Luke Johnson is the new Music Administrator at Bradford Cathedral and we caught up with him in his first week to find out what he’s up to.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m originally from Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, and studied ancient history and archaeology at the University of Oxford. I then went to China for a year to teach English before coming here to Bradford. I really enjoy music, and sing as a choral scholar, and I also play online games.
Why did you choose to study ancient history?
I ask myself that quite a lot! I always enjoyed history itself, and was good as it, and I think I was just reading a prospectus which gave the opportunity to learn an ancient language like Latin – I’ve always enjoyed learning languages – and as I looked more into ancient history online, the topics interested me. I then bought more books about it and got really into how so many things in the past are very similar to today. Even though it was over 2000 years ago you can still relate to these writers.
And where have you done archaeology?
Archaeology came with the course I did. I did two weeks in Italy around Vesuvius, which also gave me the chance to go to Pompeii and Herculaneum.
You’re also a choral scholar; how has that been going?
It’s been great. I really enjoy it, but I’d forgotten how stressful it is, because there’s obviously all the choristers and as an adult, and a choral scholar especially, you’re expected to be well prepared and be able to hold and lead a part, so there’s a lot of preparation involved. I’m still getting back into it after a year’s break whilst in China, but I just love doing it again, and to enjoy all the music.
And what’s your online game of choice?
It’s League of Legends. I’m not that great at it but I enjoy it a lot and it’s very sociable!
What attracted you to the role at Bradford Cathedral?
It was the music side of it particularly. My year in China had made me realise how much I’d missed being involved in singing and music. I thought this role would be opportunity to get back into this world again. I like cathedral environments; they’re peaceful, and everyone is very welcoming and friendly. Being able to have a job that’s around that attracted me, and having the music administrator role led me into pursuing the choral scholar role.
What does the Music Administrator role involve?
Lots of things! A key thing is making sure that there are enough singers for every service. I have to prepare the readings for the services and pick people to do those; there are the consent forms, risk assessments, and logistics for tours, and preparing orders for services. I could go on!
What are you most looking forward to it in the role?
I’m most looking forward to getting to know all my colleagues, and learn more about how a cathedral runs; being able to play my part in that and help it great. I know that Bradford is looking to expand its role and grow, and to be part of that feels really good, and to eventually look back to see how we’ve grown and what I’ve contributed.
What message would you like to give to the congregation to welcome yourself in?
It’ll be nice to meet you all, and I hope to be able to speak to you after services, and you’ll get to know me better!
Finally, how do you like your tea or coffee?
Tea, black! I don’t drink coffee.