Elizabeth Stratford 

Elizabeth Stratford was one of the first girl choristers at St Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds, singing under the direction of Joseph Cullen from the age of 14.

She began studying voice with James Ashworth and piano with Tom Edmondson aged 17 and went on to read for the degree of Bachelor of Music at the University of Huddersfield. She began learning the organ whilst acting Assistant Director of Music at Christ Church, New Mill, Huddersfield. After graduating with honours in the year 2000 she undertook postgraduate studies in the form of a Master of Arts in Liturgy and Music at the University of Leeds, specializing in organ performance, choir training and composition. Her tutors included Dr Gordon Stewart, Dr Simon Lindley and Dr Philip Wilby. During this time she was awarded a Thalben-Ball Organ Scholarship, was made a Duchess of Leeds Millennium Scholar and was the recipient of other scholarships for voice and composition.

Elizabeth became the Organist and Director of Music at St Paul’s Church, Shipley in February 2000 and held positions as singing tutor at a number of different centers of education whilst training at the Royal Northern
College of Music with Henry Herford for a year following her MA studies.

In October 2002 at the age of 23, Elizabeth was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Arundel Cathedral, West Sussex. As such she is the first female to hold this level of position in the UK and also the youngest Cathedral organist in Britain appointed to date. Following her appointment she created places for 20 choristers in the Cathedral choir and has concentrated on developing the choir’s repertoire, membership and musicianship. Between 2004 and 2006 she oversaw the

Photo: Frances Newman
rebuilding of the Cathedral’s historic Hill organ by David Wells Organ Builders. Elizabeth is a member of the board of CHIME (Churches Initiative in Music Education) and the committee of the Conference of Catholic Directors of Music and pursues a busy teaching and solo career alongside her Cathedral commitments. In November
2005 she was admitted to Fellowship of the Guild of Church Musicians following examination and was admitted to the Fellowship of the Faculty of Church Music Honoris causa in 2009.