Clare College Cambridge

Chapel Personnel


Who's Who?


THE DEAN, Mark Smith, is responsible for the life of the College Chapel, has a pastoral role among all members of the College community, and is Director of Studies in Theology. He is a priest of the Church of England, studied History at Peterhouse, and came to Clare having been Chaplain of Christ’s College. Mark also lectures at the Faculty of Divinity in ecclesiastical history, with a particular focus on the role of creeds and councils in the early church. He is married to Phillippa, and they have two young daughters. In his spare time, Mark enjoys playing cricket, snooker and pool. Mark can normally be found in E3 during office hours, and may be contacted on or Tel: 01223 333240.   

THE DECANI SCHOLAR, Kirsty Borthwick, assists the Dean in the life of the Chapel. She is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Divinity, researching St. Augustine of Hippo’s works on the Trinity.

Kirsty has previously read for a BA in Theology at Oxford and an MLitt at St Andrews, and is now training for the Priesthood at Westcott House alongside her academic research. Her broader interests lie in the relationship between theology and spirituality, ecumenism, and in supporting and nurturing theological education in the parish.

Outside of her work, she enjoys anything that gets her into the great outdoors and is most likely to be found exploring the Fens or seeking out somewhere a little more hilly for some proper climbing! Kirsty can be contacted on



THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC, Graham Ross, oversees all practical music-making in the College, teaches conducting on the MMus Course and supervises for the Music Tripos.  He has established an exceptional reputation as a sought-after conductor and composer of a very broad range of repertoire.  His performances around the world and his extensive discography have earned consistently high international praise, including a Diapason d’Or, Le Choix de France Musique and a Gramophone Award nomination.  He is Principal Conductor/co-founder of The Dmitri Ensemble, and, since 2010, Fellow and Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge.

In demand as a regular guest conductor in the UK and abroad, his recent collaborations have included the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Aalborg Symfoniorkester, Australian Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Salomon Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra and Haydn Chamber Orchestra.  In recent seasons his work has taken him to Sydney Opera House, Washington’s Library of Congress, Notre Dame Cathedral, Palestine, Asia and throughout Europe.  He has conducted many world première performances and recordings, including works by James MacMillan, Judith Bingham, Giles Swayne, Imogen Holst, Nico Muhly, Brett Dean, Gabriel Jackson, John Rutter, Matthew Martin.  He may be contacted on or tel.: +44 (0)1223 333264.


THE HEAD OF THE CHAPEL OFFICE,  Nicola Robertson, takes full responsibility for providing comprehensive adminstrative support for the life of the Chapel. In addition she plays a large part in helping the Director of Music administratively with the musical side of Chapel and in particular with the Chapel Choir. She also looks after the Bennett Room in Memorial Court and works from 9.30am - 2.00pm Monday, Tuesday, Thurday and Friday and 12.00 p.m - 4.30 p.m on Wednesdays during term time.
She may be contacted on or tel +44 (0) 1223 333206.


THE SIR WILLIAM MCKIE SENIOR ORGAN SCHOLAR, Eleanor Carter, grew up in Guildford attending Tormead School as a music scholar. She started learning the organ at the age of nine, quickly going on to study with Katherine Dienes-Williams at Guildford Cathedral. She latterly attended the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music where she studied organ with Anne Marsden Thomas and Peter Holder, with the cello as her second study.  

She regularly accompanies services at various local churches, and has had opportunities to play at Evensong in Canterbury and Chichester Cathedrals. Eleanor has also given organ recitals at various venues, such as St. Lawrence Jewry in London, and has participated in local and county festivals. 

Eleanor is also a cellist and pianist - particularly enjoying chamber music, she has played with the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, and the International Chamber Music Academy for several years. Through this ensemble playing she has performed at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall and the Cadogan Hall. 

As well as playing at Clare, Eleanor also plays at King's college for their King's Voices mixed choir.


THE GEORGE LAW JUNIOR ORGAN SCHOLAR, Ashley Chow, grew up in Hong Kong and started playing the piano and violin since the age of six. Before Cambridge, he studied at Harrow School as a music scholar, where he started playing the organ and took lessons with Martin Singleton. There he assisted choir rehearsals, performed as a soloist and regularly accompanied school services.

At Harrow, Ashley enjoyed being a member of Harrow’s orchestras and chamber groups, performing works such as Orff’s Carmina Burana and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast. He has had the opportunity to perform at St John’s Smith Square, Winchester Cathedral and Royal Albert Hall in the UK and in Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong whilst on tour with the orchestra.