Music Director

John Naylor

As conductor, singer and organist, John combines extensive performance experience in world-class choirs with a lifelong passionate interest in choral music and its performance.

Following a successful business career, he now devotes most of his activities to conducting, choir development and church administration. His original training was as a choral scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge with the great Dr George Guest after keyboard studies with Conrad Eden at Durham Cathedral where he was a chorister (1957-61), a music scholarship at Rossall School and singing studies with Wilfrid Brown and Lyndon van der Pump from The Royal College of Music.

John was appointed Music Director of Nantwich Choral Society in September 2005 for whom he has now conducted highly acclaimed performances of many of the works in the mainstream choral repertoire including Elijah, the Dream of Gerontius, Verdi Requiem, Monteverdi Vespers, the Armed Man, The Peacemakers, Mozart Requiem, The Creation, The Seasons, Mass in Blue, Chichester Psalms, St Paul, Israel in Egypt, Petite Messe Solonelle, B minor Mass and St Matthew and St John Passions.

John founded the Lydian Singers in 1980 (formally disbanded post Covid in 2021 but meet occasionally) who became one of the leading chamber choirs in the NW, and over 40 years sang in almost all the cathedrals in the UK. He has also directed the Open University Chapel Choir since 2012 whose recent visits included St Mary’s Edinburgh and Ripon Cathedrals in 2022 and Blackburn,  Bristol Cathedral  and  Hexham Abbey in 2023.

John is currently organist at St Swithun’s Cheswardine (since 1975) where he is PCC Lay Chair and St Mary’s Church Hales.

In addition to his musical activities, John was a member of the General Synod (2015–2021) and was Chairman of the Lichfield Diocesan Board of Finance 2012-23. He is a Lay Canon at Lichfield Cathedral, Chairman of the Members of Three Spires Multi-Academy Trust and a Trustee of Shallowford House.