Michael Stoddart - A thoroughbred musician
Michael Stoddart commenced his musical education as a chorister at Westminster Abbey where he studied the organ with Christopher Herrick. After secondary education at the Haberdashers' Aske's School in Elstree and gaining his ARCO, he was appointed Organ Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford. Here he played a full part in Oxford musical life both as an organist, playing daily choral evensong, and as a singer deputising at Christ Church and New College. Returning to London, he was appointed organist and choirmaster of St Peter's Streatham, where he directed a mixed choir and was able to enjoy playing a four-manual Hill instrument, and sang as a deputy lay clerk at St Paul's Cathedral.
He then moved to Paris for an extended period of organ study at the Paris Conservatoire with Susan Landale. He was appointed organist and then choirmaster of St George's Church and was involved in the musical life of Evreux Cathedral, where he initiated a children's choir. He also played a part in plans for a new organ in the Cathedral. He then directed the Choeur d'Enfants at the Parisian church of St Louis en l'Ile and spent two years as assistant organist at the American Cathedral in Paris.
Returning to the UK in 2004, he was appointed Organist and Director of Music at St Mary's Portsea and Musical Director of the St Mary's Music Foundation where he greatly expanded the children's choir. He was also Assistant Sub-Organist at Portsmouth Cathedral and gained his FRCO. As a deputy lay clerk he frequently sang with the choirs of Winchester, Chichester and Portsmouth cathedrals.
Appointed Organist and Director of Music at Newcastle Cathedral in 2009, he was responsible for training the Cathedral choirs of boys, girls and adults which sing for six regular weekly services, and had overall responsibility for all aspects of music-making in the cathedral.
Moving to Auckland, New Zealand in 2016, he maintains a busy schedule of organ playing, choir training, singing and teaching.
He is married to Elisabeth (violin, piano and voice) and they have four daughters, all of whom play the piano and sing, and between them also play 2 violins, 2 recorders, 1 flute, 1 oboe and a cello. Hobbies include cycling, running and model railways, for which he is lucky enough to have commandeered a large portion of the garage.