Director of Music

Paul Hale Concert Dress Nov 2011Paul Hale has been musical director of the Nottingham Bach Choir since September 1990. He is also Southwell  Cathedral Organist Emeritus.  For more than twenty-seven years Paul directed a distinguished professional choir at Southwell in daily services, concerts, broadcasts, recordings and tours. He was honoured by being elected President of  the Cathedral Organists’ Association for the period 1999-2001.

Paul was a Music Scholar at Solihull School, then Organ Scholar at New College, Oxford, form which University he graduated with an MA and a PGCE.  He taught at Tonbridge School then moved to Rochester Cathedral where he directed the Rochester Choral Society.  Paul holds the FRCO and ARCM organ performing diplomas and in 2006 he was elected an FRSA. In 2008 in Canterbury cathedral he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Guild of Church Musicians for having ‘served the cause of church music with distinction’, following that in Durham cathedral with a similar award from the Royal School of Church Music.

Having left Southwell Cathedral in the summer of 2016 Paul is full engaged on many fronts: as Diocesan Organ Adviser to Southwell & Nottingham and to Lincoln (South), a Diploma Examiner for the Royal College of Organists, an accredited member of the Association of Independent Organ Advisers, and as Secretary of the Diocesan Organ Advisers’ annual Conference.  He is in international demand as an organ consultant and designed the tonal schemes for the organs in the cathedrals of Rochester, Birmingham and Southwell, has supervised restoration work at Leicester, Ripon, Carlisle and Oxford Cathedrals and is currently involved with organ projects at the cathedrals of Newcastle, Bradford, Manchester, Salisbury, Truro, Norwich – and Auckland (New Zealand) – the largest new organ built in the UK since 1954.

Paul has appeared as a soloist at the Three Choirs Festival and lectured at the St Albans International Organ Festival, and was a consultant and author/reviser of twenty-three articles for the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, responsible for 20th century organists. He has twice been President of the Nottingham & District Society of Organists. Paul gives organ concerts, choral workshops and lectures all over the world, in recent seasons being delighted to include such world-renowned organs as St Sulpice (Paris), Ottobeuren Abbey, Magdeburg Dom, Bergen Cathedral, Birmingham Town Hall, the Temple Church, Reading Town Hall and Liverpool Anglican cathedral in his concert schedule. Paul enjoys teaching the organ; his pupils and previous Southwell organ scholars are found in many cathedrals, on the concert platform and in universities. He is particularly well-known for his writings on the organ and for his reviews (including for BBC Radio 3’s Record Review) and regular column in the international journal Organists’ Review, of which he was Editor from 1990 to 2005.

Paul’s recordings (both with his former cathedral choir and also solo organ) have received critical acclaim in the national press including Gramophone.  His solo concerts and appearances as Conductor of Nottingham Bach Choir have also received warm praise – “my most invigorating choral experience of the year” was the Church Times’ comment on the NBC Stanford Requiem. Rehearsing NBC on a Tuesday evening remains one of the highlights of his week.


Paul’s website can be found at         Click here to email


Assistant Director of Music and Accompanist 

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Peter Siepmann was appointed Assistant Director of music and Accompanist of Nottingham Bach Choir in June 2017.  An experienced conductor, accompanist and continuo player, Peter has performed many of the major works of the choral repertoire with a range of choirs including those at the University of Nottingham and the choral societies in Oakham and Mansfield.

Peter is Organist and Director of Music at St Peter’s Church Nottingham, where the Nottingham Evening Post has noted an “outstanding standard of music making”. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, Peter is also a past president of the Nottingham & District Society of Organists and sits on the regional committee of the Royal School of Church Music.

Alongside his work as a conductor and organist,  Peter is an Examiner for ABRSM and an experienced teacher; he taught for several years in the renowned department at Uppingham School before moving to Repton School where he is currently Head of Academic Music. A number of his organ pupils have gone on to cathedral and university scholarships.


The Trustees of Nottingham Bach are delighted to announce that Peter Siepmann has been appointed as our

Director of Music from September 2019.

Paul Hale said,

“I could not be more delighted that, after a suitably rigorous national selection process, my esteemed and popular colleague Peter Siepmann has been appointed to succeed me.  I am quite certain that he will build on the great work begun by Sir David Lumsden in 1954 and will lead the choir into the future with imagination and musicianship.”

Accepting the post, Peter said,

“I am thrilled and honoured to have been appointed to succeed Paul Hale when he retires from Nottingham Bach Choir in the Summer after 28 exceptionally fruitful years as a truly inspiring Director of Music.  Having been involved with the musical life of the city for over fifteen years now, and associated with NBC for at least ten of those as an occasional guest conductor and latterly as Assistant Director of Music and Accompanist, I have long held the choir in high esteem both for its very high level of musical accomplishment and for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere.  To have been given the opportunity to shape the musical future of this key player in the city’s musical landscape is a great privilege and I am already looking forward to the discussions and planning that will take place over the coming months as I prepare to take up the baton in September.  Until then, the choir and I will make the most of working with Paul Hale in his final two terms as Director of Music, looking forward in particular to next term’s performance of Bach’s iconic St Matthew Passion”





Saturday 24th November 2018
St Mary's Church. Lacemarket.

Saturday 30th March 2019
Southwell Minster

Saturday 22nd June 2019
St Mary's Church, Lacemarket