A new director of music of St Mary Magdalene Church, Launceston, and organist of St Stephen’s Church has been appointed.

Dr Sean Sweeney has successfully taken up the role in succession to Robin Stubbs who helped facilitate the appointment.

Dr Sweeney has given up the posts of musical director of the Plymouth University Choral Society and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, in order to take the Launceston jobs but is keen to take over a good church choir that is keeping up the Anglican choral tradition.

Dr Sweeney held his first organist’s post at the age of eleven in Swansea. He studied organ at Llandaff and Salisbury Cathedrals whilst pursuing music and music education degrees at the Universities of Cardiff (BMus), Reading (MA) and Bath (PhD).

His recital career continues to this day having performed in many churches, cathedrals and concert halls in the UK, USA, Germany and Italy and he holds several piano teaching and organ performance diplomas.

As a choral director he has held numerous positions, including assistant musical director and organist of the Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir, director of Music at Tavistock Parish Church and director of the South West Chamber Choir.

After almost twenty years as headteacher in five challenging secondary schools in the South West, South East and the Midlands Dr Sweeney now balances the demands of a large family with organ playing, choir directing and managing the Tavistock Festival.

He was welcomed to his first choral evensong at St Mary Magdalene by Rob Tremain who led the service. Sharron Wormald read the lessons.

Before the service Dr Sweeney played a Psalm Prelude by Herbert Howells and after the service a Prelude in B minor by JS Bach.

The choir sang the anthem, “God be in my head” by John Rutter and Psalm 12. The canticles were sung to a setting in Ab by Orlando Gibbons from the Short Service and the Responses were by Sanders.

The choir is now looking forward to the usual morning service on Palm Sunday, on March 24, when they hope to sing the six part anthem by Thomas Weelkes, ”Hosanna to the son of David”.

Then on Good Friday, March 29, at the later time of 11am they will sing a service of “The Passion in music”, featuring music by Chilcott, Byrd, Bull and King John of Portugal, which will be followed by a service at St Thomas,”The Passion in word” and finally a communion service at St Stephens.

On Easter Sunday, March 31, the choir will sing as an introit, ”Cantate Domino” by Pitone and as an anthem, “This Joyful Eastertide” arranged by Charles Wood.

The parish wish Dr Sweeney well in his new role.