Dr Paul Ellison

Staff and Vestry

Director of Music

Dr Paul Ellison is a native of Liverpool, England. He grew up in Surrey, and was educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying organ with Christopher Bowers-Broadbent and harpsichord with Virginia Black, gaining the Recital Diploma for Organ Performance (DipRAM), the Academy's highest performing award; London University where he was awarded a BMus degree; Queens' College, Cambridge; San José State University, where he gained an MA in musicology; and Cardiff University, where he holds a PhD degree, awarded for his thesis: “The Key to Beethoven: Connecting Tonality and Meaning in His Music." It was published by Pendragon Press in December, 2014.

During his time in London, Paul was Assistant Organist at St. Pancras' Church near Euston Station, (where Henry Smart played) and at St. Mary-at-Hill Church in the City of London, (where Thomas Tallis played) and Director of Music and Organist at St. Mary's Church, The Boltons, in London's fashionable Chelsea. He emigrated to the United States in August 1988, and is currently High Holiday Choir Director at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, and a member of the faculties of San Francisco State University, San José State University and St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School, San Mateo. He was recently appointed Editor of The Beethoven Journal, the award-winning periodical of the American Beethoven Society. From 2010-15, he was Editor of The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians and in July 2017 he was installed as 36th President. 

Among the more interesting highlights of his career Paul has performed for HRH The Prince Charles at Trinity College, Cambridge, directed the music at the weddings of actor Julian Sands and director Michael Attenborough (son of the late Lord Attenborough) and at the funerals of actor Leonard Rossiter and the Marquesa de Casa Maury (Freda Dudley Ward, sometime mistress of King Edward VIII). Dr Ellison returned to Church of the Advent as Director of Music in March 2010, after a previous tenure of seventeen years.