The English conductor, Andrew Mackay, read Classics at Cambridge, but devoted most of his time to music. He sang bass at Trinity under Richard Marlow and alto at King's under Sir David Willcocks and Philip Ledger, in addition to composing, conducting, running Trinity College Musical Society, and founding the Wren Library and Great Court Concert Series. After five years' English teaching at Pangbourne College he came to Salisbury as an alto lay clerk in 1979.
Andrew Mackay succeeded Ralph Allwood as conductor of Goring Chamber Choir, then in 1986 was appointed Musical Director of the Romsey Singers. This was followed by the founding of the Romsey Players and an expansion of repertoire including commissions from contemporary composers such as Francis Grier, and performances of J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass (BWV 232) and St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the period instrument band Florilegium. As a guest conductor he has worked with many choirs including Southern Voices, the Farrant Singers, Southampton University Chamber Choir and I Polifonici Senesi; soloists who have sung under his direction include Michael Chance, Rufus Müller, Anna Markland and James Bowman. Andrew Mackay founded the Sarum Consort in 1992.
As an operatic and orchestral conductor Andrew Mackay's credits include The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, Così fan Tutte and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Also a playwright and lyricist, Andrew Mackay has written three shows in collaboration with the King's Singer Philip Lawson.