Jon Williams - Musical Director
Jon Williams has been Musical Director of Dover Choral Society since September 2019. He was born in the North East and grew up in Manchester. Being the son of a teacher and a vicar, it seemed inevitable that Jon would end up spending a lot of time in classroom and choir stall. As a teenager he was an organist and choirmaster, and developed an enthusiasm for choral singing as a member of Manchester Cathedral Voluntary Choir. He studied music at Durham University where he was also a Choral Scholar in the Choir of Durham Cathedral and Director of Durham University Chamber Choir. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in1989, continuing on to complete a Masters degree in Early Music with Dr Jerome Roche in 1991.
Jon first moved in Kent in 1990, and apart from three years in London on the staff of The Musical Times and Choir & Organ magazine, he has lived and worked as a musician in the county. He was a Lay Clerk at Rochester Cathedral for three years in the 90s, but his main choral work has been as a Lay Clerk at Canterbury Cathedral, where he currently sings on a daily basis. Jon has also done a considerable amount of work over the years as a bass-baritone soloist with choirs and choral societies across the South East, including on several occasions, with Dover Choral Society.
He has participated in over twenty-five commercial CD recordings with cathedral choirs throughout the UK, and most recently has worked with The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen on recordings of music from the early eighteenth century (Gottfried Finger: Music for European Courts and Concerts is due out on the Ramée label in October 2019). He has broadcast regularly on radio and TV (most recently in David Starkey's Music and Monarchy for BBC2 and Canterbury Cathedral for BBC1) and has performed in concerts and festivals throughout the UK, Northern Europe, the USA and Canada. Jon has collaborated for over thirteen years with Canterbury Cathedral colleagues David Flood and Chris Price (The Good GNUs) in highly acclaimed concerts featuring humorous songs by Flanders and Swann and others. He is also a regular member of the ensemble Cantuar who have revived, in concert and recordings, the music and mayhem of the celebrated Canterbury Catch Club.
Jon completed his PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2001, and has worked in a number of Kent schools including as Director of Music at Simon Langton Girls' School in Canterbury and Head of Music at Sir Roger Manwoods School in Sandwich where he was also a Governor. He is a pianist, organist and jazz enthusiast and has enjoyed cycling for charitable causes, including riding from Canterbury to Rome in 2007. Jon is also completing a PhD at Canterbury Christ Church University researching English bass singing of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
He is married to the delightful Cressida who, when not engaged in the expert management of her unruly husband and lively children, also runs the Archives and Library at Canterbury Cathedral. The kids, Naomi and Matthew, proving that the apple never falls far from the tree, have inherited the singing bug and are also respectively girl and boy choristers in the Cathedral Choir.