Biographical details about the senior members of our Music Department
Ian Keatley - Cathedral Organist / Director of Music
Ian Keatley is Director of Music at Southwark Cathedral. He is responsible for the direction of the Cathedral's music, both at the daily choral services and the diocesan and national occasions which take place. He directs the men and boys of the Cathedral Choir in its programme of concerts, broadcasts, recordings and tours. Before returning to London, Ian was Organist and Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, from 2012 – 2019.
Before moving to Dublin in January 2012, Ian was Director of Music at Westminster Abbey Choir School and was previously Deputy Master of Music at the Chapels Royal, Her Majesty's Tower of London. From 2004 - 2006 he was Organ Scholar at Westminster Abbey where he played at a number of royal and state occasions including the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II, broadcast live on BBC television, and state memorial services for former Prime Minister, Lord Callaghan and comedian Ronnie Barker.
Ian was Assistant Organist at Croydon Minster from 2000-2002. Whilst Organ Scholar at Southwark Cathedral from 2002 - 2004, Ian founded and directed the Cathedral Merbecke Choir which performed services, concerts and recitals for City of London livery companies. In 2004 he graduated from the Royal College of Music where he was a prize winner for organ performance. Before moving to London in 2000, Ian was a Vicar Choral at Wells Cathedral and studied singing with Ashley Stafford in Oxford.
Recently Ian has performed organ recitals at Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral, Liverpool Cathedral, St Alban's Abbey and Truro Cathedral. In 2009, Ian performed an organ and bagpipe duet recital with Pipe Major Jim Motherwell (Personal Piper to HM The Queen) at Westminster Abbey. Ian is a trustee of the Charles Wood Festival and Founding Director of the New Charles Wood Girls’ Choir.
James Gough - Assistant Organist and Music Administrator
A graduate from the Royal Academy of Music, James joined us in 2021 from St Matthew’s Church, Westminster, where he has been Organist. Prior to this, he spent a year as Acting Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral and has also held positions at St Martin-in-the-Fields and St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street.
James has performed in numerous cathedrals and churches up and down the country and has collaborated with trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins in a number of concerts, and with Dame Gillian Weir in a performance of Bach’s six Trio Sonatas. Plans are also in place to record organ works of J. S. Bach with Malcolm Archer at Clifton Roman Catholic Cathedral in Bristol, for release during Clifton Cathedral’s 50th anniversary year in 2023.
Emily Elias - Director of the Merbecke Choir
Emily was Organ Scholar at St Peter’s College, Oxford where she read music, sang and directed choirs.
Shortly after graduation, she moved to Paris where she pursued a career as a singer, was Assistant Conductor of the Paris Choral Society and took the boys at the Maîtrise of St Louis en Ile.
As a singer she has worked with and learnt much from many brilliant conductors and hope that the Merbecke Choir will feel the benefit of their collective wisdom.
Emily now lives in South London with her husband and three children and combines performing with singing teaching and choir directing in several secondary schools and, of course, directing the wonderful Merbecke Choir.