WINCHESTER Cathedral's sub-organist has been appointed the first female director of music at a cathedral in Suffolk.

Claudia Grinnell will take up the position, at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, in time for the new choir term in September.

Ms Grinnell has been on the music staff at Winchester Cathedral since 2017, taking responsibility for the girl choristers. She also teaches the organ at Winchester College. Before moving to Winchester, she was an organ scholar at Salisbury Cathedral and Peterhouse, Cambridge.

Ms Grinnell said: “I am delighted to be taking up the role of director of music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral later this year. Having received such a warm welcome during the interview process, I am really looking forward to getting to know the cathedral team and wider community, and continuing Timothy Parsons’ fantastic work. Though I will be sad to say goodbye after a wonderful seven years in Winchester, I am excited for the move to Suffolk in the summer and all that this new role will bring.”

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Andrew Lumsden, director of music at Winchester Cathedral, said: “Claudia has been a wonderful colleague to work with, bringing great musicianship and humour to her role. Her devoted work, particularly with our girl choristers, has been tremendous, with commissioning of new music and championing the music of female composers. We will miss her hugely but she takes our warmest best wishes and thanks with her as she embarks on the next stage of her professional journey in the beautiful county of Suffolk.”

Andy Trenier, canon precentor and Sacrist of Winchester Cathedral, said: “We’re very excited for Claudia and St Edmundsbury as they embark on this new musical chapter.

“Claudia has made an impressive and lasting impact on the music foundation here in Winchester, not least in leading and significantly developing our work with girl choristers in recent years. Claudia is not just a great musician and choir director, she is a great self starter, team- player and organiser, who has a vision for a modern, inclusive choral tradition. We wish her the very best in this next phase of what looks set to be a stellar musical career.”

The Very Rev Joe Hawes, dean of St Edmundsbury, said: “All applicants for our director of music post were of a very high standard, which is a testament to the development of our music programme post-pandemic. Claudia not only impressed the appointment panel with her passion and talent but was also very popular with the choristers. We are thrilled to welcome Claudia to the St Edmundsbury community when she takes up her new post.”

Ms Grinnell succeeds Timothy Parsons who has served as director of music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral since 2021, following his appointment as director of music at Wells Cathedral where he moves this summer.

A previous link between Winchester and Bury St Edmunds is that a former Dean of Winchester, the late James Atwell previously served there.