Cathedral Music: New Generation Perspectives

Thursday 19 – Friday 20 September 2024

Sarum College, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK

About the conference

Cathedral Music Trust is delighted to be holding an academic conference in Sarum College, a centre for study and research, located in Salisbury's Cathedral Close. The conference will focus on themes of education and participation, diversity and inclusivity, the intersection of theology and music, the chorister experience, and liturgical music in the 21st century. Perspectives on the current generation of participants, and perspectives of the new generation of cathedral music researchers will make this conference a vibrant, exciting event for everyone involved in this field.  
This conference has attracted leading academics, practitioners, and musicians, who will be presenting alongside post-graduate researchers, including many of the Trust’s Future Leaders. The event will provide plenty of opportunity for dynamic conversations and fresh insights to be explored, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, and facilitating the exchange of innovative ideas.

Keynote Speakers

headshot of Hanna Rijken

Dr Hanna Rijken

The Revd Dr Jonathan Arnold

June Boyce-Tillman headshot

The Revd Prof. June Boyce-Tillman

headshot of Nicholas Orme

Canon Prof. Nicholas Orme

After-Dinner Speaker

John Rutter CBE

John Rutter was born in London and studied music at Clare College, Cambridge. He first came to notice as a composer during his student years; much of his early work consisted of church music and other choral pieces including Christmas carols. From 1975–79 he was Director of Music at his alma mater, Clare College, and directed the college chapel choir in various recordings and broadcasts. Since 1979 he has divided his time between composition and conducting.

Today his compositions, including such concert-length works as Requiem, Magnificat, Mass of the Children, The Gift of Life, and Visions are performed around the world. His music has featured in a number of British royal occasions, including the two most recent royal weddings. He edits the Oxford Choral Classics series, and, with Sir David Willcocks, co-edited four volumes of Carols for Choirs. In 1983 he formed his own choir the Cambridge Singers, with whom he has made numerous recordings, and he appears regularly in several countries as guest conductor and choral ambassador. He holds a Lambeth Doctorate in Music, and in 2007 was awarded a CBE for services to music. In September 2023, he received the Ivors Academy Fellowship, joining a prestigious list of 24 Fellows including John Adams, Pierre Boulez CBE, Kate Bush CBE and Sir Elton John.

Programme Highlights


  • Ten post-graduate researchers present their papers on topics ranging from how religious practices shape the musical and extra-musical behaviour within institutions to an exploration of visual mental images experienced by sacred music listeners
  • The Revd Prof. June Boyce-Tillman MBE gives a keynote speech on spiritualities in cathedral music
  • Meet some of the brightest and most innovative thinkers in our poster session
  • Evensong in Salisbury Cathedral 
  • Drinks reception 
  • Conference Dinner, with after-dinner speaker John Rutter CBE 


  • Keynote speeches from Dr Hanna Rijken and The Revd Dr Jonathan Arnold
  • Opportunity to browse conference stalls over morning coffee
  • Panel discussion on working with today’s children and young people in a cathedral setting 
  • Canon Prof. Nicholas Orme talks about important themes addressed in his new book, The History of England’s Cathedrals 
  • Opportunity to attend Cathedral Music Trust's Autumn National Gathering in Salisbury Cathedral. More info and tickets

Find out more