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Tributes to Armagh cathedral organist Theo Saunders who has died aged 58

By David Young

Published 15/01/2016

Theo Saunders came to Armagh in 2002
Theo Saunders came to Armagh in 2002

The death has taken place of Theo Saunders, organist at St Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh.

He had been ill for some time, and had stepped down from his full-time role a year ago.

Oxford-educated Mr Saunders (58) was born in Hereford and had held a series of prestigious musical appointments in England before coming to Armagh in 2002.

Dean Gregory Dunstan of St Patrick's Cathedral last night paid tribute to Mr Saunders.

He said: "Theo was a very accomplished organist, musician and teacher.

"He became organist and master of the choristers at St Patrick's Cathedral Armagh in September 2002.

"Theo made a great contribution to the music in Armagh.

"He will be remembered for the great care and time he lavished on his organ pupils.

"He would have led the cathedral choir through many major services, including the visit of Her Majesty the Queen in 2009, when she distributed the Royal Maundy, and at least one archbishop's enthronement, and would have contributed to many others in the life of the cathedral."

Offering his condolences to Mr Saunders' family and friends, Mr Dunstan said: "Theo leaves an enormous circle of friends both in Armagh and in the musical life of Northern Ireland generally.

"He was very well-liked and admired by all who knew him.

"I want to extend my sympathies to his brother Tim and to the wider family circle."

Canon Michael Kennedy, a close friend of Mr Saunders, will preach at the funeral, which takes place in St Patrick's tomorrow at 1.30pm, followed by interment in St Mark's Parish churchyard.

Belfast Telegraph

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