John Sharples began organ lessons while a pupil at Hipperholme Grammar School. His tutors then were Nicholas Kerrison and Philip Tordoff (Organist of Halifax Parish Church). Later he spent time as a student at Chester College during which time he sang in the Cathedral Choir.
He moved to London in 1984 and began organ studies with Ian Curror (Organist of the Royal Hospital Chelsea) and in 1989 became an Associate of the Royal College of Organists. In 1995 John achieved Fellowship of London College of Music in Organ Performance.
He also played for services in Lambeth Palace for 15 years while working for the central offices of the Church of England. Currently he is organist at St Nicholas Charlwood and also plays at Second Church of Christ Scientist in London and is a deputy organist of Arundel Cathedral.
John has given recitals in Southwark Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral in London, and also in St Thomas' Church in New York's Fifth Avenue. John has played in many venues in the UK and abroad accompanying choirs. He is a Fellow of London College of Music and an Associate of the Royal College of Organists. John is also President of the Crawley and Horsham District Organists' Association.
John Sharples, pictured at the organ in St Thomas's Church, 5th Avenue, New York
The Christ Church organ was built by Hill, Norman & Beard in 1970 with 16 stops, using some pipes from previous organs plus some neo-baroque sounds typical of the 1960's and '70's (Chimney Flute and Fifteenth on open-foot voicing, like the Royal Festival Hall organ).
In 1995, HNB moved some loud stops from the Great to a new double case in the nave, 6 stops were added, and the tone was refined. In summer 2015 the nave organ was re-voiced to produce a more robust tone.
Organ Scholars and Choral Scholars get a lot more out of their years at a university. RCO and University of Oxford have come together to tell young musicians more about what's on offer:
Wednesday 9th November
University of Oxford - Jesus College - Royal College of Organists
Organists of All Ages - An event for aspiring musicians, music teachers and organists
Play organs, meet organ scholars, learn about music in Oxford
◄◄◄ view PDF for details of the day
more information about life as an Oxbridge organ scholar here
Oxford: Jesus College, Turl Street, OX1 3DW