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, Hannah Black is a Ph.D. student in Theology at Clare College. Her research on the doctrine of salvation focuses on St. Gregory of Nyssa’s use of Biblical imagery in describing spiritual transformation. Hannah grew up in California at a non-denominational church before becoming Anglican as a young adult. She loves that people of many different backgrounds can come together to worship as well as enjoy peace and beauty here at Clare College Chapel. She and her husband, Griffin Black, met here at Clare as chapel wardens and can often be found lighting candles and passing out orders of service in the chapel. When Hannah isn't working on her Ph.D. or hanging around the chapel, she is usually knitting, painting, thinking of where to travel next, or catching up with friends over a cup of coffee.  As Decani Scholar, Hannah is available to students for a chat at any time and 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, works collaboratively with the Dean and Director of Music in co-ordinating the life of the Chapel and Choir,  and takes full responsibility for providing comprehensive administrative, organisational and strategic support to the Dean and Director of Music. She also looks after the Bennett Room in Memorial Court and works from 9.30am - 3.00pm Monday - Thursday and 9.30am - 2.30pm on Fridays during full term. She may be contacted on or tel +44 (0) 1223 333206. 


 THE SIR WILLIAM MCKIE SENIOR ORGAN SCHOLAR, George Gillow, is a third year student reading Music.  During the academic year 2017–18, he was organ scholar of Gloucester Cathedral where he assisted in the accompaniment of the four Cathedral choirs, the Cathedral’s programme of singing outreach in primary schools and the administration of its busy music department.  

During the academic year 2018–19, he studied organ and harpsichord at the Toulouse Conservatoire with Michel and Yasuko Bouvard.  Whilst in Toulouse, he appeared in concerts alongside the choir of the Conservatoire – the Maîtrise de Toulouse – notably for a performance of the Duruflé Requiem

On a freelance basis, he accompanied amateur choirs for performances of the Fauré and Campra Requiems, Mozart Great Mass in c and Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle.  He is an experienced recitalist and has given recitals at Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucester, Hereford and Southwark Cathedrals.


THE JUNIOR ORGAN SCHOLAR, Samuel Jones, is in his second year studying Music. He started playing the organ whilst at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford where he gained valuable experience accompanying the Chamber Choir at venues such as Keble College, Oxford and St. Paul’s Cathedral. In the Sixth Form, he was appointed Organ Scholar of the Chapel Royal, St. James’ Palace, London where he had the opportunity to play at a broadcast Ballroom Carol Service from Buckingham Palace and at the Royal Maundy service held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

After leaving school in 2019, Samuel spent a Gap Year as Organ Scholar at Portsmouth Cathedral, where he assisted in accompanying the cathedral choirs in their 8 weekly services and the Choral Scholars in concerts throughout the year. He also acted as choir librarian and worked in an administrative role at Portsmouth Grammar School.

Samuel enjoys performing as a soloist on both the organ and the piano, recently playing works such as Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. Aside from the keyboard, Samuel also plays the oboe in both a chamber and ensemble capacity.