Music Staff:

Director of Music

Mr John Horton BA (Hons), PGCE

Telephone: 0161 339 5031

 An early love of choral music, singing as a chorister and music lessons in three    instruments led to John Horton beginning his career in music. At the age of fifteen he was  appointed Organist and Choirmaster of St. Mark’s Church, Dukinfield. By the  age of  eighteen, John had gained Associated Board grade 8 passes with distinction in Flute, Piano  and Organ. John was quickly appointed Organist and Choir Master to St. George’s Church  Stalybridge, Tameside. 

 John studied at The University of Liverpool, gaining his Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Music  and Theology in 1995. During this time, he had the privilege to study organ and conducting  under Noel Rawsthorne, distinguished Organist and Composer. He   also held the post of  Senior Organ Scholar at St. Katharine’s College, Liverpool, providing organ and piano  accompaniment for the Chapel Choir at regular services and on tours throughout the U.K. He directed choir rehearsals in the absence of the Musical Director and played for several broadcasts on local and national radio. 

In 1996 John furthered his studies at The University of Leeds gaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Education - Secondary Music in 1997. 

For the next eight years John embarked on a career in teaching, working in a wide variety of schools and specialised in teaching performing arts to children with learning and behavioural issues. During this time he continued to progress in his music career, being employed by St. Margaret’s, Prestwich - Director of Music, St. Michael & All Angels, Ashton-under-Lyne - Organist and Choirmaster and St. Margaret’s, Hollinwood - Director of Music. 

Throughout his musical career John has taken pride in providing inspiring music that effectively supports the liturgy, influenced by his strong Christian Faith. He has encompassed a wide range of styles that have significantly enhanced the worship. John has worked with small and larger SATB choirs, directed a newly formed choir, which led to providing an effective lead to congregational singing. John has directed many Choral Works including Stainer’s The Crucifixion, Faure’s Requiem and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb. Throughout this time John gave many organ recitals, worked as and engaged other recitalists in a series of organ recitals, played for civic, non-liturgical and social events. He has arranged a series of concerts including organ recitals, strings, organ and choral concerts. 

In 2008, John was employed as Director of Music at St. George’s Church, Stockport, during his incumbency he has built up a very small choir of fourteen to one approaching thirty members to date. He runs an after school Music Club, and with his team of helpers, children learn to play recorders, hand bell ringing and most importantly, singing. The nurturing of children in the Music club has been a great success, with four members becoming junior choristers in May of 2012. This number has increased to fifteen over the last few years. Junior choir practice is attended with great enthusiasm. His work with St. George’s Choral Scholars speaks for itself; Scholars have gone on to achieve great success in the field of music. Under John’s directorship both senior and junior choirs are flourishing.

John now works as a freelance musician and teacher and regularly gives recitals.

Senior Organ Scholar

James Roy Hibbert FSCO


James was appointed Organ Scholar in April 2017 having spent the previous academic year as a Choral Scholar. During his time as a Choral Scholar he began to take on more responsibility within the Choir, directing and accompanying the Choir on many important occasions during the previous year under the watchful eye of the Director of Music. His appointment to the Church's Music Staff was announced on Sunday 21st May 2017 at the morning Eucharist - his first 'official' Sunday in post.

Before coming to St. George's, James was Assistant Organist at St. Mary's, Stockport and before then a Chorister and Deputy Organist at Chapel-en-le-Frith Parish Church in Derbyshire.

James is absolutely passionate about his work and enjoys every moment working within the music department and alongside the Choir at St. George's. In his own words he describes the role at St. George's as the perfect stepping stone between being an amateur musician and beginning to build a career as a Choral Director and Organist. 
- It is often said he seems to spend a little too much time at Church for his own good!

Organists of St George's

1897-1908    Herbert Wild, FRCO
1908-1945    Harold Dawber, Hon.FRMCM, FRCO  (Became Church Warden)
1945-1951    Dr. Laurence West, DMus, FRCO, LRAM
1951-1956    Harold Dawber, Hon.FRMCM, FRCO
1956-1976    Arthur Rooke, FRCO, LRAM
1976-1997    Michael English, FRCO(CHM), ADCM, LRAM, ARCM, LTCL
1997-1998    Andrew Dean
1998-2001    Roger Briscoe
2001-2006    David Scott-Thomas
2007-2008    Philip Asher, BMus(Hons)/GradRNCM, PGCE, ARCO
2008-             John Horton, BA (Hons), PGCE, FSCO