Study under Tom Chatterton and a Creative Board of New Zealand’s top musicians.
Tom is the Director of Music at Chilton Saint James School, where he balances a busy schedule as an educator, performer and conductor. He is a passionate advocate of music education and is leading the exciting new Chilton Music School: a specialist music school within Chilton, which will be internationally competitive, equipping the most talented young Kiwi musicians with the knowledge, skills and qualifications to succeed as professionals.
Tom has had a life-long association with music-making, beginning in the UK with his career as a Chorister in Lincoln Cathedral Choir, after which he became a music scholar at Uppingham School. Tom continued his education at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, where he was awarded an organ scholarship and completed a degree in music. During this time, he was appointed Acting Organ Scholar at Jesus College, Cambridge, a post he held alongside his commitments at Corpus Christi.
While at Cambridge, Tom made a number of CD and BBC recordings accompanying various College choirs on the organ, and gave numerous organ recitals across the UK and on international tours. After graduating, Tom spent a further year at Jesus College as Assistant Organist, where he broadened his organ repertoire and choral conducting experience, working with some of the most prestigious organists and choral conductors in the UK.
Tom is frequently in demand as a conductor, soloist and accompanist, with performing engagements that have taken him to some of the most acclaimed venues across the globe, most notably Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral (London, UK), Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris, France), Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue (New York, USA), King’s College and St John’s College (Cambridge, UK), and Christ Church Cathedral and Magdalen College (Oxford, UK). In 2019, Tom was invited to perform as the Principal Organist for Holst’s ‘The Planets’ with the NZSO for performances in Auckland and Wellington.
Tom has been a consistent advocate of promoting the organ and organ music within New Zealand, serving one term as a Vice-President of the New Zealand Organ Association, and maintaining a high profile as a solo performer and accompanist across many of the national centres: Auckland (St Matthew-in-the-City, Town Hall and St Patrick’s Cathedral), Wellington (Sacred Heart Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Mary of the Angels, and St James’ Church in Lower Hutt) and Dunedin (Knox Church and Town Hall).
A number of Tom’s performances have been recorded for broadcast on RNZ Concert. Recently, he was the Congress Recitalist at the New Zealand Organ Association National Congress in Whanganui, where he performed the world premiere of ‘As-salamu Alaykum’ (‘Peace Be Upon You)’ by Anthony Ritchie, a work composed as a peaceful meditation on the Christchurch terror attacks of March 2019.
Away from the organ, Tom is a highly experienced and capable conductor, having directed numerous choirs and orchestras in a broad range of repertoire, including: Mozart’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. At Chilton, Tom directs the Seraphim Choir and the Amadeus Orchestra, leading them to many notable achievements. A particular highlight was the commissioning, preparation and direction of another collaboration with Anthony Ritchie in his Piano Concertino No 2 for the Chilton Saint James Centenary celebrations in 2018, a piece which is dedicated to the school.
Tom is always actively exploring new and challenging repertoire that will stimulate his students and expose them to different compositional styles.
As a highly accomplished classroom practitioner, Tom has worked in some of the most prestigious schools in the UK and New Zealand. The creation of the Chilton Music School is a cause about which Tom is incredibly passionate as he wants to provide an educational environment in which young New Zealand musicians have opportunities to flourish and compete internationally as professional musicians.