Music Staff

Meet the Peterborough Cathedral Music Department team, under the leadership of Tansy Castledine, Director of Music.

Tansy Castledine – Director of Music

Tansy Castledine took up the post as Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral in September 2018. 

Tansy began her musical studies as the Parry Wood Organ Scholar at Exeter College, Oxford, following which she gained her MMus with Distinction in Choral Direction and Church Music from the Royal Academy of Music, winning all the major prizes for Choral Direction. Following this, Tansy worked with Finchley Children’s Music Group and became Director of Music at Belmont, Mill Hill Prep School, and St Paul’s Church, Mill Hill. Between 2004 and 2008 Tansy served as Visiting Lecturer and Director of the Chamber Choir at London City University, before becoming Director of Music at St George’s College, Weybridge in September 2007. Under Tansy’s direction, St George’s College Chamber Choir achieved unprecedented national success, winning both the BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year Competition and the Barnardo’s National Choir Competition in 2012, and being a finalist in the BBC Competition in 2016. Choral engagements included concerts at the Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, and St Martin-in-the-Fields, performing on BBC television and Radio 3 and 4, and directing four CD recordings.

Between 2012 and 2018 Tansy was Organist and Director of Music at St Mark's, Hamilton Terrace, NW8, prior to taking up her posts in Peterborough; Tansy is also Musical Director of Peterborough and Ramsey Choral Societies. Additionally she works for the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) as a Course Director and Singing Examiner, and has worked on programmes broadcast on ITV and Channel 4, and BBC Radio 2, 3, and the World Service. Tansy is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO) and in February 2013 she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) for distinguished service to the choral music and education professions. In November 2013 she was appointed Subject Specialist Inspector for Music by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI), in 2014 was elected President (2015-2016) of the MMA, the UK's largest and longest established association of music teaching professionals, and in 2017 gained the NPQSL qualification in Senior Leadership.

Christopher Strange - Organist

Christopher took up the post of Cathedral Organist in September 2020.

As Cathedral Organist, Christopher is the principal accompanist to the Cathedral Choir in their daily services, concerts, tours and recordings as well as assisting in the training and direction of the boy and girl choristers.

Prior to this, Christopher was Assisting Organist at York Minster during which time he shared in the training and accompanying of the Minster Choir, including a short period as acting Assistant Director of Music.  While at York he worked with numerous choirs including the Chapter House Choir and the Ebor Singers.

Christopher began studying the organ with Shean Bowers and David Poulter before attending Chetham’s School of Music where he studied with Christopher Stokes.  He took up the Sydney Nicholson organ scholarship at Manchester Cathedral in his gap year before beginning studies at the Royal College of Music with Margaret Philips and Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin.  Before graduating with a first class honours degree, Christopher held the organ scholarships at Grosvenor Chapel and Chelmsford Cathedral for two years, during which time he obtained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists winning all the available prizes.  

Olivia Timms - Music Department Administrator

Olivia Timms, Music Department AdministratorOlivia grew up in Hampshire and discovered her love of music from the influence of her father, Paul Timms, who is Director of Music in her family’s church. After playing the Bassoon with the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra alongside other local area orchestras, Olivia went to study Music at the University of Birmingham in 2017 where she studied under Gareth Twigg at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. In Birmingham, she had the opportunity to work with many musicians from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Other notable bassoonists who Olivia has worked with include Margaret Cookhorn and Martin Gatt. She regularly performs with her wind quartet, Ensemble Octave, made up of herself and her three older sisters. Olivia enjoys learning new skills and recently joined City of Coventry Brass Band where they successfully came first place at Butlin’s Mineworkers Open National Brass Band Festival playing percussion in 2020.

William Fellows - Conducting Scholar (2021-2022)

Will started his musical career as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, and subsequently a Deputy Lay Clerk during secondary school. During his gap year in the USA, he was fortunate to sing frequently with the choirs of the Cathedral of St Joseph, Hartford, and the Cathedral of St John-the-Divine, New York. Will completed his BA in Music at Durham University and whilst a student was a Choral Scholar, and Choir Manager at St John’s College. He was also Director of Music at St Cuthbert’s Society for two years, leading the choir in weekly evensong, and in residential visits at Durham Cathedral, York Minster, and Newcastle Cathedral. He also sang for the Durham Cathedral Consort of Singers, and the Durham University Chamber Choir.

He has recently finished at the University of St Andrews studying on their new course, the MLitt in Sacred Music. Music-making in St Andrews included singing as a Choral Scholar for St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, singing in the University of St Andrews Chamber Choir, and conducting the St Leonard’s Chapel Choir, as the Douglas Gifford Scholar. Will is very excited to be at Peterborough Cathedral as the first Conducting Scholar.

Sarah Burston - Chorister Singing Teacher

Sarah Burston, chorister singing teacherSarah Burston is a freelance teacher and conductor who studied music at Royal Holloway, University of London, where her love of choral music grew through singing in the renowned Chapel Choir.  Sarah completed an MA in Professional Practice (Voice Pedagogy) in November 2019 and in 2020 she qualified as a Vocal Health First Aider.  Sarah continues to study vocal health through Vocal Health Education.

Sarah has a portfolio of work which includes working with the choristers here, teaching singing at Edgeborough School and teaching Musicianship at London Youth Conservatoire.  Sarah is also an experienced vocal coach and choral conductor having worked with many choirs including the award-winning Farnham Youth Choir and the choirs at the Royal College of Music Junior Department.

Sarah has been Chorister Singing Teacher for Peterborough Cathedral since the Autumn of 2018.  In May 2021, Sarah set up the Cathedral Children's Choir for children in Years 1 and 2 which began life virtually on Zoom and has met in person since September 2021.  Sarah also runs the  weekly Pre-Probationer training sessions which are held during the summer term each year.

Further information

For further details about the Music Department at the Cathedral, please contact:

Music Administrator

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