Assistant Musical Director - Jonathan Lilley


Jonathan LilleyJonathan Lilley was appointed the Assistant Musical Director / Accompanist of the society in January 2024. Jonathan grew up in Salisbury where he was a cathedral chorister, and in Oxford as a music scholar at St Edward’s School. He went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music, holding the Organ Scholarship at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and gaining Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists while still a first year. After a year in Cambridge when he was Assistant Organist at Great St Mary's, he became Sub-Organist of what is now Leeds Minster, with its cathedral-style musical tradition going back to S.S. Wesley’s time as organist, before advancing to the equivalent role at Ely Cathedral. Since 2013 he has been Director of Music at Waltham Abbey, Essex.


Jonathan’s career highlights so far include Poulenc’s organ concerto on a live broadcast from Ely on BBC Radio, and a number of improvised silent film accompaniments, as well as accompanying his churches’ respective choirs on numerous recordings, broadcasts, tours and great occasions. He also maintains a freelance career as organ and piano accompanist, having been a go-to person for tricky accompaniments since his teens; he is the resident accompanist to English Arts Chorale (Reigate) and the Waltham Singers (Chelmsford), with Royston as the most recent addition to the portfolio. He holds diplomas in piano and singing as well as organ and choral conducting, and performs solo piano repertoire for pleasure. His playing can be sampled on his YouTube channel, much of it featuring the organ at Waltham Abbey, rebuilt by Mander Organs in 2019 under his influence.