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Organist and Director of Music
The Anglican Church music tradition has been an important and enduring part of Nigel Potts’ life.
Born into a musical family, (his grandmother being a student of Herbert Howells in London), Nigel’s church music career began as a boy chorister at Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul in New Zealand. Upon completing his undergraduate music degree in New Zealand, Nigel moved to England, as Organ Scholar of Blackburn and later Lichfield Cathedral, where he accompanied the choirs for daily Evensongs, recordings and tours. Whilst in London, he studied Church Music at the Royal Academy of Music, organ with Jeremy Filsell and the late John Scott, and also worked as a freelance organist, frequently playing services and recitals in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and various other London churches.
In 2002, Nigel graduated with his Master of Music degree from Yale University where he studied with Prof. Thomas Murray. He has since held Organist & Director of Music positions at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Bay Shore, NY; the Lincoln Center Parish Church of Christ & Saint Stephen’s Episcopal in New York City; and until moving to Boston in 2021, Nigel was Canon Organist & Master of the Music at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston, SC, where he directed the music in one of the largest Episcopal parishes of the South East.
In New York City, Nigel founded the Music at Christ & Saint Stephen’s concert series which hosts nationally and internationally acclaimed musicians. Nigel has overseen the design and installation of two Schoenstein & Co. pipe organs (in NYC & SC) and immensely enjoys the Redeemer Schoenstein! A conductor of both professional and semi-professional choirs, Nigel has commissioned music for his choirs from prominent American and British composers such as Jeremy Filsell, Robert Lehman, Bruce Neswick, Paul Spicer and Richard Webster.
As an organ recitalist, Nigel has performed recitals across four continents and extensively across the United States, including distinguished venues in London, Cambridge (UK), Paris, Toronto, New York City, Washington DC, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney, as well as in Austria, Iceland, Taiwan, New Zealand and the Bahamas.
As an exponent of orchestral transcriptions, Nigel has recorded an all-transcription program on the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia for WRTI-FM and has performed his orchestral reductions of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos No.1 & No.2 with pianist Jeremy Filsell. Nigel’s latest CD includes his transcriptions of Wagner’s Prelude to Act I from Tristan und Isolde, Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder & Elgar’s Sea Pictures with his wife, mezzo-soprano, Sarah Rose Taylor. Many of Nigel’s transcriptions are published by Morning-Star Music, and his recitals and recordings have been broadcast on radio/web stations in various countries including Pipedreams in the USA, and can be heard on-line/YouTube.
Nigel has been on the Jury for two Asian International Organ Competitions, has presented workshops and masterclasses to various AGO Chapters across the USA and in Asia, has served on the NYC AGO Board, and is currently on the Boston AGO Board. As a past Rotarian, he has given benefit concerts to raise funds for children from developing countries to have critical heart surgeries in New York.
Nigel is married to Sarah Rose Taylor and they have three young children.