Meet the Music Team
Ian Roberts (Organist and Director of Music)
Ian has been working at the helm of Newcastle Cathedral’s busy music department since September 2016. He recruits, trains and conducts the separate choirs of boy and girl choristers, and a back row of professional adult Lay Clerks in six choral services per week. He has overall responsibility for the Cathedral’s many musical initiatives, and is in charge of the further development of music at Newcastle Cathedral.
Before Newcastle, Ian directed one of the country’s largest parish church music programmes at St John’s Church, Ranmoor, Sheffield. In this role he established weekday services of Choral Evensong and an Organ Recital series, as well as the choirs’ first international tours, and a CD recording. Until 2011, Ian was Assistant Director of Music at Chester Cathedral. As well as playing for cathedral services on a daily basis, he was also managed the Cathedral’s Chorister Outreach Programme and conducted the Cathedral Nave Choir.
Following undergraduate studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, Ian spent consecutive years as Organ Scholar at Blackburn and Chichester Cathedrals. Since then Ian has given organ recitals at churches, cathedrals and other recital venues across the country and further afield, and performed as an organist on BBC Radios 3 and 4, as well as BBC 1 television. Ian is married to a dietitian, and has two young sons.
Kris Thomsett (Assistant Director of Music)
Kris Thomsett was appointed Assistant Director of Music at St. Nicholas Cathedral in 2015 where he accompanies the regular services and assists the Director of Music in the daily running of music department. Prior to his appointment, Kris was Organ Scholar of Salisbury Cathedral where he both accompanied and conducted both the Cathedral Choirs and worked closely with the Salisbury Cathedral Choir School with teaching musical theory and coaching instrumentalists. During his year in Salisbury, Kris accompanied the combined Cathedral Choirs of Salisbury, Winchester and Chichester for the main choral concert in the Southern Cathedrals Festival. He was also a familiar face in the back row of the choir, often deputising and a counter-tenor for cathedral services.
Before his appointment at Salisbury Cathedral, Kris read for a degree in music at the University of East Anglia in Norwich where he also held the organ scholarship at Norwich Cathedral. Whilst reading for his degree, he was also the conductor for two of choral societies, the Barton Turf Choral Society and the Hethersett singers.
As a recitalist, Kris has performed in many of the Cathedrals and large parish churches in the country including Rochester Cathedral, Wells Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral and Norwich Cathedral. He was also the ‘Young Artist’ for the St Davids Festival (Wales) in 2014 and later that year played a recital in St Martin’s Church, Worcester, as part of the annual ‘Three Choirs Festival’, an invitation due to receiving high marks in his playing exam for his Associate Diploma for The Royal College of Organists.