Music Department - Ampleforth College

The responsibilities associated with leading this department are currently held between William Dore, Alastair Hardie and Katherine Medway. Please note that for the course of the academic year 2018/19 the main point of contact for the department is Alastair Hardie whose details can be found below.  

  • William Dore
    MA (Oxon) FRCO
    Assistant Director of Music, Abbey Organist and Director of Schola

    William Dore was educated at Ampleforth College as one of the first music scholars, before winning an organ scholarship to Jesus College, Oxford where he read Music.  He studied organ with Nicolas Kynaston and John Wellingham.  After a year as post-graduate organ scholar at Norwich Cathedral, he spent seven years as Organist and Assistant Director of Music at Ipswich School, where he also built up a busy schedule as a freelance musician.  He returned to Ampleforth in 1994, and took on the position as Abbey Organist in 2005.  He has continued to work as a freelance musician in the North of England, including local festivals, and has performed as an organist throughout the UK and abroad.  In addition to his duties as Organist, he also runs the College Big Band, oversees the work with Schola probationers, and is Director of the Ampleforth and Ryedale Concert Choir.  He has recorded for Priory Records from the Abbey. The Influence of Plainsong was released in 2014.

  • Alistair Hardie
    BA (York), MA (Durham), PGCE (Buckingham)
    Head of Academic Music

    Alistair was born in Devon, and was a chorister at Exeter Cathedral. After graduating from York University with first-class honours, he received a post-graduate scholarship from Durham University, where he was involved in The International Network for Music Theology. His research exploring the relationship between music and theology has been published in Contemporary Music Review, and he continues to explore this as a composer, violinist, conductor and teacher. His compositions have been performed in Salisbury, Exeter, Durham, York, and St. Andrews, and he has led and conducted orchestras and choirs performing in concerts and operas at Durham Cathedral, York Minster, Newcastle Cathedral and York University. Alistair currently performs with Bellissimé, a period-performance chamber group, and teaches A-level, GCSE and music theory at Ampleforth College.  Alistair is also a tutor in St Oswald’s House.

  • Katherine Medway
    BMus(Hons)RCM; PGDip (RCM); PGCE (Dunelm)
    Teacher of Music and Head of Wind, Brass & Percussion

    Katherine was born in North Yorkshire and began playing the french horn at the age of nine, before gaining a Department for Education Music & Ballet scheme scholarship to study at Wells Cathedral School, where she learnt with Simon de Souza. She then went on to study at the Royal College of Music, learning with Tim Jones and graduating in 2006. During her time at the RCM, Katherine participated in side-by-side schemes with the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and in 2006 was awarded the Herbert Samuel Memorial Award on the strength of her final recital. Katherine continues to work as a freelance orchestral and chamber musician in the North of England and is also an accomplished singer, singing with the Chapter House Choir, York.

    In 2012, Katherine completed her PGCE at Durham University and she joined Ampleforth in 2016. She teaches KS3, GCSE and A Level Music and also works with the College Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, Ampleforth Singers and the Schola Sancti Martini at St Martin’s Ampleforth. Katherine is also a Sixth Form tutor in St John’s House.

  • Frances MacBeth
    MMus, BMus, Dip GSMD, LTCL, Dip CSM
    Head of Keyboard

    Frances MacBeth is largely known for her work with singers, which developed through her studies with the late Maeve Coughlan and Bridget Doolan at Cork’s School of Music.  After gaining her undergraduate degree from University College Cork, Frances won a full, two-year, postgraduate scholarship in Accompaniment to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD). During her time at Guildhall, Frances won the Anthony Lewis Memorial Prize in Accompaniment and the Guildhall Lieder Prize. Frances subsequently completed her studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music with Dr. John O'Conor, where she graduated with a first class honours MMus. She is a regular recitalist, both at home in Ireland, and abroad. Frances currently divides her time between lecturing on the CIT-CSM Degree and Masters programmes in Cork, and her role as Head of Keyboard at Ampleforth College, UK.

  • Nicola Hicks
    MusB (Manc), MMus (RNCM), MMus (PSU), Ppc (PSU), (viola/violin)
    Head of Strings

    Nicola completed her Bachelor’s in music, and Master’s in Solo Performance with Distinction at the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music, respectively. She then studied with Dr. Timothy Deighton on the Master’s in Solo Performance programme at the Pennsylvania State University, graduating with the equivalent of First Class Honours. Nicola has also undertaken performance studies at the University of Northern Colorado and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Whilst at the University of Northern Colorado and Pennsylvania State University, Nicola was the Viola Teaching Assistant. Prior to beginning her position as Head of Strings at Ampleforth College in 2017, Nicola taught violin and viola at a music specialist Ark school in London. Nicola’s duties at Ampleforth include directing the Pro Musica string ensemble.  As well as traditional repertoire, Nicola explores non-classical genres and experimental compositions that combine instrumental performance with electronics, visual arts, and graphic scores.

The Ampleforth music department is fortunate to receive visiting music teachers giving one-to-one lessons for specific instruments. 

Brian Kingsley ARCM (brass) 
Andrew Littlemore BMus(brass)


William Dore* (organ/piano/harpsichord) 
Alistair Hardie* (piano) 
Linda van Lopik BSc ACLM LLCM (TD) (piano)
Kwangho Lee MMus, BMus(Hons), LRSM
Martin Longhawn BA (Hons)
Arthur Bocaneanu
Frances Kelleher/MacBeth MMus, BMus, Dip CSM, LTCL, HDip in Ed, Grad GSMD

Piano Technician 

Barry Hynes


Richard Winter MMus PGRNCM BA (percussion)


Pietro Lusvardi Grad Dipl Mus Ital  Guiseppe Verdi Conservatore Milano/Como (double bass and bass guitar) 
Martin Couzin BMus, PG(Dip) (cello) 
Rachel Gray MA(Music Performance) (cello) 
Alistair Hardie* (violin)
Dr John Mackenzie FTCL FLCM LGSM ARAM (guitar)
Nicola Rainger MA (Oxon.), ARCM, PGCE (viola/violin)
Nicola Hicks MusB (Manc), MMus (RNCM), MMus (PSU), Ppc (PSU), (viola/violin)


Jane Wright LRAM (oboe)
Isabel Dowell (bassoon)
Krzysztof Urbanski MMus (saxophone)
Emily Ferguson BMus(Hons) (clarinet)


Bethany Seymour BMus (voice)
Richard Strivens MA (voice)


Pipe Major Mr Bryan Robinson B.Ed (Ampleforth Highlanders)

(*denotes full-time staff)