Director of Music – Dr Helen Isom BA (Hons)
Helen Isom followed her first degree in Music at the University of Exeter, with a year studying for a post-graduate business diploma before joining the publishing department of the Royal School of Church Music. Having become Head of Publishing, she was head-hunted by Boosey & Hawkes to develop a new choral music department, working with composers such as Karl Jenkins and James MacMillan. Alongside this Helen studied with Professor Peter Aston, completing her PhD thesis on Music and Liturgy in 2000. Finally ceasing to be a student, she decided it was time to contribute to teaching the next generation and retrained as a teacher, working as Head of Music at Gravesend Grammar School for Boys, before coming to Combe Bank in 2006. Alongside her roles at Combe Bank, Helen is also Director of Music at St George’s RAF Chapel at Biggin Hill and is Examinations Secretary for the Guild of Church Musicians and a Reader and Advisor to Oxford University Press. She regularly contributes articles and reviews to the Church Times and can occasionally be found pretending to still be an oboist.
Organist – Paul Isom
Paul is also Organist for the Roman Catholic congregation at St George’s RAF Memorial Chapel, Biggin Hill, Accompanist to the Combe Bank Choral Society and Rochester Diocesan Organs Advisor. He was born in 1959 in Redhill, Surrey, and was taught the organ by Rodney Williams at Hayes School. He holds a BA (Hons) in music, the LRSM and DipABRSM in organ performance, the DipRSCM and CertRSCM in church music and liturgy studies and the ACertCM, also in church music and liturgy studies. He has taught music, IT and Geography at Combe Bank School near Sevenoaks for the past four years and is now a freelance musician, performing, composing and teaching. Paul has recently been elected Honorary Member of the Association des Amis de l’Orgue de Saint Nicolas de Meursault, in recognition of his work in raising the profile of the organ with a view to its eventual restoration.