Organist: Shean Bowers

Shean Bowers
Shean Bowers is Assistant Director of Music at Bath Abbey, a post he has held this post since September 2010, having previously been Director of The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Training Choir and Organ Scholar at Liverpool Cathedral. He is co-founder of Voices for Life, a charity to help inspire children to be happy and confident through the provision of high-quality specialised singing and confidence coaching programmes for primary schools.

Shean's musical career began at an early age when he was accepted as a chorister into the Choir of Liverpool Cathedral. Scholarship grants enabled Shean to study the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Noel Rawsthorne. He was then awarded a full scholarship to study at Chetham’s School of Music; The Royal Academy of Music; Liverpool University and The Royal Northern College of Music.

Duties at the Abbey involve assisting with the training and conducting of the Abbey Choirs; playing the organ for statutory services; directing the Abbey’s youngest voices – The Melody Makers (a choir which Shean founded in 2011 for children between 6 – 11 years old) and directing the Bath Abbey Schools’ Singing Programme, which sees him going into many schools and helping over 1000 children a week ‘Find Their Voice’. Since being in post, Shean has directed and accompanied the Abbey Choirs and Melody Makers on BBC television and radio broadcasts, and has developed the Abbey’s Singing Programme, which Shean founded, making it the second largest in the United Kingdom.

Upon the retirement of Peter King as Director of Music at Bath Abbey, Shean was invited to be Acting Director of Music, for a five-month term. During this time, Shean increased the number of boys, girls and men in the Abbey choir; successfully organised and directed an Abbey choir tour to Paris and commissioned a Christmas Oratorio from Jools Scott and Sue Curtis for the boys, girls and Melody Makers, accompanied by the Bristol Ensemble. This was premiered at the Abbey during December 2016 to a capacity audience. Alongside this, Shean was responsible for the smooth running of the department; planning, preparation, and delivery of music at all statutory services; direction of Melody Makers and leadership of the Abbey’s Schools; Singing Programme.

More recently, Shean can be heard accompanying the Abbey Choirs on a CD recording, recorded by Regent records, of Christmas music called Gaudete. Shean’s organ playing was reviewed in the Gramaphone as follows: “The best showcase for the Klais is Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of Ding Dong! merrily on high, played with relish by Assistant Director of Music, Shean Bowers and “I do not previously recall hearing Mack Wilberg’s much organ-focused arrangement of Ding Dong Merrily on High – although given the brilliant playing from Bowers, it may be that I have just never heard it performed so well before.”

As an accompanist, recitalist and choir director, Shean has performed up and down the country as well as in France, Germany, Denmark and USA. He has played as soloist with several orchestras including The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Halle, Chetham’s School of Music Symphony Orchestra and Bath Philharmonia. Most recently, Shean performed the Poulenc Organ Concerto and Saint-Saens Organ Symphony with the Bath Philharmonia, on the Abbey’s Klais Organ. He is in great demand as a music educator, examiner and adjudicator. Shean is one of the organists for BBC Daily Service and a regular workshop leader for The Royal School of Church Music.

With a special interest in training young voices, and as a church organist, Shean is committed to the development of the next generation of musicians.

You can contact Shean directly by email.