February 22, 2024

Getting to know him

Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) world-wide Director, Hugh Morris, is visiting NZ as part of his antipodean tour. His biography gives further understanding of the wonderful contributions he makes to the world of Church Music.

Hugh Morris became Director of the RSCM in August 2018, an organization he had already enjoyed a long association with as a practising musician, local volunteer and event leader.

Hugh has wide experience as a church musician, encompassing a full range of styles and situations. Most recently, he was Director of Music at Derby Cathedral (2015–2018) where, under his direction, the music flourished and developed. Highlights of his tenure included broadcasting evensong on BBC Radio 3, successful tours with the Cathedral Choirs across the UK and to Belgium, and the inclusion of a wide range of music within services at the Cathedral, including classical commissions, folk music and jazz. Previously, Hugh was Director of Music at Christchurch Priory in Dorset where, amongst other projects to expand music-making, he presided over the creation of a new Music and Arts Festival. Prior to Christchurch, Hugh was Assistant Organist at Hexham Abbey. As a professional organist, Hugh continues to give recitals; he has played in a large range of venues across the UK and Europe. His training included Organ Scholarships at Salisbury Cathedral and Magdalene College, Cambridge (graduating with a Music degree); and was a long-time student of David Sanger. He has recorded organ CDs and played on national television and radio.

Hugh has also worked for many years as a trained, qualified teacher, and continues to have a passion for educating. Whether in formal, class settings, or within music rehearsals and events, he always aims to inspire participants and students to give their best and to develop their own abilities. As a practising Christian, the role of music in worship is of particular interest to him, specifically using music to help communicate the message and meaning of the Christian faith.

Hugh continues to have wide-ranging musical interests, both within and beyond church music, and rarely says no to an interesting musical challenge, be that leading, writing or performing music, and has led or accompanied (as pianist or organist or continuo player) countless concerts and services. Across all his teaching, Hugh employs a skilled, enthusiastic, personable approach, working to encourage learners in their work and efforts. Hugh enjoys putting this to use in the service of the RSCM, though also continues to work independently as performer, workshop leader and adjudicator.

Hugh lives in Derbyshire with his wife and two daughters, which gives him a central base for travelling across the UK. His hobbies include eating his wife Sarah’s cooking, walks in the Peak District, DIY and gardening, which periodically includes rare-breed pig rearing.