Music legacy and Paul’s musical future

Music legacy and Paul’s musical future

1 month ago

A permanent fixture of College life, Mr David Drury, is moving to a new role in the College which will give him more time to compose for, and perform on, the Australian and international stage. David will become College Organist and Composer-in-Residence and remains a vital and highly respected member of the residential community.

Mr Jack Stephens, who has been a resident member of Graduate House since 2020, takes over as Director of Music in November. Jack is an operatic bass baritone and completed BMus (Hons) last year and is now studying a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Conservatorium. Jack was the producer earlier this year of the highly successful Opera in the Quad, Purcell’s King Arthur, performed by a miscellany of professional and student musicians. Jack is also the Principal Lay Clerk at St Andrew’s Cathedral, sings in St Mary’s Cathedral Choir, and is regularly engaged as a soloist across Australia. 

David said, “I am looking forward to working with the energetic Jack Stephens. He has shown himself to me as a natural choice for moving College music into the future. We share a focus in musical interests and it will be great to support him in this new role. I can now offer expertise in my areas of strength.”

Jack said, “It is a honour and privilege to step into this role, and to build on the exceptional legacy that David has created over the past 30 years at the College.”

David’s legacy is immense. Affectionately known as ‘Druers’, one of his giant roles at Paul’s was as Licensee of The Salisbury Bar for two decades. His record appointment will stand for many years and he still keeps watch on the bar from the Quad Flat which gets the brunt of the joyful sounds of The Sals on bar nights.

David’s reputation as a musician is of international standing. The College is very fortunate to have an organist and choral director of his stature in its midst. His career highlights include winning the 1987 Improvisation Competition at the St Alban’s International Organ Festival in the UK, recitals in Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s and Westminster cathedrals in London, King’s College, Cambridge and Notre Dame de Paris and La Madeleine in Paris. He participated in a range of roles at the 2019 Royal School of Church Music international convention in Sydney when many of the participants stayed with us at College and accompanied the St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir on their UK and European tour in 2020/21. His other concert tours have included to Canada, the USA and to Hong Kong. He is a regular broadcaster on ABC and Fine Music radio and performed with the orchestra and choirs at Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

He was organist at St James King St and holds an Associate Diploma in organ from the Royal Academy of Music and the Choir-Master Diploma from the Royal College of Organists. He is regularly invited as visiting organist to perform in cathedrals, churches and concert halls with choirs and orchestras all over Australia. He is the regular organist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and has a number of very popular recordings of the Grand Organs of Sydney Town Hall, Sydney Opera House and Australia’s major cathedrals.

David is the director of the David Jones Choir and you can hear them again in the weeks leading up to Christmas at DJ’s city store.

Appointed as Director of Music in 1992 David has led and developed the choral tradition of the College ever since. He has been a regular performer in Victoriana! and guided and developed most of Paul’s musicians during that time. Literally hundreds of young men and women have been inspired by his direction of the College Chapel Choir (chorister places have always been occupied by students, graduates and choral scholars of St Paul’s and Women’s colleges).

As a composer David writes regularly and has published numerous pieces for choirs as well as organ and other instruments. He most recently composed for the College a choral and brass fanfare for the official opening of the McMillan Building and Ivan Head Building in 2019. His works are often heard at College Evensong on a Tuesday before formal dinner.

The College community extends its deep appreciation for David’s dedicated service to the College and congratulates Jack on his new role.