Huddersfield Choral Society have suspended their chorus master Joseph Cullen over sex allegations.
One of Huddersfield’s most prolific musicians, Cullen has appeared in a Scottish court accused of sexual offences.
He was arrested and charged with two counts of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour, before going to the Glasgow Sheriff Court for a private hearing.
The society’s general secretary, Jeremy Garside, said that Cullen has now been suspended from his role but was not aware that any misconduct had taken place during his time with the choir.
Cullen, who was highly regarded not just locally but across the UK for his conducting, recitalist and organist talents, has been involved with the Huddersfield Choral Society since 1999 and has worked with young musicians at the town’s annual Mrs Sunderland Festival and was director of the chamber choir of the University of Huddersfield.
According to Scottish sources, Cullen, 54, made no plea or declaration when he appeared in private on petition and the Crown Office confirmed that his case has been submitted for further examination and that he has been released on bail.
No date has yet been set for his next court appearance, but under Scottish law his case will return to the court within 180 days.
In a press release posted on the choral society’s website, Mr Garside said: “The Huddersfield Choral Society has today suspended its Chorus Master, Joseph Cullen following his appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court during which he was charged with two counts of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour.
“The Officers of The Choral Society have taken immediate steps to suspend Mr Cullen to protect the interests of The Society and its members pending the legal outcome of the allegations.
“The Society is not aware of any instances of misconduct during Mr Cullen’s association with the Choir and as such, has nothing more to add at this stage but will update this statement as soon as the outcome of the case is known or if anything material occurs in the meantime.
“Preparations for The Society’s next concert on October 31, along with all other musical matters, will continue without interruption.”
It is not yet known where or when the alleged offences involving Cullen took place.
During his career, Cullen, who was born in Glasgow but now lives in West Yorkshire, has also worked in schools, colleges and conservatories around the country and was also the first full-time Director of Music at Leeds Cathedral from 1988 to 1993.
He has won two Grammy Awards for his work as director of the London Symphony Chorus and has conducted many orchestras, including the Northern Sinfonia, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Orchestra of Opera North.
He won a scholarship at the age of nine to study violin and piano at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and completed one year full-time there before reading music at Cambridge University where he was organ scholar of Trinity College.