The Fathers and Brothers of the York Oratory are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Samuel Austin as Director of Music, with immediate effect.

Not a stranger to the Oratory community, Sam has served since January 2023 as Assistant Organist. He began musical studies in Liverpool before taking his undergraduate degree at the Birmingham Conservatoire.Whilst there, he held the positions of Assistant Organist at the Birmingham Oratory, and Organ Scholar of Birmingham Symphony Hall. Postgraduate studies followed at the Royal Northern College of Music, where Sam won the Organ Recital Prize in 2009. Sam was Organ Scholar at both Liverpool Cathedrals successively and holds the distinction of performing an organ recital in each cathedral during the same afternoon.

In 2019, Sam successfully took the examinations for the diploma of Associate of the Royal College of Organists and he was awarded prizes for organ playing, the written examinations and the highest aggregate mark over all. Sam gained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists in the following year. In 2019, Sam relocated to the East Riding of Yorkshire to take up the position of Director of Music at Pocklington School.

Music holds such an important place in the life of the Church, and of the Oratory in particular. With this appointment also comes a renewed commitment to invest in the future of Catholic music, following the principle that only our best is good enough for God.

Samuel Austin said upon his appointment: "I am thrilled to be appointed Director of Music of the York Oratory, a role which complements my position of Director of Music at Pocklington School. I look forward to working with the Fathers and Brothers as we build a high-quality music programme involving members of the musical community in York."

‘The Church needs musicians. How many sacred works have been composed through the centuries by people deeply imbued with the sense of the mystery! The faith of countless believers has been nourished by melodies flowing from the hearts of other believers, either introduced into the liturgy or used as an aid to dignified worship. In song, faith is experienced as vibrant joy, love, and confident expectation of the saving intervention of God.’

–St John Paul II, Letter to Artists (1999)

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