Watch >>
YouTube Icon Barry Rose talks about the music of St Albans Abbey
YouTube Icon Adam Lay Y Bounden (Boris Ord), the choir of St Albans, followed by hymn "Come Thou, Redeemer of the Earth"
YouTube Icon Away in a Manger (Trad), the choir of St Albans
YouTube Icon Here I am, Lord, the choir of St Albans
YouTube Icon Gloria from "Collegium Regale" (Howells), the choir of St Albans; Barry Rose talks about the Cathedral Organ
YouTube Icon Carol Medley, from live television show, Christmastide 1990
Listen >>
Speaker icon Sanctus & Benedictus from the Requiem (Maurice Duruflé) - From a public concert in Daylesford Abbey, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, 21st October 1990
Speaker icon Agnus Dei from the Requiem (Maurice Duruflé) - also from the Daylesford Abbey performance, October 1990
Speaker icon Requiem Aeternam from the Requiem (Maurice Duruflé) - Daylesford Abbey performance, 1990
Speaker icon Libera Me from the Requiem (Maurice Duruflé) - Daylesford Abbey performance, 1990. Michael McCarthy (Baritone)
Speaker icon Though I Speak With the Tongues of Men (Bairstow) - Recorded at Evensong, 30th January 1991
Navigate >>
Arrow Icon Home Page
Arrow Icon More About Guildford
Arrow Icon The St Paul's Years 1974-1984
Arrow Icon At the BBC 1971-1990
Arrow Icon Links to other sites
Arrow Icon Publications & Compositions


Site Menubar Link to Home Page Link to More About Guildford page Link to The St Paul's Era page Link to St Albans Abbey page Link ro At The BBC page Link to Publications and Compositions page Link to Links page

St.Albans Abbey, 1988-97

NEW! - for All Souls, listen to a 1990 recording of Duruflé's Requiem Aeternam, Libera Me, Sanctus & Benedictus, and Agnus Dei, from his Requiem. The baritone soloist is Michael McCarthy.

Exterior view of St Albans CathedralAfter leaving St.Paul's Cathedral, in the Summer of 1984, Barry Rose and his family moved to Canterbury, where he had been appointed as Master of the Choirs at The King's School, a post specially created for him by the Headmaster, Canon Peter Pilkington.

Nearly four years later, in April 1988, The Very Reverend Peter Moore, Dean of St.Albans, contacted Barry to seek advice about a successor to Colin Walsh, the Abbey's Master of the Music, who had just been appointed to Lincoln Cathedral. As a result of that conversation, and also with the active support of one of the long-serving members of the choir (as well as, behind the scenes, Archbishop Robert Runcie - formerly Bishop of St.Albans), Barry and his wife went to meet the Dean, and came away from St.Albans having been persuaded to consider the possibility of becoming the Abbey's next Master of the Music.

It was a difficult decision as to whether or not to leave Canterbury, but in the end, they accepted, and with their three children, moved to St.Albans in August, 1988.

The next nine years were to prove exciting, exhilarating and musically fulfilling. The Abbey had long enjoyed a well deserved reputation for the quality of its choir, through the work of previous Masters of the Music, including Meredith Davies, Peter Burton, Peter Hurford and Stephen Darlington, and although there is no choir school at St.Albans, or any link to one specific primary or secondary school, the boys of the choir had (and still have) a regular weekly pattern of pre-school morning rehearsals, as well as singing Evensong on four weekdays, and two or three Sunday Services. The Lay Clerks (gentlemen of the choir) were all expert and gifted singers, and they joined the boys for a Friday evening rehearsal, Saturday Evensong, the Sunday Services, and many special occasions through the year.

Throughout his time at the Abbey, Barry worked closely and happily with his colleague Andrew Parnell to maintain and build on the musical standards in the daily sung Services, and the reputation of the choir was further enhanced through several broadcasts on radio and television, CD recordings, as well as with 5 visits to the USA, where the choir sang in a variety of venues in Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Connecticut, and Boston.

The musical life of the Abbey also owes a huge debt to the continuing succession of Organ Scholars, and during the years 1988-97, they were:

Nicholas Robinson (now at St.Peter's Church, St.Albans, and Wycombe Abbey School),
Sean Farrell (formerly at Ely & Rochester Cathedrals, Trinity College of Music, and now organist at Wellington College, Berkshire),
Lee Ward (formerly organist of Hampstead Parish Church and now living and working in Sao Paulo, Brazil),
Nigel McClintock (formerly at St.George's Church Belfast, and Croydon Parish Church, and now at St.Peter's Cathedral, Belfast),
Robert Sharpe (formerly at Lichfield & Truro Cathedrals, and now Master of the Music at York Minster),
Richard Tanner (formerly at Blackburn Cathedral, and now Director of Music at Rugby School),
Christopher Betts (formerly at Magdalen College, Oxford and St.Mary's Collegiate Church, Warwick, and now organist of the National Cathedral, Washington DC, USA)
Peter Dyke (formerly at Newport Cathedral, and now assistant organist of Hereford Cathedral).

Barry 'retired' from St.Albans on Christmas Day, 1997, and since then has pursued an active life as a freelance musician, as well as indulging his passion for collecting and restoring vintage fountain-pens (see

Gallery >> (click any thumbnail for full-size image)
Thumbnail of St Albans Cathedral interior - click to enlarge
Thumbnail of St Albans Cathedral interior - click to enlarge
Thumbnail of St Albans Cathedral interior - click to enlarge
Thumbnail of St Albans Cathedral interior - click to enlarge
Thumbnail of the Lay Clerks of St Albans 1997 - click to enlarge
Interior views of St Albans Abbey
The Lay Clerks of St Albans, 1997