Church Musician

The Anglican Church music tradition has been an important and enduring part of Nigel Potts’ life. He has held Cathedral and Church positions in New Zealand, England and the USA, having accompanied and conducted choirs from daily Choral Evensongs to radio broadcasts, and from tours to recordings.

Born into a musical family, (his grandmother being a former student of Herbert Howells at the Royal College of Music in London), Nigel’s church music career began as an eight year old chorister at Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul in New Zealand, where he sang under the direction of Stanley Jackson and Prof. Peter Godfrey. During his undergraduate years, he returned to Wellington Cathedral as the Richard Prothero Organ Scholar, where he accompanied the Cathedral Choir for 2-3 weekly services, broadcasts and tours with Director of Music, Philip Walsh.

In 1992, Nigel Potts moved to England accepting the Organ Scholarship of Blackburn Cathedral at the invitation of the late David Cooper. The following year, Andrew Lumsden appointed him Organ Scholar of Lichfield Cathedral, where he shared the accompanying of the choir for daily Evensongs, a CD for Priory Records and a tour to France and Germany.

Before moving to the United States in 2000, Nigel Potts lived and worked in London as a freelance organist. There he accompanied the Collegiate Singers for Evensongs in Westminster Abbey and Southwark Cathedral, and accompanied the Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral (Vicars Choral), in additional to playing for services in various other churches. Whilst in London, he also performed approximately 25 half-hour pre-Evensong prelude recitals at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Upon graduation from Yale University and the Institute of Sacred Music in 2002, he was appointed Organist & Director of Music of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Bay Shore, New York, and was a National Examiner for the Royal School of Church Music, America.

From 2006-2015, Nigel served as Organist & Choirmaster at Christ & Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, on Manhattan's Upper West Side in New York City, where he oversaw the installation of the new Schoenstein & Co. organ in 2008. There he conducted the eight voice professional choir for weekly services, monthly Choral Evensongs and other special services, with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance period through to the present day. He also founded & directed the concert series 'Music at Christ & Saint Stephen’s' which hosts nationally and internationally acclaimed musicians.

Nigel has been Canon Organist & Master of the Music at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston since the fall of 2015. There he directs all the choirs (both chorister and adult), a concert series and oversees all aspects of the music in one of the largest Episcopal parishes of the South East.

Nigel has also commissioned choral music for his choirs from prominent British and American composers, including the anthem Tu es Pétrus by Paul Spicer; the anthem Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty and the hymn tune Saint Peter’s, Bay Shore by Richard Webster; The Christ & Saint Stephen’s Mass by Robert Lehman, and the anthem Rejoice in the Lord, always by Bruce Neswick.