A native of Bronxville, New York, John Winthrop Brooks first discerned his calling as a church musician as a chorister at his home parish, Christ Church, under the tutelage of its distinguished Organist and Choirmaster Robert Owen. With Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in organ from The College of Wooster and The Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University respectively, John continued advanced studies in choir training, conducting, repertoire and Anglican church music history at the Royal School of Church Music in England. As Fellow in Church Music at Washington National Cathedral, he was second assistant organist, assisted in the training of the choir of men and boys, and authored a paper on the history of the former Cathedral College of Church Musicians. From 1992-94 he lived in England, first as a Choral Scholar in the choir of Wells Cathedral and then as a Lay Clerk in the choir of Gloucester Cathedral. In both places he taught in the cathedral schools and pursued research into the Anglican cathedral choral tradition.
John was Assistant Organist-Choirmaster at Christ Church in Greenwich, CT, choral music teacher at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown DE and St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria VA, and Director of Music at St. James Church in Lancaster, PA. In Rhode Island, he was Organist and Choirmaster at St. Michael’s Church in Bristol before taking up interim appointments at St. Luke’s in East Greenwich, St. John’s in Barrington and St. Barnabas in Warwick. He is member of the American Guild of Organists, the Royal School of Church Music in America, the Association of Anglican Musicians, and the American Choral Director’s Association.