Obituary of Dr Dennis Townhill, musician and organist at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh; born 29 May, 1925, in Lincoln; died 18 July, 2008, in Edinburgh, aged 83.
In 1961, Dennis Townhill was appointed organist at Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Cathedral: a post to which he brought a broad knowledge of church music and a desire to enhance the already considerable reputation of the choral music in the cathedral. Townhill was an ardent lover of JS Bach (he regularly performed his entire organ music at St Mary’s) but supported contemporary composers and commissioned works by Kenneth Leighton, who was Reid professor of music at Edinburgh University.
On his retirement he was appointed organist emeritus at the cathedral and he was awarded an OBE in 2008.
Hazel Sheppard, the concert administrator at St Mary’s, confirmed that the cathedral “owes much to Dennis’s musical enthusiasm and wide understanding of church music”. She said: “He was a lovely man and much loved by the entire congregation here and revered by all his students. He is remembered with great affection at St Mary’s.”
Full story at The Scotsman.