Robert Rathbone has been Director of Music at the Sacred Heart since 1996, succeeding Martyn Parry. After joining the choir at St Mary’s Parish Church in Merton Park at the age of 17, he took up the organ and went on to read music at Royal Holloway College, London. After graduating he held posts as organist and choirmaster at three London churches, including St Matthew’s in West Wimbledon, before crossing the divide to the Sacred Heart. In addition to his duties at the church (including directing the choir at the Latin Mass every week), he has conducted many performances of major choral works with the Sacred Heart Chorus and Orchestra. 2018 saw a moving and powerful performance of Elgar’s masterpiece, Dream of Gerontius, and in June 2019, a performance of (probably) the greatest choral work ever written; JS Bach’s B minor Mass.
He spent his entire teaching career at next-door Wimbledon College (1980 to 2017) and was the Director of Music there from 1984-2013. He is now a freelance musician, including, of course, working in this marvellous building. He is also Musical Director for the parish amdram group, Edge Hill Players, with four very successful pantomimes and spectacular productions of ‘Oklahoma!’ and ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Singing‘ in the Rain’ under his belt.