Peter read music at Kings College, Cambridge, singing as a choral scholar under the direction of Sir David Willcocks and Sir Philip Ledger. After a year’s study in Durham, where he was conductor of the University Chamber Choir, he became Director of Music first at Leighton Park School in Reading, then Oundle School, Northamptonshire and, from 1985, at Christ’s Hospital in Horsham. During that time he conducted many operas and orchestral concerts, and worked with both adult and children’s choirs, recording a number of CDs on the Guild and Carlton Labels.
Peter was a director of the National Youth Music Theatre from 1978 – 2000, composing and musically directing many shows during that time. His compositions for the NYMT include Bendigo Boswell (BBC TV 1983), Jack Spratt VC (Edinburgh Fringe First 1985), The Little Rats (Sadler’s Wells 1989), Aurelius (Edinburgh 1997), and Pendragon (1995, Far East, London, Edinburgh, Broadway, BBC TV, recorded on the TER Label).
Sacred compositions include The Dream of the Rood (1993), a sacred music drama commissioned by St Albans Abbey for their Twelfth Century Celebrations, Out of the Mouths of Children (2011) for unaccompanied Double SATB and Children’s Choir, commissioned for the Tagore Festival in Calcutta, and a setting of Psalm 150 commissioned for performance by Winchester Cathedral Choir in May 2014.
From 2001 to 2011, Peter was Headmaster of Lichfield Cathedral School, during which time it expanded from a prep school to an all-through, 3-18, coeducational school, and as Head he was responsible for founding a new Girls’ Choir for Lichfield which is now integrated into the Cathedral Choral Foundation.
Peter is now a freelance musician. As a conductor, he directs the Sandgate Singers and the Chantry Quire on a regular basis, and is an occasional guest with other choirs and orchestras, including the Dorking Chamber Orchestra, and Gaude, a professional chamber choir based in Bedford. With his wife, Ros, he runs a community orchestra, the Downland Ensemble.
He is working on various composition projects, including a major revision of The Dream of the Rood. In addition, he acts as a consultant on choral appointments, adjudicates choral and instrumental competitions, plays the organ at local churches, acts as a piano accompanist and runs choral workshops and singing weekends in this country and abroad.
Since June 2017, he has been Chairman of the Council of Trustees of the Friends of Cathedral Music, now known as the Cathedral Music Trust: www.cathedralmusictrust.org.uk.