Music plays an integral part in the worship of St Paul’s Cathedral. Since 1888, the Cathedral’s Choir of Boys and Men has been an important part of the musical life of our city. Since 2016, a new Choir of Girls, Women and Men shares in the musical leadership of our Cathedral. Three organists contribute to our rich musical tradition.

The Cathedral’s musical life is coordinated by our Director of Music. A designated Music Foundation was established in 1993 to encourage philanthropic donors to ensure that the musical life of the Cathedral is resourced.


Our Girls’ Voices Patron

In May 2018, Dr Deborah Cheetham AO accepted the Dean’s offer to become the Patron of the Girls’ Voices of the Cathedral choir. Dr Cheetham – a proud Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator – has been a leader in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years.

Music Staff

The Director of Music • Mr Philip Nicholls

Mr Philip Nicholls was appointed Director of Music of St Paul’s in February 2013, succeeding Dr June Nixon AM.

Philip was a chorister and Head Chorister at Christ Church Brunswick under Paul Harvie and Terry Norman. During this period he was a principal and children’s chorus member of the then Australian Opera and Victoria State Opera.  At Melbourne Grammar School, he was Senior Choral Scholar under John Kirkham and Martin Rutherford. Beginning undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne, Philip worked with secular choirs, most notably Melbourne Voices (directed by his brother, Richard Nicholls) and the National Youth Choir of Australia.  Encouraged by Peter Godfrey, he made his conducting début with the Choir of Trinity College aged 14. In 1996 Philip won a choral scholarship to the College, and was appointed Assistant Director of Music (under Michael Fulcher, and later Michael Leighton Jones) and Music Tutor later that year.  He was Director of Music at Christ Church South Yarra from 2001 to 2013, and a member of the Chaplaincy and Music staff at Trinity College from 2007 to 2013. He continues as General Editor of the Australian Hymn Book Company, a post he has held since 2006.

Philip studied conducting with the late Robert Rosen, firstly as part of his undergraduate studies, and privately afterwards. He has participated in masterclasses with choral pedagogues and conductors Stefan Parkman, Margaret Pride, Bob Chilcott and Weston Noble in Australia, and Geoff Weaver, David Willcocks, John Rutter and David Hill in England.  Recordings of Philip directing the Choir of Trinity College singing works by Josquin, Stanford and Arthur Wills are released on the Cherubic and ABC Classics labels. His musicological studies in liturgical music at the University of Melbourne culminated in a dissertation on the music of the Chapel of Trinity College between 1917 and 1957. He holds a graduate degree in Theology from MCD University of Divinity, and is currently engaged in postgraduate research on the liturgical music of inner-city Melbourne worshipping communities.

He brings a deep Christian faith and his commitment to the Anglican Church and its liturgy, a wealth of choir training and liturgical experience, proven administrative skills, and strong connections with Melbourne’s arts and philanthropic communities to the music ministry of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Cathedral Organist • Mr Siegfried Franke

Siegfried Franke joined the Cathedral choir as a boy in 1974.  He began organ lessons with emeritus Organist Dr June Nixon in 1975, and completed a Bachelor of Music degree at Melbourne University with First Class Honours in Performance, receiving a number of awards and scholarships.  Studying the organ in London with Richard Popplewell (then organist of the Chapel Royal), he completed the ARCO Diploma from the Royal College of Organists and subsequently, FTCL from Trinity College London.

Siegfried has given many recitals and concerts in Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle.  He is both Cathedral Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral and Parish Organist of Christ Church South Yarra.

Sub-Organist • Mr Lachlan Redd

Lachlan Redd graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, with a Masters degree in piano performance.  He was a scholarship holder and recipient of the Queen’s Trust for Young Australians.  He completed his Bachelor of Music Degree with First Class Honours and was awarded the University medal from the Australian National University.

In 1995 Lachlan won First Prize in the Fourth International Youth Music Festival “Virtuosi of the year 2000” in St Petersburg.  He was a finalist in the inaugural ABC TV Quest Competition (1995) and the following year won the national Keyboard Finals of the ABC Young Performer of the Year Awards.  He has appeared as a recitalist and concerto artist for the ABC on simulcasts on ABC TV and Classic FM and as a soloist with the Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmanian and Queensland Philharmonic and Symphony orchestras.

In 2004 Lachlan, as Curry Scholar, was appointed Assistant Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral; this position is supported by the Curry Scholarship and The Vera Moore Trust.  He was appointed Sub-Organist in 2014.

Leading Musician • Miss Emma Warubrton

Emma Warburton studied voice with Suzanne Johnston at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, attaining a Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours) in Performance. Emma spent six years as a Choral Scholar with the Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne, during which time, the choir recorded four albums and toured to Europe, the UK, the USA, and Canada.

Emma has sung with The Song Company and Melbourne Octet, as a soloist in the St John’s Southgate Bach Cantata Program, and given solo recitals in the St Paul’s Cathedral Lunchtime Concert Series, the All Saints’ Concert Series, and at the Austral Salon. Emma currently sings in the Cathedral’s Evensong and Eucharist services, as a Soloist at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Melbourne, with vocal consort Alchemy, and with chamber choirs Ensemble Gombert and Polyphonic Voices.

Assistant Organist – Mrs Roslyn Carolane

Ros Carolane received her organ training from Emeritus Organist Dr June Nixon. As Assistant Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral she is responsible for providing and performing the music at the 9am Sunday Family Services and the 5.10pm Monday Services in Simple English, as well as for many occasional services at St Paul’s. As a composer, Ros has contributed hymn and psalm settings for use by the wider church. Ros is the Immediate Past Chair of the Victorian Branch of the Royal School of Church Music and a regular recitalist.

June Nixon Assistant Organist – Mr Mark Slavec

A biomedicine student at the University of Melbourne, Mark Slavec began learning the piano in 2006. He joined the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir in 2007, and in October of 2012, left the boys’ choir as Head Chorister and began singing as a tenor with the men’s choir. Mark achieved AMusA in piano in November of 2014. He enjoys most types of classical music, especially Guilmant and Rachmaninoff. He began pipe organ lessons in 2012 with Dr June Nixon, Organist Emerita of St Paul’s Cathedral. Since 2014, Mark has been the June Nixon Organ Scholar of St Paul’s and became Assistant Organist in 2021.

GAP Year Organ Scholar

Trinity Grammar School Kew offers a scholarship for a music student to work in the school’s Music Department, to provide support for teachers, and to assist in administrative tasks in the Trinity Music School. The preference is for this person to be involved with St Paul’s Cathedral. This would occur in two ways:

  • The Gap year student would be required to sing in the men’s section of the Cathedral Choir. This would require the person concerned to attend services and practices during the week, and to take part in two services each Sunday.
  • An organ Gap year student would need to be well advanced in mastering the pipe organ. The successful applicant could be offered regular lessons on the Cathedral Organ either by the Director of Musicor by the Cathedral Sub Organist.

Applications, together with written references from the student’s headmaster and present Head of Music should be addressed to:

The Headmaster,
Trinity Grammar School
60 Wellington Street
Kew VIC 3101

The T C Lewis Organ

St Paul’s Cathedral is fortunate to have a very fine pipe organ that accompanies the choir at choral services. The organ was built by T C Lewis and Co of Brixton, England, and over six and half thousand pounds were spent on its construction, shipping and installation before it was played at the Cathedral’s opening in 1891.

Various modifications and maintenance works have been carried out since then, culminating in a $726,000 restoration which was completed in 1990 with the help of a National Trust appeal. In 2021, a new organ blower was installed replacing the existing blower which had provided voice to the organ for more the 90 years. Read more about the project here.

Cathedral Bells

The bells arrived in late August 1889, and were installed for the dedication service Friday, November 15 at 11am and used to farewell the then Governor of Victoria Sir Henry Loch on that same day. The bells have been used since this time to ring for church services and civic occasions.

The Cathedral has one of the few peals of thirteen bells outside the British Isles. The bells were donated by Mr Thomas Dyer Edwardes, whose father had been a landowner in Victoria. The bells were cast in 1889 by the Mears and Stainbank foundry at Whitechapel, London. The total weight of 7 tons 3 cwt made them the heaviest ring from that foundry in the 19th Century and is the world’s second oldest complete ring of 12 bells.

The bells are a peal of 12 in C# with an additional G natural bell, so that a light 8 in G# can be rung as well as heavy 8, 10 or 12 bells in C#. The treble bell note is G# (1661 Hz).

The tenor bell bears the inscription:

Gloria in Excelsis Deo
Thomas Dyer Edwardes
Donator 1889