Organist keyed up for new role

Daniel Cook, back on home territory outside All Saints Church,  Stranton.
Daniel Cook, back on home territory outside All Saints Church, Stranton.

A CHURCH organist who honed his craft in Hartlepool has taken up a prestigious role at a historic cathedral.

Daniel Cook has been appointed organist and master of the choristers at St David’s Cathedral, in Wales.

Daniel moves indoors to get some practice

Daniel moves indoors to get some practice

He is assistant director of music at Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, and will take up is new role on November 1.

Daniel, 31, said: “It feels really good. It offers just the right level of challenge and the right level of continuity from what I’m doing at Salisbury.

“I can’t imagine a more inspiring place to work. It’s absolutely stunning, one of the hidden jewels of the world.”

The position at the 6th Century Pembrokeshire Cathedral is the latest in a long line of musical achievements for the dad of two.

Former Golden Flatts and English Martyrs School and Sixth Form student Daniel has played in front of The Queen at Westminister Abbey and throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.

Daniel beat 17 other applicants to take up the role at St David’s.

He will be in charge of all aspects of cathedral music, from directing the choir to the recruitment and musical education of the choristers. He will oversee 16 girl choristers and 16 boy choristers and 10 to 12 adults.

Daniel, whose parents Jill and Carsten Barrett live on Hartlepool’s Bishop Cuthbert Estate, began learning the organ as a teenager at Hartlepool’s All Saints Church, Stranton, with Alf Peacock. He also sang in local choirs.

Daniel trained at Durham Cathedral and after a year as organ scholar at Worcester Cathedral, moved to London to take up a place at the Royal Academy of Music.

While at the academy he worked as organ scholar at Southwark Cathedral and Westminster Abbey before graduating with a first-class honours degree in July, 2003.

While still a student, he was appointed assistant organist at Westminster Abbey where he took part in many important national and international services including the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

He moved to Salisbury Cathedral in September 2005, where he formed the Mousai Singers, a group that recently played at St Hilda’s Church, in Hartlepool.

Daniel, who is married to Miriam, 25, and dad to William, two, and one-year-old Edward, has twice been a finalist in the St Albans International Organ Competition.

The Dean of St David’s, the Very Reverend Jonathan Lean, said: “I am delighted that Daniel has accepted our offer to be the new organist and master of the choristers at St David’s Cathedral.

“I look forward immensely to welcoming him and his family to St David’s as we begin this exciting new chapter in the musical life of the cathedral.”