With the death of John Scott, Organist and Director of Music from 2004 until Summer 2015, the Rector and Wardens have appointed Stephen Buzard and Benjamin Sheen as Acting Organist and Director of Music until John’s successor is appointed; they will share those duties in the coming year. Mr. Buzard and Mr. Sheen were trained by John Scott and will continue the high standards of organ playing and choral direction that we have come to expect. You can read more about the life of John Scott here.
Benjamin Sheen, Acting Director of Music at Saint Thomas Church, and recent Juilliard graduate, is one of the UK’s brightest young organists. Hailed as a ‘brilliant organist’ by the New York Times, he is the 2013 winner of the Pierre S. du Pont First Prize in the inaugural Longwood Gardens (Delaware) Organ Competition and received Second Prize and the Jon Laukvik prize at the St. Alban’s International Organ Competition 2013. Benjamin started his education as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral (under the direction of John Scott), before studying at Eton College and, more recently, Oxford University where he graduated with First Class Honours in Music, While an undergraduate, he held the position of Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and became a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and the recipient of the prestigious Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medal for 2011. As a concert organist, Benjamin has performed throughout the UK and the USA, as well as further afield in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Notable engagements have included performances in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall in London as well as appearances with the City of London Sinfonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Duisburg Symphonie in Germany. He has also performed live on BBC radio and television and made a number of appearances on NPR’s Pipedreams. In January 2012, Benjamin made his concerto debut with the Juilliard Percussion Orchestra in a performance of Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion Ensemble as part of the 2012 FOCUS Festival in the Lincoln Centre. For more information on Ben’s upcoming performances, please see his website.
Stephen Buzard, Acting Organist, holds a Master of Music Degree from the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University where he studied organ with Thomas Murray and improvisation with Jeffrey Brillhart. While at Yale, Mr. Buzard served as organ scholar at Trinity on the Green, New Haven; organist at Marquand Chapel of Yale Divinity School; and organist for Berkeley Divinity School. Prior to attending Yale, Mr. Buzard studied with virtuoso Ken Cowan at Westminster Choir College, serving concurrently as organ scholar at Trinity Episcopal Church, Princeton and as Director of Music for the Episcopal Church at Princeton University. Between undergraduate and graduate schools, Mr. Buzard spent a “gap year” in England as senior organ scholar of Wells Cathedral. Mr. Buzard was the winner of the 2010 Arthur Poister Competition, and his premier CD In Light or Darkness, available through Delos Records, has received critical acclaim. James Reed wrote for The Diapason: "Buzard paints the color and shape of every phrase with a maturity belying his youthfulness... If this level of skill doesn't dazzle you, then I do not know what will!" For more information on Stephen's upcoming performances, please see his website.