Find out more about the tutors taking part in this years Pulling Out the Stops program…
Justin Miller is Director of Choral Music at Whitgift School, and Director of Music at Croydon Minster, where he directs one of the largest and most diverse church music departments in the country.
A passionate educator, Justin spent five years as Specialist Music Coach for the David Ross Education Trust, teaching and developing ensembles in schools across Northamptonshire. There he was involved in preparing choruses and singers for projects with Nevill Holt Opera, Gabrieli Roar, and The Malcolm Arnold Festival.
Alongside his teaching Justin was Director of Music at St Matthew’s Church, Northampton, where he continued the famous tradition that began with Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb over 75 years ago, of commissioning new music for the choir. Under his direction the choir gave premieres of new works by James Whitbourn, John Bertalot, Grayston Ives, and Robert Walker, and undertook several tours in the UK and abroad. He previously held positions in the UK at Worcester Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Ripon Cathedral, St Albans Cathedral, and Blackburn Cathedral.
Justin completed his studies at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, USA, and Cleveland Institute of Music. As an organ soloist Justin has performed in numerous cathedrals, churches, and concert halls throughout the USA, UK, and Europe, and he has given concerto performances with two American orchestras.
Richard Pinel is a freelance organist and choral conductor and Director of Music at St Mary’s, Bourne Street in Belgravia. Until December 2022 he was a Fellow and the Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge. Prior to his position at Jesus College, Richard was Assistant Director of Music at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and he previously held the organ scholarship at St Albans Cathedral.
Hailing from Northampton, where he was a chorister and later organ scholar at All Saints’
Church, Richard was awarded the organ scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford in 2002. During this time, the Grammy-nominated college choir undertook several recording projects with Harmonia Mundi, on which Richard’s playing was hailed as ‘a force of nature’. More recently, Richard has enjoyed competition success, winning the First Prize and both special prizes at the Breda International Organ Competition. Between 2017 and 2021 he was Director of the Edington Festival.
Richard has taught for the Royal Academy of Music (London), Royal College of Organists, and
tutored for Oundle for Organists. His organ CD, L’Orgue Symphonique, has been praised for its ‘electrifying impact’ and ‘truly tremendous verve’ and his latest release (as conductor), the world premiere recording of Grayston Ives’ Requiem with Jesus College Choir and Britten Sinfonia entered the classical charts in the top ten. Recitals have taken him across the UK, notably King’s College, Cambridge and St John’s, Smith Square and further afield to Europe and the USA.
Ann Elise Smoot
Ann Elise is the Director, Creative Oundle for Organists, as well as recitalist, and teacher.
Ann Elise Smoot performs throughout the United States, Great Britain and Europe, with a repertoire that ranges from the 14th century to the present day, and has received wide critical acclaim for her ability to move between musical eras, styles and genres with sympathy and flair. After completing two degrees at Yale, where she won several prizes for scholarship and for organ playing, she moved to England, where she studied organ and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music, and privately with Peter Hurford and Dame Gillian Weir. Three critically acclaimed recordings have been issued by the JAV label.
Ann Elise has also contributed several articles as a freelance writer to publications such as Music Teacher Magazine, Classical Music, Organists’ Review, Choir and Organ, and the RCO Journal, and currently holds the post of Education Editor at Organists’ Review.