Music Team

Music has always been integral to St Michael’s and the very fabric of the building is a testament to the tradition of designing buildings with an acoustic for music in mind.

The Music Team at St Michael’s comprises a vibrant and committed team of high calibre musicians and composers. Some current and former members of the music team are featured below.

Since May 2018, Neil Page has returned as Director of Music Emeritus, with Dr. Nigel Browne as Organist, supported by the choir’s own Matt Clark.

We are delighted to continue our links with Exeter University Chapel Choir. Their young organist Harry Sullivan has recently played for us to rapturous applause.

Others assisting in the musical direction of St Michael’s this year include Peter King, formerly of Bath Abbey, our vicar, Dr Nigel Guthrie, Tina Guthrie and Graham Keitch.

PLEASE DO NOT USE THE CONTACT BAR EMAIL BELOW THE PHOTOS – Music Contacts to Neil Page -  neil@4victory.net

Dr Nigel Browne, Organist 2003-present

Dr Nigel Browne, Organist 2003-present


I have been organist of St. Michael's since 2003. In that time the choir has grown from about half a dozen members to over twenty, under a succession of very capable choir directors. We are fortunate in having a team of people who are variously able to conduct, sing and play the organ, which makes it possible for me to also act in all three roles, particularly as much of the St. Michael's repertoire is unaccompanied. My role also allows for composition and extemporisation, which I find particularly stimulating. But I also enjoy the rare occasions when I can sit in the congregation and simply listen to the choir. I began playing the organ at school about fifty years ago, and I have studied music and musicology at the universities of Nottingham, London, Reading and Exeter; my doctoral thesis at the latter being on 'Organs, Organists and Organ Builders in Nineteenth Century Devon'. I also direct the Exeter Chorale, which rehearses at St. Michael's, and I am one of the two Organ Advisors for the Exeter Diocese.

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Neil Page, Music Director, Emeritus

Neil Page, Music Director, Emeritus


Neil has lived and worked in Devon for over 25 years. He started his organ career as the Interim Director of Music at Christ Church, Woking, aged 12. He studied at the Royal College of Music and privately with Harry Gabb, sub-organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. For many years Neil combined his musical activities with a career in Corporate Finance. He was organist and director of the thriving choir at Holy Cross Parish Church, Crediton, from 1990 to 2007. In 2001 he oversaw the rebuilding of the 1921 Harrison&Harrison Organ by Michael Farley. At the time Neil retired from Holy Cross, he also retired from corporate finance. Neil became Director of Music at St Michael's in 2008. He combined this position with work as Director of Music at St Boniface Church, Sarasota, Florida, where he established a strong Anglican choir and Concert series. Neil also conducts the choir In Ecclesia, who sing occasional Choral Evensongs at west country Cathedrals and Abbeys. In September 2014 Neil retired as Director of Music at St Michael's, and we thank him for 6 years of inspirational leadership.

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Erika Wagstaff, Director of Music 2015-17

Erika Wagstaff, Director of Music 2015-17


Erika started singing with her Church choir in South Wales and was a member of the RSCM Millennium Youth Choir. While taking a Law Degree at Exeter University, she was a Choral Scholar and then Assistant Conductor at St Michael's. Having trained in Cheltenham with Teach First, she is pleased to be able to return to St Michael's as Director of Music while teaching Maths in Axminster.

Alex West, Director of Music 2014-15

Alex West, Director of Music 2014-15


Alex has played the organ since the age of 12, originally learning at Exeter School under local organists Peter Adcock and Andrew Daldorph. From 2005-2009 he was Organ Scholar at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he also studied Maths. Since 2009 he has worked in the Polar Climate team at the Met Office, and devotes his spare time to music, amongst other activities conducting the Met Office Orchestra, singing in the Exeter Festival Chorus, and accompanying various groups in the Exeter area on an occasional basis. Alex joined the St Michael’s music team as Assistant Conductor in August 2011, variously singing with, conducting, and accompaning the church choir. He has composed a number of short choral pieces, including a slightly controversial polyphonic setting of Shine, Jesus Shine (translated into Latin), first sung by St Michael’s choir in October 2013. From September 2014 to July 2015, Alex held the position of Director of Music at St Michael's. Currently he is needing to spend more time on his PhD research.

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