a number of years. In 2009, David undertook a four-week summer course in choral conducting at the Eastman School of Music, and in 2010 completed a six-week summer course at Michigan State University. After this, he was accepted for graduate study in choral conducting at The Pennsylvania State University. While at Penn State University between 2011 and 2013, David was at various times the assistant conductor of the Concert Choir, University Choir, Women's Chorale, Oriana Singers (women's voices), and the Glee Club (men's voices). He also sang with and was assistant conductor for the choir of the University Baptist and Brethren Church. He graduated with the degree of Master of Music in Conducting in August 2013. He is also an active composer, with many sacred and secular choral works in his portfolio. During the week, David works at the Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music, where he teaches voice and is in charge of choral activities.
(2010 - 2013)
Anthony Pasquill conducting a rehearsal
Anthony Pasquill MMusStud (Cond), BMus, DipABRSM
Anthony Pasquill was born in 1984 in Royal Leamington Spa, UK and began his musical training in the choir of Lichfield Cathedral where he was head chorister under the guidance of Andrew Lumsden. During this time he gave concerts at Les Sœurs de l'Assomption; a concert and Eucharist in Cologne Cathedral and also a full choir recital in Frankfurt Cathedral, Germany. As a chorister he has also appeared with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Michael George and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at Coventry Cathedral, as well as Midnight Mass in 1995, both of which were televised by the BBC.
Educated at Shrewsbury School (UK), he gained his diploma in clarinet performance a year before his A-levels and made his conducting debut at St John Smiths' Square, London with the orchestra before obtaining a place at Leeds University to study clarinet performance in 2003. There he received his Bachelor of Music (Performance) in 2007.
In 2006, Anthony was appointed conductor of the Leeds University Union Music Society Chamber Orchestra (LUUMS) and assistant of the LUUMS Symphony Orchestra. He was also involved with LS2 (School of Music Contemporary Music Ensemble (2007), the University of Leeds Philharmonia (2006-7) and the University Liturgical Choir.
Since moving to Australia, he has worked with the SBS Radio and Television Youth Orchestra, Willoughby Symphony Choir, Macquarie University Singers, Sydney University Music Society and is the Choral Director at St Stephen's Uniting Church in Macquarie Street.
He has been the Musical Director of the Sydney based chamber choir Bel a cappella since 2008. The choir has performed Britten's 'A Boy Was Born', Arvo Pärt's 'Berliner Messe', Howells' 'Requiem' and Rachmaninov's 'Vesper's in both Sydney and Goulburn. 2012 saw the choir perform works by contemporary composers, including the Australian premiere of Pēteris Vasks' 'Missa' and George Dyson's 'Hierusalem' as well as the music of Bach, Caldara, Scarlatti and Schütz.
He has been involved with the 'Symphony Australia Core Conductors program' which is designed for musicians aspiring to a career conducting around the world and has spent time working with the Auckland Philharmonia under Chief Conductor Eckehard Stier and Christopher Seaman, and also with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under Sebastian Lang-Lessing and Bernard Ladabie.
Anthony is currently working alongside the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs as their assistant chorus-master. In 2012 he prepared the choirs for concerts with many international conductors at the Sydney Opera House including Poulenc's 'Gloria' with David Zinman and Tchaikovsky's 'Pique Dame' with Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Anthony Pasquill, Mark Quarmby & David Tagg after HymnFest 2011.
Anthony Pasquill, David Tagg & Mark Quarmby after David's final service on 8 Sept, 2013