He began his musical training as a chorister at Lichfield Cathedral, from where he won a musical scholarship to Wellington College to pursue his studies at the piano, organ and bassoon. He then won a choral scholarship to Guildford Cathedral in conjunction with a place at the University of Surrey, from where he graduated in 1984. He chose to take conducting as his first specialisation, receiving tuition from Vernon Handley. He conducted the University Symphony Orchestra and Choral Society and re-established the University Chamber Choir. He has sung as a Lay-Clerk at Westminster Cathedral and developed a freelance career singing and recording with the BBC Singers, The Tallis Scholars, and The Scholars Baroque Ensemble. He was Music Director of the Thames Voyces from 1986 to 1989.
He began his production career in 1992, at sessions in Ely Cathedral for the organist Jeremy Filsell.