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Saturday 8 June 2024 Visit to North Essex

The first visit of Robert Waller's presidential year was a most enjoyable day out visiting three splendid churches all meticulously organised by Tony Dunn who lives and plays for several churches in this area. MORE TO FOLLOW but here is the music that was played during the day.

    St. Nicolas, Witham

    Michaela Cottee

  • Christe Te Lux - William Blitheman (1525-91)
  • Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen - Helmut Walcha (1907-1991)
  • Hugh Singleton

  • Aria form 'Xerxes' - George Frederik Handel
  • Adagio from Violin Sonata in G minor - George Frederik Handel
  • Der Tag ist so freundenreich BWV 628 - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
  • Prelude in G major BWV 568 - Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Andrew Garfath-Cox

  • Cantilene - Joseph Rheinberger
  • Recessional on St Theodulph - Kenneth Grange
  • Aria - Paul Manz
  • Tony Dunn

  • Nun bitten wir der Heiligen Geist BuxWV 208 - Dietrich Buxtehud
  • Nun bitten wir der Heiligen Geist BuxWV 209 - Dietrich Buxtehude

    All Saints Stisted

    Andrew Garfath-Cox

  • Forlana - Gerald Finzi
  • Hugh Singleton

  • Andante religioso from Sonata No IV - Felix Mendelssohn
  • Michaela Cottee

  • La Gnossienne - Erik Satie

    St. Peter ad Vincula Coggeshall

    Tony Dunn

  • Fanfare for the Common Man - Aaron Copland
  • Robert Waller

  • Postlude in D - Healey Willan
  • In Green Pastures - Harold Darke
  • Andrew Garfath-Cox

  • Rubrics 'The peace may be exchanged' - Dan Locklair
  • Trumpet Voluntary - Gordon Young
  • Lento from Canterbury Improvisations - Sidney Campbell
  • Andante espressivo No III from Sonata in G, Op. 28 - Edward Elgar
  • Elegy - Paul Fey (2000- )
  • Michaela Cottee

  • Chaconne - Johann Pachabel
  • Rorate Caeli - Jeanne Demessieux
  • Hugh Singleton

  • Pavan - Alec Rowley
  • O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen - Johannes Brahms
  • Freu dich sehr, O meine Seele - Siegfried Karg-Elert
  • Steven Hogger

  • an improvisation

Saturday 16 March Recital 7pm at Ipswich Unitarian Meeting House, Friars Street, Ipswich IP1 1TD

Although not an SOA event, Robert Waller, our President Elect has now been organist there for 50 years and in celebration of his long and valuable service, members of the congregation organised a party with an organ recital by Robert as described on this programme sheet.

Saturday 9 March 2024 Organ crawl to Haverhill, Clare and Lavenham

A number of members performed on these three instruments with tea and refreshments provided by our President Alan Loader and his partner. The other members present during the day were Stephen Hogger our Hon. Secretary who had at one time been organist of the church in Lavenham and he spoke about the changes that had taken place to make it a 4 manual organ during his time with the incorporation of another organ for the Solo division. Also with us were William Glasse, Robert Waller (President Elect) and our Hon. Membership Secretary, Paul Austen. Although there was a keen east wind blowing, we were blessed with a very sunny day as we drove between each of the churches through beautiful undulating countryside so typical of Suffolk.

At our first stop, the Old Independent Church, Christopher Moore improvised in his own inimitable way showing the many combinations of stops on this three manual organ by which he brought forth in his hands and feet such a variety and power of sound and sonorous tunefulness from the softest strings to loud reeds, to extremely loud full tutti (aided by the Trumpets en chamade!)and back again to a gentle conclusion. His introduction was much appreciated. We are fortunate to have in our Association someone of such exceptional talent. The building is exceptional and has a fine acoustic which fills the whole building and is a delight to listen to especially seated in the gallery level with the organ pipes and those en chamade pipes which would awake the dead!

Here is the playlist for the day:

    Old Independent Church, Haverhill

  • Tony Dunn Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist BuxWV208 Buxtehude
  • Steven McDonough Andantino Lennox Berkeley (1903 - 1989)
  • Andrew Garfath-Cox Elegy Paul Fey(1999 - ) + Tuba Tune Norman Cocker(1989 - 1953)
  • Paul Austen Fugue in D minor from 48 Preludes and Fugues J S Bach (1685 - 1750)
  • Tony Dunn Voluntary in G Henry Purcell (c.1659 - 1695)
  • St. Peter and St. Paul, Clare

  • Tony Dunn Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist BuxWV 209 Buxtehude + Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott BuxWV207 Dieterich Buxtehude (1637 - 1797)
  • Steven McDonough Fanfare Kenneth Leighton (1929 - 1988)
  • Andrew Garfath-Cox Cantique de Jean Racine Fauré + Sonata in C# minor (1st movement) Basil Harwood (1859 -1949)
  • Alan Loader An improvisation
  • St. Peter and St. Paul, Lavenham

  • Roger Green Exit pursued by Gentle Contemplation + Exit pursued by Freedom both by Roger Green
  • Steven McDonough Chant de Mai Joseph Jongen (1873 - 1953)
  • Andrew Garfath-Cox Prologue William Walton (1902 -1983)
  • Tony Dunn Toccata in C BWV564 J S Bach (1685 - 1750)

Thursday February 2024 Visit to St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Our host was Richard Cook, Assistant Director of Music Evensong to whom we offer our most grateful thanks especially for his help at turning pages and enabling us to sound at our best with his registration management.This followed a beautifullysung Choral Evensong and an excellent organ voluntary at the end by the organ scholar which was unfamiliar to us all.

It was a pleasure to see and hear Ann Little our Life Member and a former President of the Association who played a number of well known hymns. She was brought along by James Crowe. Roger Green came too. A splendid evening arranged by our President Alan Loader.

Tony Dunn played. Andrew Garfath-Cox played two pieces, the first the Songs of Praise Toccata by Robert Prizeman and folowed it with Grand Choeur Dialogué by Gigout

Saturday 26 November 2023 Christmas Tree Festival in Stowmarket

Our second year at St Peter and St Mary Parish Church is becoming an annual event with a further invitation for next year by Maggie Moore, the Churchwarden, who welcomed us. It is our opportunity as an Association of organists to display our wares to the general public. And in the warm and convivial atmosphere of the church people sat sipping their coffee and eating the cakes by most welcoming members of the church community, we were able to give them a feast of music. Nicholas Jardine had made all the arrangements for our provision of five hours of music for the many visitors who were clearly impressed by the forest of beautifully decorated Christmas trees and most complimentary about the music. From the start at 9am the organ, manufactured by Hele and Sons of London and Plymouth and tuned ready for the occasion by Bishops of Ipswich played a huge variety of music for the Christmas season even though we hadn't yet reached Advent.

Each playing for an hour, the performers were Nicholas Jardine who played for the first hour and the last, then Andrew Garfath-Cox, Robert Waller, Stephen Hogger and Juliette Adams. We were pleased to see our fellow member Brian Crawford there too.

Saturday 18 November 2023

Another recital by our member, Tony Dunn, is coming up at 6pm in All Saint's Church, Stisted CM77 8AW near to Braintree. Read here

Saturday 4 November 2023 A talk by Gary Cole

Our next upcoming event to hear the founder of Regent Records speak about the art of music recording. Click here.

23 October - 27 October 2023 An outing organised by the Norfolk Association of Organists in the North Netherlands and Germany

This was not a SOA event but included in the party was Roger Pulham, our treasurer and a master builder of organs went on a tour of the Netherlands to see examples of their organ building skills and reports back on what he has seen.Click here for the report.
Click here for photos 5 October 2023.
Click here for photos 6 October 2023.
Click here for photos 7 October 2023.

Click here for photos 4 October 2023.
Click here for photos 3 October 2023.
Click here for photos 2 October 2023.

Saturday 7 October 2023 Masterclass with Daniel Moult

This Masterclass was well attended and each performer was given most valuable advice by Dan. He is a very accomplished internationl performer himself but also an excellent teacher, usually of his students at the Birmingham Conservatoire, but on this full day, with us. He is a mine of valuable information about performance issues and to every person who played he was very supportive and encouraging and engaged his whole audience with his good humoured comments and extensive knowledge of the instrument.

Our President, Alan Loader had organised the event and it was pleasing that members came to witness Dan, this tour de force of the organ world, engaging equally well with all ages of participant who all played with considerable skill and musicianship across a range of music that they had chosen to play. Members present were Juliette Adams, James Crowe, William Baldry, Miriam Ellis, Brian Crawford, Simon Clark and Hugh Singleton and, of course, those who had chosen to perform below. Both the location and the warm weather was ideal so that everyone could be comfortable and sit as close as they wished to the organ console and the three manual organ coped well with the demands put upon it with music from the time of Walther to Langlais.

  • Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan - Walther - Janet Looser
  • O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig - Bach - Thomas Strudwick
  • Praeludium in G minor - Bruhns - Robert Waller
  • Andante in F - Lefebure-Wely - Fiona Bodmer
  • Passacaglia in C minor - Bach - Andrew Garfath-Cox
  • Andante in C - Wesley - Tony Dunn
  • St. Anne Prelude - Bach - Nicholas Jardine
  • Trio Sonata No. 4 - Bach - Logan Williamson
  • Te Deum from Suite Gregorieenes - Langlais - Archie Thompson

It was a most enjoyable occasion enjoyed by everyone and Alan Loader thanked Daniel Moult for coming, also all those who played too and the incumbent and congregation of St. Matthew's Church.

Saturday 7 October 2023 MASTERCLASS with Daniel Moult at St. Matthew's Church Ipswich

That was a wonderful opportunity to advance your skill with one of the best organists in the country who has an infectious enthusiasm for the instrument. Click here to see poster and here for specification of the organ.

15 July 2023 Organ Crawl: North East Suffolk

Three churches were visited:

  • St. John the Baptist Church, Lound with a two-manual Harrison and Harrison originally built in 1913. It has a spectacular organ case designed by Sir Ninian Comper.
  • The Catholic Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Lowestoft with a 3 manual organ by Norman and Beard built in 1900 and has apparently been little altered since.
  • St. Peter and St. John in Kirkley with a 4 manual instrument by Brindley and Foster currently looked after by Boggis of Diss.
  • The event was organised by Alan Loader, our current President and the Secretary, Stephen Hogger and it was well attended by ten members on a very breezy day which though the forecast was for showers proved fortunately to be entirely clement and sunny. This didn't deter Andrew Leach who brought his bike by train and cycled between the churches probably faster thn we were able move around by car.

    At all three churches we were given a very warm welcome.

    At Lound we were greeted by the organist, Kevin Turner and by the church warden Judith Hobbs. Kevin told us of the woes of electro-pneumatic as the church were insisting in 1996 that it should be put back to its original condition. With the advice of Paul Hale, who said 'Why restore something that is flawed', fortunately it is now electromgnetic action and with the recent work done on the organ it is now a reliable instrument without ciphers and enjoyable to play. Tuning of this organ is very difficult as the only access to the case is through removal of the front dummy pipes. It is a most beautiful church with a very fine screen before the chancel and the 'medieval' wall painting of St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers reveals on closer inspection that it really is contemporaneous with today.

    At Our Lady Star of the Sea we were welcomed by the organist Judith Long and Tony Walmsley into their very fine church with the organ placed in a gallery in the west end. The organ speaks with the authority of a Norman and Beard organ and has a wide variety of stops which enabled each player to choose registrations entirely appropriate to the sound worlds of Buxtehude, of Mascagni and of Bridge. The versatility of the instrument was demonstrated by our President, Alan Loader playing Chimes by Bernard Rose. Possibility not to the ear but this piece is a palindrome if inspected on the score. We all enjoyed playing this fine instrument which is still singing out after 123 years. Although it does have a few registration aids, how useful it would be if our forebears had had the technology of today which allows rapid changes of timbre at one's finger tips ideal especially useful for more romantic music like by Frank Bridge. We were very appreciative of the kindness of the church members who provided us with a very fine buffet lunch and refreshments and listened with interest and pleasure to our choices of pieces.

    After leaving the catholic church we drove the short journey to Kirkley where a few of us visited Britten's childhood home for many years which is currently being used for holiday accomodation and where Alan Loader + Dave had sojourned. Each bedroom with ensuite bathroom was named after a composer - Bach/ Handel/ Brahms/ Elgar to name a few but the only other reference to the musical association (no piano upright or grand) with one of our foremost composers of the last century was a treble clef in the metal work of the main garden gate looking toward the sea.

    At Kirkley, we were invited into the church by Rev Helen Chandler (Rector), John Overton (husband of Rev Helen & one of the organists there) and Terry Hepworth (the 'senior' organist at Kirkley). Certainly this is a large late Victorian church with a very wide span for the nave requiring the power of the large 4 manual organ but it seemed to be shoehorned into a corner with some divisions facing into the nave and the others into the chancel. Unfortunately the stops of the pedal division were unplayable and this made all the music sound rather bass light even when couplers to the different manuals were drawn and with heavy action. Climbing onto the organ stool felt precarious! We learned that the Trumpet on the Great had been removed to another place and a very loud Tuba substituted but it would have needed full organ to accompany it satisfactorily. In fact, the church use a small two manual organ with pedal board whose sound is enhance by resonators standing in the chancel but we were not to hear it being played.

    At the garden party in June Rosemary Caudle was talking with Tony Dunn expressing her interest in playing the organ by transferring her skills from her grade 8 piano technique. (Rosemary's mother was a former member of the Association and died recently at 105!) Tony volunteered to show her music when they next met for two manual instruments. Tony fullfilled his promise and Rosemary and Tony had a seminar together discussing and observing music that he had brought along to show her. Hopefully we can bring along more organists by this means!

    So the members who came along were: Alan Loader (President) + 1, William Baldry (Past President), Stephen Hogger + 1, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Rosemary Caudle, Tony Dunn, Andrew Leach, Roger Pulham

    Here are the pieces played:

      At Lound
    • Tony Dunn Le Cygne Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
    • Andrew Garfath-Cox Greensleeves an arrangement by Ralph Vaughan-Williams (1872-1958)
    • Andrew Leach Misere(2) William Byrd (1540-1623)
    • Alan Loader Offertoire Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély (1817-1869)
    • Roger Pulham Choral Prelude on 'New every morning' Hubert Parry (1848-1918)
    • Stephen Hogger improvised
    • William Baldry Alla Marcia John Ireland (1879-1962)
      At Our Lady Star of the Sea
    • William Baldry Allegro Marziale e ben marcato / Andantino Frank Bridge (1879-1941)
    • Tony Dunn Praeambulum octavi toni Franz Xaver Murchhauser (1663-1738) / Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist BuxWV 208 Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707_
    • Andrew Garfath-Cox New Commonwealth Ralph Vaughan-Williams (1872-1958)/ Absoute Eugène Gigout (1844-1925)
    • Alan Loader Chimes Bernard Rose (1916-1996) / Intermezzo Petro Mascagni (1863-1945)
      At Kirkley
    • Stephen Hogger Festivo Martin How (1931-2022) / Prelude to 'They Walk Alone' Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
    • Alan Loader Interlude Harold Darke (1888-1976) / Toccata Georgi Mushel (1909-1989)
    • Andrew Garfath-Cox Elegiac Prelude Gerard Bales (1919-2002)
    • William Baldry Allegro giacoso Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
    • Tony Dunn Fuga Johann Pachabel (1653-1706)

    Sunday 25 June 2023 Garden party Levington with tea and cakes

    On a very hot afternoon we congregated in a beautiful garden immaculately planted and cared for by Ian and Margaret Angus with views of the River Orwell and right next to St. Peter's Church Levington. A splendid garden party with lovely cakes and sandwiches and tea made by several members was the first event organised by our new President Alan Loader. During the afternoon tea the President played some showtunes on an older Casio keyboard while members of the Association mingled with friends of Rushmere St. Andrew where Alan had been organist and organiser for many years of many series of afternoon concerts. The members who were present were: Alan Loader, Tony Dunn, Brian Crawford and his wife, Juliette Adams, Philip Speirs and his wife, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Miriam Ellis, Rosemary Caudle, Nicholas Jardine, and Christopher Moore.

    After tea we walked across the lawns into the church where Peter Bumpstead, organ builder and organist of the church talked how the organ was originally acquired and some of the additions he is proposing to make very soon to this two-manual instrument with about 500 pipes: a reed on the swell and an 8ft stop on the pedals. He read to us a passage from Journal 101 which described the last visit to this church for an AGM in the Village Hall when Peter himself was a President of the Association.

    After Peter had spoken, Christopher Moore, gave us a short recital of pieces from Byrd to Mathias, played with the mastery of a very talented and skilled musician and was ably aided by Nicholas Jardine. Both of these gentlemen had taken their life in their hands (and feet) climbing up the Jacob's ladder and through the tight hatch to reach the organ. The programme that Christopher had selected was able to demonstrate the range of sounds available from this modest instrument. What a wonderful opportunity to listen to this instrument and the audience clapped most appreciatively.

    We had a most convivial gathering (how lovely to see strawberries and cream) culminating with a splendid recital too!

    • A Fancie / William Byrd
    • Sonata (3 movements) / G.B.Pescetti
    • Voluntary in G / William Walond
    • Humoresque / Pietro Yon
    • Processional / William Mathias

    Sunday 18 June 2023 4.30 pm RHS Holbrook a recital by Peter Crompton at RHS

    Our member and a former President of SOA, Organist Emeritus Peter Crompton is back at the Grand Organ of the Royal Hospital School Chapel. Hear a Hill, Norman and Beard 4-manual wonder! Having spent almost 40 years in post at RHS, Peter knows the organ better than anybody else and his recitals always bring out the best in this breathtaking English-romantic instrument.

    A very hot and sultry afternoon was brought to life by Peter's masterly playing. The first piece of the afternoon, Improvisation sur le Te Deum by Tournemire and its opening statement was enough to awake any creatures in a 10 mile radius of RHS. The immense power of the wonderful chapel organ, in its original state as crafted in 1933 in the same year that Royal Hospital School, Holbrook was founded after its move from Greenwich, is intensified by the acoustic of the majestic chapel. It needs the chapel to be full with the pupils present to mop up some of these decibels. Peter is a master of this organ and not unwilling to let it be heard when the music demands it. Fortunately, a good number of people attended the recital including SOA members which includes Peter himself, and also present were Geoffrey Boyle, Roger Pulham, Tony Dunn and Andrew Garfath-Cox who was Peter's page-turner. Andrew Stevens was on hand for last minute checks on the organ and we were welcomed by the Director of Music, Edward Allen.

    You were promised a popular programme which would include Widor’s famous Toccata, Elgar’s Imperial March, Sousa’s Liberty Bell, Yon’s Humoresque and music by Mushel, Peeters, Tournemire & Walton and no one could have been disappointed as each piece could have not been performed better. Peter chose just the right registrations for his pieces on an organ whose range of tonal landscape from powerful reeds to soft strings is multi-faceted.

    Here is the programme:

    • Improvisation sur le Te Deum /Tournemire
    • Nimrod (from Enigma Variations) /Elgar
    • Imperial March /Elgar
    • The Liberty Bell March /Sousa
    • Humoresque "L'Organo primitivo" /Yon
    • Carillon-Sortie /Mulet
    • Toccata /Mushel
    • Aria /Peeters
    • Sortie /Bédard
    • Crown Imperial /Walton
    • Le Cygne (from The Carnival of the Animals) /Saint-Saëns
    • Toccata (from Symphony for Organ No. 5) /Widor

    Tuesday 13th June 2023 Lunchtime Concert at St. Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich

    This recital by Harrison Cole, continuing his studies for a Masters in Music degree at Trinity College, Cambridge after graduating last summer with a first class honours degree, was sponsored by SOA. It was good to see a number of members of the Association present. Our Past President, William Baldry, who organises this series of concert welcomed Harrison back to a church in which he has performed many times before when he was a pupil at Ipswich School. The other members present were our Treasurer, Roger Pulham, Philip Speirs, Barry Palmer, Andrew Leach and Andrew Garfath-Cox.

    Harrison played as his first piece a Suite by Peter Hurford called 'Laudate Dominum'. As Harrison pointed out each of the six pieces in the suite could be played individually in liturgical use but also makes a fine recital piece with huge contrasts in tempo, rhythm, stop registrations. He continued his recital with the Chorale Prelude by J S Bach BWV 654 'Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele'. Then Praeludium in E minor 'Little' by Nicholaus Bruhns, followed two french composers: Prière Op.20 by César Franck, a piece with great emotional depth and his recital concluded with the exciting Final from Symphony No. 1 in D, Op.14 by Louis Vierne.

    Harrison's exceptional talent brought great pleasure to the audience and great pride to the Association that he is one of our members.