Last summer brought a heavy blow to the congregation when our Organist, Ian Handley, retired from his post owing to ill- health. Ian had become a friend to many of us and we had come to appreciate his music interpretation and choir direction greatly. By good fortune, one of our choristers, Peter McLean volunteered to deputise until a replacement Organist could be a ppointed. Peter’s family has long association with the congregation and he, himself, has enjoyed a notable career as a professional singer and music teacher both in the UK and Canada.
From applications received, Mr Phil Hotham was selected. Phil is a Londoner and as a boy was a chorister at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster. After studying piano, organ and composition he graduated from the Guildhall School of Music.
Following his post graduation training, he began a challenging and fulfilling career in education and became a Director of Music in Surrey while being Organist at the deanery church of Christchurch in Woking. After moving to Manchester as Music Adviser and leader of instrumental and choral development, Phil moved into school Headship before, eventually, retirement beckoned.
Throughout his career, Phil has always maintained involvement as a church musician: playing, conducting, singing and organising. Since residing in Scotland, Phil has enjoyed participating at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow. Phil also works with the Royal School of Church Music ‘Scottish Voices’ choir.
Phil now has two children and six grandchildren. Like many of us, he enjoys food, wine, the great outdoors, reading, walking etc etc – and, of course, music!
During Morning Service on Sunday, 15 January Ian and Peter were warmly thanked for contributing so wonderfully to our worship; and Phil was welcomed and installed as our Organist and Director of Church Music. We look forward to enjoying a long friendship with him at Bothwell Parish Church.