Organists / Directors of Music at Trinity


Stephen David Layton - Director of Music
Richard Kenneth Marlow - Organist and Director of Music
Raymond John Leppard - Director of Music
Herbert Stanley Middleton
Alan Gray
Charles Villiers Stanford
John Larkin Hopkins
Thomas Attwood Walmisley
Samuel Matthews
William Beale
John Clarke-Whitfield 1799-1820
John Randall
William Tireman
William Tireman and John Randall
William Tireman
Edward Salisbury
John Bowman
Charles Quarles and John Bowman 1709-1717
Charles Quarles 1688-1709
Robert Wildbore 1682-1688
George Loosemore 1660-1682
(Commonwealth - no Organists) 1644-1660
Robert Ramsey - Organist


























The College’s choral associations date back to the establishment of The King’s Hall by Edward II in 1317.  This College, incorporated by Edward III in 1337, was amalgamated with an adjacent early fourteenth-century foundation, Michaelhouse, when Henry VIII created Trinity in 1546.

From the time of Edward II, Chapel Royal choristers, on leaving the Court, customarily entered The King’s Hall to continue their academic studies, alongside other undergraduates training for service in the royal administration.  A considerable proportion of the pensioners and scholars – “the King’s Childer” – admitted to The King’s Hall, from the date of its foundation until the end of Henry V’s reign, were ex-choristers.

The constitution of the mediæval chapel choir remains obscure.  Music doubtless flourished in the College as a practical pursuit, as well as forming one of the disciplines of the quadrivium.  Interestingly, the first recorded Doctorate of Music was conferred, in 1461, on a member of The King’s Hall, the then Warden, Thomas St Just.

The choral foundation which Mary Tudor established for Trinity in 1553 – ten choristers, six lay-clerks, four priests, an organist, and a schoolmaster – survived essentially unchanged for over three hundred years.

Among the musicians associated with the choir during this time were the Tudor composers Thomas Preston, organist during Edward VI’s reign; Robert Whyte, a chorister and lay-clerk during the 1550s; and John Hilton the elder, Organist and Master of the Choristers from 1594 to 1609.  Robert Ramsey held the post of Organist from 1628 until 1644; one of his lay-clerks was the theorist, Thomas Mace, appointed a ‘singing-man’ in 1635.  George Loosemore became Organist at the Restoration.  Later choirmasters included James Kent and John Randall during the eighteenth century and Thomas Walmisley during the nineteenth.

During the late 1890s, not long after Vaughan Williams was an undergraduate and Stanford the Organist of Trinity, the College choir-school closed down.  Thereafter, a choir of boy trebles (drawn from a local grammar school), lay-clerks (some of whom shared their singing duties with the choirs of King’s and St John’s), and students continued the regular pattern of choral services, under the direction of Alan Gray and his successor, Hubert Middleton, until the 1950s.  This traditionally-constituted choir was then replaced by a body of undergraduate tenors and basses when Raymond Leppard became Director of Music.

Trinity’s mixed choir – comprising twenty-four choral scholars – was formed by Richard Marlow in 1982, following the admission of women undergraduates to the College.