David Lee: Modern psalms for the modern church

David Lee's career has been in IT, closely associated with science research: thirty years at Durham University, eight years at ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) and now at the UK national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire.

From his teenage years in an evangelical Anglican background in suburban Manchester he has always been actively involved in local church music. For two summer seasons in the 1970s he was Abbey Musician at Iona Abbey. It was during his time (1995–2008) as music director of St. John's Church, Nevilles Cross, Durham, that his writing of psalm settings, particularly in contemporary styles, developed. A lifelong keen advocate of active congregational singing, he has become increasingly concerned at the ironic near-extinction of the Bible's own song-book from the song repertoire of "Bible-based" churches of his background.

His psalm settings cover a range of styles and have been included in publications as diverse as Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, USA), "Season by Season" (Royal School of Church Music), "Evangelicals Now" and a psalm chant collection in 2017 honouring York Minster's former organist Francis Jackson.

Recent Hebrew Bible influences on his psalm paraphrasing include the translations of Robert Alter and the hermeneutical approaches of Old Testament scholars Peter Enns and John Walton.