Winchester Cathedral has today announced a new interim director of music to replace Andrew Lumsden.

The departure of Dr Lumsden next month has caused widespread concern for the future of choral music in the cathedral.

Recently ex-choristers said its reputation was at risk amid allegations of bullying of Dr Lumsden.

The new interim director will be Andrew Lucas currently master of the music at St Albans Cathedral.

READ MORE HERE: Fears for future of choral music at cathedral after departure of director of music

(Image: Stuart Martin)

A search for a permanent successor to Dr Lumsden is underway. His final services and events will include all this summer’s highlights such as the Southern Cathedrals Festival.

Mr Lucas has held the post since 1998 and the Cathedral Choir has maintained a very strong reputation including through recordings and regular radio and television broadcasts. The St Albans Cathedral Choir has also made eight commercial recordings and their tours have taken them across Europe and to the USA.

The dean of Winchester, the Very Rev Catherine Ogle, said: “I am delighted by the appointment of Andrew Lucas as interim director of music. He is ideally suited to this role and will enable us to continue nurturing the outstanding choral tradition at Winchester Cathedral.

“Andrew brings exemplary skills and experience as Director of Music, a commitment to producing music to the very highest standard and a deep commitment of care for musicians.

“His work founding and working with a range of choirs, including a youth choir and the St Albans Bach Choir, indicate his commitment to sharing choral music more widely. We are fortunate that at this stage in his career, Andrew has made himself available to us.

“We look forward to his steady and experienced hand guiding us in this time of change, and to welcoming him warmly into the Winchester Cathedral community.”

Mr Lucas said: “Having worked for almost 27 years at St Albans Cathedral, where musical excellence has always been part of its daily life, I am honoured to be invited to maintain the long tradition of outstanding choral music in the daily worship of Winchester Cathedral.

“I look forward to providing support and continuity as the choirs, music staff, Chapter and the whole Cathedral community move into a new era with their next director of music.”

SEE ALSO: Cathedral tries to allay concerns over choral music

His role will be to lead the Choral Foundation, and also have input into the excellent relationship the Cathedral enjoys with our valued local partners at Pilgrims’ and Winchester College.

The Very Rev Jo Kelly-Moore, dean of St Albans, said: “For the last 26 years Andrew Lucas has been leading excellence in music at St Albans Cathedral. Andrew is a superb musician, who is generous, collaborative and kind.

“He is highly respected and well loved by the whole Cathedral community and beyond. We know that Andrew will be a blessing to the music of Winchester Cathedral.”

Dean Catherine added: “Andrew is a highly experienced and talented musician and we’re very much looking forward to him joining the team and we’ll be relying on him for his wisdom and musical guidance as we learn from and build on what has gone on before.”