My name is Sean Robert Tucker and I am currently the Organist of the Minster Church of St. Cuthburga in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, UK.
Although I began piano lessons when I was seven years old, I only started learning the organ when I was about thirteen. My first teacher was a gentleman named Albert Oke, who was at the time Organist of Holsworthy Methodist Church, in N. Devon. (The bells of the Anglican Church in Holsworthy were immortalised by S. S. Wesley in an organ piece entitled Holsworthy Church Bells.) About two years later, I became a pupil of Paul Morgan, Sub Organist of Exeter Cathedral, receiving lessons on the superb four-manual Harrison and Harrison organ, which stands nobly on the pulpitum screen at the centre of the cathedral.
After finishing school I attended Trinity College of Music, London for four years (where I spent almost as much time practising on the common-room pool table as I did on any of the wheezing organs contained in the depths of 11-13 Mandeville Place).
Then followed a move to Shrewsbury, where I was Abbey Organist for a short time. However, I found it difficult to obtain enough work to keep body and soul together, so I returned to the West Country, settling in Bude, North Cornwall. One of the most memorable events during this time was being an honorary assistant to Roy Dinshaw, who was Organist at St. Michael and all Angels, Bude Haven. This was a local Anglo-catholic church of considerable beauty (particularly with regard to some superb examples of ecclesiastical wood-carving) with a moderately sized two-manual organ, which had been rebuilt in 1966 by Osmond & Co., of Taunton. A link at the top of this page will take you to details of this instrument.
Then, in July 1988, I was appointed Assistant Organist of Wimborne Minster, a post which I took up in September of that year and one which I occupied for approximately three-and-a-half years, serving under the genial auspices of Christopher Dowie.
In the autumn of 1992, I was appointed Assistant Organist of Christchurch Priory, where Martin Schellenberg was in charge of the music and with whom I enjoyed working on a number of RSCM courses at Bristol Cathedral.
A move to St. Aldhelm’s Church, Branksome, Bournemouth followed in the autumn of 1994 (which I combined with a part-time post of Sub Organist, St. Peter’s Civic Church, Bournemouth). This was partly engineered by a very old friend, Andy Hill, Director of Music at the church. He was a contemporary of mine at Trinity, where he was studying composition on the BMus. course . However, it was I who received most of his organ lessons, since he usually didn’t bother to turn up!
One of the attractions of moving to St. Aldhelm’s was the fact that the two-manual organ, originally by Gray and Davison and rebuilt by Osmonds in the 1960s was ripe for another rebuild (partly as the result of the over-efficient heating system of the church and partly due to a couple of legacies, ear-marked for the restoration of the organ). Whilst there, I was privileged, in conjunction with Andy Hill, to re-design the organ (including producing full-size drawings for the console layout). The rebuild was superbly carried-out by Lance Foy, of Truro. A link at the top of this page will take you to details of this instrument.
Then, on Christmas Day, 1997, I returned to Wimborne Minster, this time as Organist, where I have remained ever since.
Shortly after returning to Wimborne, I began travelling to Gloucester on occasions, to receive lessons from David Briggs in improvisation, on the excellent Hill, Norman and Beard/Ralph Downes organ at Gloucester Cathedral. The art of improvisation had always interested me and I had recently discovered recordings of some of the improvisations by Pierre Cochereau, at Nôtre-Dame, Paris. These lessons, which were recorded in order to assist me in recalling points which David had made, were a source of inspiration and delight to me. They continued until David moved to the US.
As part of my work-schedule, I am fortunate in being able to travel as accompanist and soloist with choirs run by friends and colleagues to many places, including venues in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and Holland.