Dr Ronny Krippner Organist & Director of Music
Ronny Krippner is Organist and Director of Choral Music at Croydon Minster and Whitgift School . He is also Specialist Tutor of Organ Improvisation at Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London.
Born in Bavaria, he is in the unique position of having been formed in both the German and British choral traditions. He studied organ playing and improvisation with Prof. Franz-Josef Stoiber at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Regensburg while at the same time working as Assistant Choirmaster of the Regensburger Domspatzen (Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows), Regensburg Cathedral’s famous boys’ choir. After graduating, Ronny went to Exeter University to take his master’s degree (M.A.) in “English Cathedral Music” whilst singing in the Cathedral Choir as a Choral Scholar.
Building on these twin musical foundations, Ronny went on to take up various posts. After a period working at Newport Cathedral, Wales, Ronny moved to London where he became Organist and Teacher of Music at King’s College School, Wimbledon. In addition, Ronny was Assistant Director of Music at the celebrated ‘Handel church’, St George’s, Hanover Square, with its professional choir and annual Handel Festival.
Having been fascinated from an early age by organ improvisation, Ronny has made this a specialism. Finalist in the prestigious Organ Improvisation Competition in St Albans in 2009, he won two Prizes in the International Organ Improvisation Competition in Biarritz in the same year. The DVD ‘Ex Tempore – The Art of Organ Improvisation in England’, featuring improvisations by Ronny Krippner, has received high critical acclaim. In 2019, Ronny was awarded a PhD by Birmingham City University for a thesis on Anglican organ improvisation in British cathedrals.
Post is currently vacant
Sixth Form Organ Scholar
We are delighted that our Sixth Form Organ Scholar at Croydon Minster and Whitgift School, Adam Field, has gained a place to study Music, along with the Organ Scholarship, at Selwyn College, Cambridge starting from September 2021. In the interim year, Adam has taken up the Organ Scholarship at Portsmouth Cathedral.
We have enjoyed having Adam with us to play for services and sing in the Minster and Whitgift Choirs, and we wish him every success in his future career.
Martin How MBE Organist Laureate
Martin was born in Liverpool, where his father was Rector of St Nicholas Church. The family then moved to Brighton, where Martin’s father was Vicar at St Peters Parish Church. The family then moved to Glasgow just before the second world war, and Martin spend most of his childhood there.
Educated at Repton School where he was a Music Scholar, he was then awarded an Organ Scholarship at Clare College, Cambridge, where he read Music and Theology. In this post he had responsibility for the Chapel Choir of men and boys, and Choral Society. He was a keen athlete, and ran for the university, narrowly missing being awarded a ‘Blue’ for cross-country running.
After university he was in the Army for two years where he gained a National Service Commission. He still claims that this experience was invaluable for his later profession.
Later, he was for some years at Grimsby in Lincolnshire where his post as Organist and Choirmaster at Grimsby Minster was combined with school teaching and various musical activities.
Martin has spent most of his career with the Royal School of Church Music where he was known principally as a choir trainer specialising in the training and motivation of young singers. In this capacity he initiated and developed the RSCM Chorister Training Scheme which has since been used in various forms in many parts of the world. He also inaugurated the RSCM Southern Cathedral Singers, a group which has broadcast frequently on BBC Radio’s Choral Evensong from Canterbury Cathedral and elsewhere.
Martin has travelled widely as a choral conductor, accompanist, lecturer and adjudicator. In this capacity he has worked in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Belgium and Holland.
Martin was appointed MBE for ‘Services to Church Music’ in the 1993 New Year Honours List.
Since his retirement from the RSCM he has returned to organ playing as an honorary member of the music staff at Croydon Minster. Composing continues to be his main activity. Some of his compositions are available on his website.
Previous Minster Organists
Before the fire of 1867 records are incomplete, but include:
Thomas Attwood Walmisley 1830-1833
After the fire of 1867
- John Rhodes 1857-1868
- Frederick Cambridge 1868-1911
- F Rowland Tims 1911-1918
- H Leslie Smith 1918-1948
- Edward Shakespeare 1948-1952
- J.A. Rogans (Hon) 1952-1953
- B. Aldersea 1952-1957
- J.A. Rogans (Hon) 1957-1958
- Derek Holman 1958-1965
- Roy Massey 1965-1968
- Michael Fleming 1968-1978
- David Brookshaw 1978-1980
- Simon Lole 1980-1985
- Carl Jackson 1986-1990
- David Swinson 1990-1992
- Peter Nardone 1993-2000
- Nigel McClintock 2000-2007
- Andrew Cantrill 2008–2012
- Tom Little (Acting) 2012-2013
- Dr Ronny Krippner 2013-
Professor Derek Holman 2011- 2019
Dr Roy Massey MBE 2011-