Barry Rose

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the American football player, see Barry Rose (American football).

Barry Michael Rose OBE (born 24 May 1934) is a choir trainer and organist. He is best known for conducting the choir of St Paul's Cathedral at the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales formerly Lady Diana Frances Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral in London on 29 July 1981.


Born in Chingford, England, Rose grew up playing hymns on the piano at his local Sunday school, and later accompanying the choir on the harmonium at the mission church of St Anne's Chingford Hatch. Leaving the Sir George Monoux Grammar School, Walthamstow, at the age of 16, he set out on a career in commerce, working in the insurance departments of W. H. Smith & Son Ltd. and Joseph Rank Ltd. In 1956 he joined Martindale Sidwell's choir at Hampstead Parish Church as a bass, going on from there two years later to become organist and choirmaster at St Andrew's Church, Kingsbury, North West London. It was while he was at Kingsbury that he decided to leave the world of commerce, and despite not having any of the required qualifications for entry, the principal (Sir Thomas Armstrong) offered him a place at London's Royal Academy of Music to study organ with C. H. Trevor. In April 1960, whilst still an unqualified academy student, at the age of 25 he became the youngest cathedral organist in the country when he was appointed as the first Organist & Master of the Choristers at the new Guildford Cathedral.[1] At Guildford he founded a choir to sing the daily services, their first public appearance being the service of consecration on 17 May 1961 in the presence of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the royal family.

He moved to St Paul's Cathedral in 1974 as sub-organist and in 1977 was appointed to the specially created post of Master of the Choir. He conducted the choir at the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales on 29 July 1981. He left St Paul's in 1984 after a difference of opinion with senior members of the clergy.[2]

From 1971 to 1986 he was Religious Music Adviser to the BBC, a job that included booking the choirs for the weekly Choral Evensong broadcasts. He continues to work for the BBC, directing choirs and arranging music for The Daily Service. After leaving St Paul's he became Master of the Choirs at the King's School, Canterbury. His last post was that of Organist & Master of the Choristers for St Albans Cathedral Choir, from which he retired on 25 December 1997. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced on 13 June 1998 he was appointed OBE for his services to cathedral music.[1]

In 2010 he was the choir director at the Royal School of Church Music America's King's College course in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

In September 2015, he directed over sixty singers from around France for the First National Festival of RSCM France, held in the American Cathedral, Paris.