Musical farewell for Shaun

New Director of Music at St Mary's Ponteland
New Director of Music at St Mary's Ponteland

AN uplifting musical evening marked a fond farewell to a Ponteland organist.

Shaun Turnbull has served in the role at St Mary’s Church for the past year, but now he is off to pastures new to become Assistant Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral.

About 60 parishioners gathered at the church for the opportunity to send him on his way with a service of Choral Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer, including Thomas Morley’s setting of the service and the Thomas Attwood anthem Come Holy Ghost.

The Rev Peter Barham said: “Shaun has done a marvellous job in the year he has been at St Mary’s.

“He is an excellent organist and has been a pleasure to work with.

“It is great to have good music as part of our Sunday services, a fact much appreciated by the congregation, and he has also brought a great deal to the many weddings and funerals that take place in St Mary’s.

“We wish him well for the future.”

The Parochial Church Council has appointed Warren Smith to take over the role as Director of Music.

He is currently organist at St Andrew’s Church in Corbridge and will take up his new position in September.

Mr Barham said: “Warren comes to us after a period as a scholar at Hexham Abbey and organist at St Andrew’s Corbridge. He has a good choir to work with and we look forward to his coming.”

The first choir practice will be held at St Mary’s on Tuesday, September 4, at 7.30pm.

New members are welcome.