James Gordon

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Born: 16 March 1928

Died: 22 September 2020


Michael James Gordon MA, Mus B (Cantab), ARCO, FRSCM, was a choral scholar at St George's School, Windsor Castle, then attended Sherborne School before winning a choral scholarship to King's College, Cambridge. He was Assistant Organist at Eton College before travelling to Africa, where he served as Director of Music at the Duke of York School, Nairobi, for six years and then at St John's College, Johannesburg, for twenty years. After retiring, he became organist at the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity in Pietermaritzburg for a brief period, before returning to Johannesburg as organist and choirmaster at St Martin's in the Veld, Dunkeld, where he stayed for another thirty years. He had a wonderful singing voice, with an extraordinary range and exquisite phrasing, and sang in the choir at the coronations of both George VI in 1937 and Elizabeth II in 1953. In 2012 the Royal School of Church Music conferred its Fellowship on him at a service in Exeter Cathedral, to recognize his meritorious service to church music as organist, choir director and singer over his long lifetime. His compositions were intended for use by his choirs, and, until recently, existed only in his own beautiful manuscript.

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