Director of Music – Philip Jakob

Philip Jakob (aged 20) at the organ of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris assisted by Maitre Felix Moreau. (Photo courtesy of Robin Vidgeon)

Born in 1958, Philip Jakob spent the first 14 years after graduation from Hull University as a High School music teacher in North London and briefly in Manchester. He also combined these responsibilities with a variety of organist/choirmaster posts in the Catholic Church,  touring Europe as organ accompanist and soloist. In his 20s he played at the cathedrals of Paris, Soissons, Chartres, Rheims, Laon, Rouen, Beauvais (France) and the major churches of Paris including St Severin, St Clotilde, St Sulpice, Sacre Coeur, and La Madelaine. His teacher was the virtuoso Stephen Hicks, a pupil of Nadia Boulanger, Marcel Dupre and Andre Marchal.


Assistant Director of Music, St Ignatius College, Enfield, Middlesex1981-1985
Head of Music, St Angela’s RC School for Girls, Palmers Green, London1985-1988
Director of Music, St Ignatius College, Enfield, Middlesex1988-1993
Director of Music, Parrs Wood High School, Didsbury, Manchester1993-1994

Church Music Positions

Organist & Choirmaster St Agatha’s, Kingston-upon-Thames1974-1980
Organist & Director of Music, German Catholic Church, Whitechapel, London1981-1983
Organist & Director of Music, St Edmund’s, Lower Edmonton, North London1983-1988
Organist & Director of Music, St Ignatius, Stamford Hill, North London1988-1993
Director of Music, Cathedral and Diocese of Hallam, Sheffield1994-2014
A red-faced Philip Jakob singing with the Wild Geese of the Iona Community during an outdoor BIG SING at the annual Greenbelt Festival. Almost 3000 Christians joined the song in the Grandstand of Cheltenham Racecourse. The Festival attracts about 30,000 Christians spending four nights under canvas and the days in a variety of worship, workshop and live music events.

During 1994-2014 Philip was Director of Music for the Cathedral and Diocese of Hallam. He presented the cathedral as a model for the diocese with music for the congregation at the core of his activity. His choice of music reflected this focus as did also his work in the schools and churches of the diocese and elsewhere. He was active both nationally and locally in the ecumenical, interfaith and justice & peace environments. He is a published composer of liturgical music and a member of the St Thomas More Group of composers.

Philip has been in wide demand as a liturgical animator at conferences across the United Kingdom and Spain and has worked on numerous occasions with John Bell and the Wild Goose Resource Group. Philip is a Member of the Iona Community.

Left to right the applicants for the ‘Best Dressed Singer of the Year’ competition are Philip Jakob, Graham Maule, John Bell, Carol Whyte, Jo Love, Alison Adam, and Jane Bentley.

In 2014 consequent to financial strains following the restoration of the Cathedral the post of Director of Music for the Diocese and Cathedral of Hallam was declared redundant. He directed the music there for the last time on Easter Sunday 2014.

In June 2014 he was appointed Director of Music in St Lawrence Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida, USA, taking up the post in September 2014.

In November 2015 Philip was invited to give a series of workshops and lectures at the University of Huron, St John’s Church and St Aidan’s Church in London, Canada.

In January 2017 Philip accepted an invitation to join the Liturgical Composers Forum’s conference in St Louis, MO.

In December 2018 Philip was invited by the Diocese of St Petersburg to address the Advent Gathering of diocesan Faith Formation Leaders. In a blend of sung and spoken word his talk spoke of the prophetic witness which our common baptism requires.

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