Our Conductor – Joseph Wicks
Joseph Wicks is Assistant Director of Music at Truro Cathedral, a post that he took up in September 2017. He is also Musical Director of the cathedral’s voluntary choir, St Mary’s Singers, sings tenor in The Gesualdo Six, and has founded his own chamber choir, The Beaufort Singers. Joseph’s duties at Truro include assisting the Director of Music, Christopher Gray, in the training of the boy and girl choristers, conducting services and mentoring of the choral and organ scholars, as well as playing the world-famous Father Willis organ for the majority of daily sung services.
Prior to this Joseph was Assistant Organist of St John’s College, Cambridge, having been its Herbert Howells Organ Scholar. Whilst at St John’s, Joseph played the organ for a large proportion of the daily services sung by the world-famous Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge and also accompanied them on their busy broadcast, recording and international tours to Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, The Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the USA. The Choir’s recent launch of its own label as an imprint of Signum Classics includes Joseph’s CD releases as accompanist to the choir, with repertoire including Kodaly’s Missa Brevis on ‘Kyrie’ (released in September 2017), choral and organ works by Vaughan Williams (to be released in May 2018) and ‘Christmas With St John’s’ (released in 2016). Joseph also conducted the College Choir in repertoire from Parry’s Hear my words, ye people to Poulenc’s Mass in G, and for his final two years was Musical Director of the Gentlemen of St John’s with whom he recorded a CD of Christmas music both sacred and secular entitled ‘White Christmas’ (released in November 2017).
Joseph began his musical education as a Chorister, later Bishop’s (Head) Chorister, of Salisbury Cathedral, singing with them for six years where he first enjoyed the daily round of evensong and the rich repertoire of an English Cathedral Choir. He moved on to Lancing College as a Walter Stanton Music Scholar, and was later awarded their Sixth Form Organ Scholarship. He then spent a gap year as Organ Scholar of Hereford Cathedral before moving to St John’s in 2013.
Joseph’s first organ teacher was Andrew Post at Salisbury Cathedral School. He continued to learn with Neil Cox, Stephen Farr, Daniel Cook, and studied with Gordon Stewart in Cambridge. Joseph is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO) winning the Limpus, Shinn and Durrant prize for the highest mark in the practical examination. Joseph has given recitals in Westminster Abbey, King’s College Cambridge, as well as several other Cambridge colleges, municipal halls, and several cathedrals and churches across the UK. As a conductor, he has given performances of Bach’s Magnificat, MacMillan’s Seven Last Words From The Cross and Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil.
In addition, Joseph maintains a freelance career as a singer. He is a graduate of Genesis Sixteen, a training scheme for young singers run by The Sixteen and its director Harry Christophers. Joseph has sung with groups such as Alamire, The Carice Singers and Polyphony, and is a founding member of The Gesualdo Six, a vocal ensemble who specialize in renaissance polyphony and modern works who were St John’s Smith Square Young Artists for the 2015/16 season. Having performed several times on BBC Radio 3 and given concerts across the UK and more widely in Europe, the group will release their debut CD recording ‘English Motets’ on the Hyperion label in March 2018, and will perform in Poland and Canada for the first time during the summer.