Wednesday 20 March 2019 – A Day in North London
Two Father Willis organs to play, one at St John’s, Friern Barnet and the other at Union Chapel, Islington. 8.00am return to Ipswich circa 6.00pm.
We travelled by coach from Ipswich picking-up en route at Marks Tey more of our members and in fairly heavy traffic arrived at our first destination to be greeted by John Norman formerly of Hill, Norman and Beard Organ Builders who gave us details of how the church had been progressively built. Ascending by a narrow spiral staircase, the organ is high up in a chamber on the North side of the Chancel. We were told that the apsidal stonework of the chancel was created very expensively at the request of the Vicar after he had seen such designs in some German churches. It is certainly very impressive. The nave and transcepts was built in stages and at the west end is a very tall and ornately carved font cover. The huge butresses of the building which can be seen outside are necessary as this church has fully stone vaulted roof.
After everyone had had the opportunity to play the organ, we went to Kenwood House which has magnificent views of the city of London and ate in the cafeteria for lunch. We welcomed two new non-playing members Brian and Janice Crawford on our trip, the president and we thanked Roger Green for arranging this splendid day out. The others members present were Tony Percival, Mike Pluck, Stephen Hogger, Robert Waller, Tony Dunn, Stephen O'Donaghue, Ann and Bob Smith, Martin Ellis, Andrew Garfath-Cox and Juliette Adams.
We were welcomed at Union Chapel by the Director of Music. The determination of the congregation to maintain their chapel worship within this remarkable building, the maintenance of the building itself and its organ has required hard work and intense lobbying of charitable sources and the the use of the building by concertgoers of a wide variety of different musical genres to provide an income stream preserving the wonderful organ for generations to come. An unusual feature of the organ retained in the rebuilding by organ builders Harrison and Harrison of Durham is that it can be both powered by water pressure as well as by electricity and we saw the hydraulic pumps working the bellows for different pressures.
Anthony Percival who recently retired from playing at Christchurch, Ipswich writes about the Union Chapel organ:
"The Union Chapel had its origin in the yer 1802 in a spontaneous association of part Espiscopalians and part Nonconformists. The former who embraced a more evangelical ministry than that prevailing at the parish church wanted some provision for worship in addition tot he two existing Nonconfromist Chapels. Their first Union Chapel in Compton Terrace was opened in 1806.
It is interesting to note that at first, the liturgy of the Church of England was used alongside the Comgregational way of worship - this also applied to the differetn observances of Holy Communion. By 1845, this practice ceased as Episcopalian membership had dwindled and the Congragational Order adopted entirely.
The prest Chapel was opened in 1876; Mr. Gladstone being among the worshippers. The building itself was at the time unique among Nonconformist places of worship. The plan wa suggested by the Church of Santa Fosca, Torcello. The great and lofty interior is octagonal having seating for just two thousand people. A leading architectural journal once gave Union Chapel as one of the most remarkable buildings of Queen Victoria's reign. It cost £50 000. The acoustic is wonderful! The large 3 manual 'Father' willis organ was installed in 1876-77 with pipework dating from 1873.
I have in my possession a copy of the Church Manual of 1872 with its brown and gold-tooledcloth-bound cover. It was prepared by the COngregational Minister, the Rev. Dr. Henry Allon, who with his gifted organist H J Gauntlett, began the fasion of printing hymnbooks with music and introduced regular congregational singing rehearsals.
I first heard the organ in 1960's and have played it subsequently, once for a wedding, and again to have a tape-recording session. I also demonstrated it for a visit by the Chapels Society of which I am a member."
It had been suggested that these two instruments would offer a thrilling opportunity to dust off off copies of your Victorian and Edwardian pieces and play them on organs of their own period. Many members took up this challenge and the music played follows:
Details from NPOR for St. John the Evangelist, Friern Barnet 1896 Father Willis
- 1 Open Diapason 16
- 2 Bourdon 16
- 3 Blank CD spare
- 4 Claribel 8
- 5 Dulciana 8
- 6 Suabe Flute 4 CD Flute Harmonique
- 7 Piccolo Harmonique 2 CD Viola da Gamba 8'
- 8 Corno di Bassetto 8
- 9 Open Diapason No.1 8
- 10 Open Diapason No.2 8
- 11 Claribel 8
- 12 Principal 4
- 13 Fifteenth 2
- 14 Mixture IIIrks 17.19.22
- 15 Trumpet 8
- 16 Bourdon 16 CD Double Diapason
- 17 Open Diapason 8
- 18 Lieblich Gedackt 8
- 19 Salicional 8
- 20 Vox Angelica 8
- 21 Principal 4 CD Gemshorn
- 22 Flageolet 2
- 23 Cornopean 8
- 24 Hautboy 8
- 1 Open Diapason Wood 16
- 2 Open Diapason Metal 16
- 3 Bourdon 16
- 4 Principal 8
- 5 Ophicleide 16 12"
- 6 Lieblich Gedact 8
- 7 Claribel Flute 8 grooved to Lieblich Gedact
- 8 Dulciana 8
- 9 Viol d'Amore 8 sic
- 10 Concert Flute 4
- 11 Lieblich Flöte 4
- 12 Piccolo 2
- 13 Corno di Bassetto 8
- 14 Tremulant
- 15 Double Open Diapason 16 stopped bass
- 16 Open Diapason 8
- 17 Stopped Diapason 8
- 18 Claribel Flute 8 grooved to Stopped Diapason
- 19 Flauto Dolce 8
- 20 Principal 4
- 21 Flute Harmonique 4
- 22 Twelfth 3
- 23 Fifteenth 2
- 24 Mixture III 17.19.22
- 25 Trumpet 8
- 26 Clarion 4
- 27 Contra Gamba 16 stopped bass
- 28 Open Diapason 8
- 29 Lieblich Gedact 8
- 30 Salcional 8 sic
- 31 Vox Angelica 8
- 32 Gemshorn 4
- 33 Lieblich Flote 4
- 34 Mixture III 17.19.22
- 35 Trumpet 8
- 36 Oboe 8
- 37 Vox Humana 8
- 38 Clarion 4
- 39 Tremulant
Pedal: Key action Tr; Stop action Me; Compass-low C Compass-high f1 ; Keys 30
Choir: Key action Tr ; Stop action Me; Compass-low C Compass-high g3; Keys 56
Great: Key action Tr; Stop action Me; Compass-low C Compass-high g3; Keys 56
Swell: Key action Tr; Stop action Me; Compass-low C Compass-high g3; Keys 56 Enclosed
Swell to Pedal / Swell to Great / Swell to Choir / Choir to Pedal / Great to Pedal. Note: Ratchet Swell pedal (RH side); 2 + 2 combination pedals
Details from NPOR for Union Chapel, Islington recently restored by Harrison and Harrison
Pedal: Key action Compressed Air; Stop action Me; Compass-low C Compass-high f1; Keys 30
Choir: Key action Tr; Stop action Me; Compass-low C Compass-high a3; Keys 58 Enclosed
Great: Key action Barker Lever; Stop action Me; Compass-low C Compass-high a3; Keys 58
Swell: Key action Barker Lever; Stop action Me; Compass-low C Compass-high a3; Keys 58 Enclosed
Swell to Pedal / Swell to Great / Choir to Great / Choir to Pedal /Great to Pedal
4 composition pedals Great, 4 Swell; Gt-Pd toe pedal (rhs at right-angles to pedalboard); 2 balanced Swell pedals, LH to Swell, RH to Choir
The Barker lever is a pneumatic system which multiplies the force of a finger on the key of a tracker pipe organ. It employs the wind pressure of the organ to inflate small bellows called "pneumatics" to overcome the resistance of the pallets (valves) in the organ's wind-chest. This lever allowed for the development of larger, more powerful organs still responsive to the human hand. These larger organs first flourished in France, e.g., the organ produced by Cavaillé-Coll at St. Sulpice. The first Barker lever was built in the Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Basilica of Saint-Denis.
This "contrivance" was named after Charles Spackman Barker (1804-79), engineer and organ-builder. A similar lever was developed by David Hamilton in 1835, and there has been debate whether Barker stole the design.
Monday 4 February 2019 1.30pm David Dunnett Organ Recital at RHS
Although not an SOA event, a good turnout of people, including a number of members of SOA were treated to an excellent organ recital in the vast acoustic but intense cold of the Royal Hospital School Chapel on the magnificent 1933 Hill, Norman and Beard Grand Organ. David had chosen four pieces for his well balanced programme by Alfred Hollins, Johann Sebastian Bach, Percy Grainger and a transcription of Charles Saint-Saens's well known Symphony No. 3 in C minor. The sonorous phrasing of the Adagio was followed by a tour-de-force arrangement by David Briggs played with huge verve. Who needs an orchestra? The whole programme demonstrated not only the versatility of the organ but also David's tremendous technical skill and musicianship. David, a graduate of Clare College, Cambridge who studied the organ with John Pryer and David Sanger, became Organist of Norwich Cathedral in January 1996 and was Master of the Music 1996-2007.
- Triumphal March Alfred Hollins (1865-1942
- Prelude and 'Fiddle' Fugue in D minor (BWV 539) J S Bach (1685-1750)
- Handel in the Strand Percy Grainger (1882-1961)
- Adagio (arr. Bernard) Finale (arr. Briggs) Charles Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
Following his recital, he held a masterclass giving insight and encouragement to the four brave souls who responded very well to his supportive suggestions.
First to play was Ann Clarke who played the beautiful middle section of Boellmann's Suite Gothique, Priere de Notre Dame. Then three of our members played. Tony Dunn playing Melodia by Reger was given some helpful tips on playing phrases. Then the first of two of our younger members, Alex Taylor, was congratulated by David on giving a very competent performance of a Trio by Julius Reubke (1834-1858). Alex was surprised to learn that Reubke had died so young having written Sonata on the 94th Psalm in C minor for solo organ which is based on the text of Psalm 94 and is considered one of the pinnacles of the Romantic repertoire. The masterclass concluded with Oliver Woods giving a lively performance of Fanfare by Matthias.
Saturday 26 January 2019 - Organ Day at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church Shaftesbury Avenue London WC2H 8EP
This event is arranged by Music in Bloomsbury overseen by our SOA member Philip Luke who is Organist of the Church and who ensures a wide range of traditional and contemporary musical styles involving singers and instrumentalists of many nationalities. The Bloomsbury Organ Day this year was yet another occasion for amazingly talented musicians to be brought together. It had originally been envisaged as a one-off event but its enormously popularity makes this its ninth season. This day is also supported by Philip Norman, Organist of St Marien mit St Georg German Lutheran Church in WC1 who set up Organists Online. This started in 2000 to help churches, choirs and funeral directors find organists and was originallyintended for just London north of the Thames. Now there are 1000 organists registered from all over the world! Also, most generously, nothing is charged for using Organists Online's facilities.
This year was packed with organ recitals by students preparing for the RCO Certificate of Accredited Membership, Michael Stephens-JOnes sponsored by The Organ Club, a most interesting perspective on the development of the organ as a One Man Band by Philip Norman, a marvellous recital by Callum Alger, who takes his post pf organ scholar at Westminster Cathedral in September 2019, and a amazingly insightful, encouraging and humorous masterclass for four volunteers by Dame Gillian Weir on the Chorals No 2 and No 3. of Cesar Franck. Then the Bloomsbury afternoon tea which is second to none in London. The day ended with a brilliant performance by Professor Isabelle Demers, a native of Quebec currently Organ Professor at Baylor University, Texas. Without a shred of sheet music, she worked her fingers magically with amazing dexterity and indeed in Variations on a theme of Paganini by Thalben-Ball, her feet, enrapturing her audience with her music making and engaging commentary. She noted the bravery or foolishness of playing the Deuxième Choral of Cesar Franck which had been worked on in the masterclass. But all Dame Gillian's suggestions were more than brought to life by her incomparable playing. The Double Binns organ was given a complete workout with every nuance of sound interpreted and she even gave us in her encore, a touch of that magnificent Tuba too as she thought we would expect.
It was unfortunate that it clashed this year with Roger Pulham's talk on Cavaille-Coll in Ipswich but a number of SOA members were present in Bloomsbury including Michaela Cottee and Dave Kinnersley, and Andrew Garfath-Cox. It is wall to wall music from 12.30 pm to 7.30pm and it is worth putting in your diary for next year when it is expected to take place on 25 January 2020.
Saturday 26 January 2019 - Cake and Cavaille Coll at St Mary’s, Stoke Church Hall, Ipswich. 2pm – 4pm
What to do on a drear afternoon in January? Whether you are a regular attender or not, please come along to this event where you may warm yourself up and chat to your fellow members. Here in the Church Hall at St Mary’s, Stoke you will have the opportunity to listen to Roger Pulham who will give an illustrated talk on the life and work of Aristide Cavaille-Coll (1811-1899) the Parisian organ builder with some extracts from the DVD set on Cavaille Coll. To further sweeten the event there will be tea and cake. Plenty to talk about and see. Please book the date and, for catering purposes, please let our secretary, Stephen know if you intend to attend. By starting at 2.00pm with the talk we should be finished by 4pm whilst there is still some light in the sky. There is parking at the church. There will be an opportunity to rummage through piles of organ music, kindly donated by members – free to take away and use. You could also bring some of your music that you no longer use.
Roger will show parts of the documentary set of DVDs on Cavaille-Coll whose life and work influenced several generations of Parisian organists: Widor, Vierne, Guilmant etc. His instruments numbered in the many hundreds and can be found all over Europe: many of course in Paris (St. Sulpice, Notre Dame, Ste. Clotilde; Trocadero Palais, la Trinite, St. Denis), St. Ouen Rouen; St. Sernin Toulouse, Moscow Conservatoire, Manchester Town Hall, Farnborough Abbey, Carmelite Church London, Sheffield Town Hall and many, many more. Cavaille-Coll invited Lemmens the Belgian virtuoso to become organist at St. Sulpice to no avail but their protege Widor was offered the job. It has been stated that without Cavaille-Coll there would have been no French organ school which ultimately has, via teaching methods, led most us to our present destinations.
Roger writes that “anyone closely connected with organs will always be drawn closer to this man whose influence on Father Willis, Hill, and just about everyone since has been strong. Anyone playing the Widor Toccata, or anything from the French school will be within a handshake of Cavaille-Coll as these pieces were composed with his instruments in mind and sound truest on them.”
The organ at St. Teresa's Beaconsfield designed by Roger was based on the style of the French branch of the Silbermann family two generations before Cavaille-Coll.
Saturday 3 November 2018 – Repertoire Session at St John’s United Reformed Church, Cowper Street, Ipswich. 2pm – 4pm
The 2 manual organ was originally by Bishop and later installed in the new building by Boggis. There are seven stops on each of Pedal (16,16,8,8,4,16,8), Great (8,8,8,4,4,22/3,2) and Swell (8,8,8,4,2,2rks,8). There is a useful supply of playing aids and the detached console will enable us to gather round and share our music. A full specification below.
The aim of the afternoon was to share music that you have found useful or that speaks to you in a particular way. The bait was taken up by nine members: John Wearne, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Barry Palmer, Tony Percival, Martin Ellis, Hugh Singleton, Juliet Adams, Roger Green, Roger Green and Nicholas Jardine. In the audience were Ann and Bob Smith, Michael Bayley, Stephen Hogger, Mike Pluck, Philip Speirs, Michael Bowmer who is a friend of Tony and Mike and a couple who had spotted the event from the website and hopefully will join as members.
Roger Green's invitation was to join him in an afternoon whose aim is to share music with each other and the event, an idea of Juliet Adams, was most enjoyable. Roger also said "Finding new repertoire is always a challenge so I offer you this opportunity where you can contribute in either or both of two ways:
First – if you have some organ music that you do not need please bring the copy along so that we can offer copies to other members. You may well find that you go home with more copies than you brought of course.
Second – please come and play a piece of music to your fellow members. It could be a piece that you have found useful in some way. Equally it could be a piece that speaks to you very personally. Please come and share it/them with us.
It should be possible to perform a wide range of music on the organ in the church. At the same time the organ is not overwhelming so please do not be put off playing us something. We cannot run this event without you! But if you don’t want to perform you will still be just as welcome.
So Roger's worry that "I shall look even sillier than normal if I am there with a pile of music to play to myself so please come and enjoy the music and cake!" eas completely unfounded and a lot of the repertoire was new ground for many of us. Also a great quantity of music was brought along for others to collect which was very much appreciated.Here is the music played during the afternoon put into a musically adroit sequence by Roger:
- John Wearne Chorale Jesus Guido / Procession C S Lang
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Cortege et Litanie Dupre
- Barry Palmer Penguing's Playtime Nigel Ogden
- Tony Percival Andante Cantabile Sympony No. 6 Widor
- Martin Ellis Communion/ Stèle pour un Enfant défunt Op 58
- Hugh Singleton Toccata Gigout (1844 - 1925)
- Juliet Adams 'Be Thou My Vision (Slane)' ?
- Roger Green ''Sunrise' by Royal Marines arranged Green/li>
- Nicholas Jardine Chorale Ave Maris Stella from Aspects of Song of Solomon Dupre
In order to help your preparation and planning for what might be possible here is the organ specification and below some information on its rebuilding from the late John Harding, organist of the Church for 25 years.
- Dulciana 16'
- Principal 8'
- Bass Flute 8'
- Fifteenth 4'
- Fagotto 16'
- Fagotto 8'
- Open Diapason 8'
- Stopped Diapason 8'
- Dulciana 8'
- Principal 4'
- Saube Flute 4'
- Twelfth 2 2/3'
- Fifteenth 2'
- Lieblich Gedact 8'
- Salicional 8'
- Voix Celeste 8'
- Geigen Principal 4'
- Fifteenth 2'
- Mixture 2 ranks – 19.22
- Trumpet 8'
- Swell to Pedal
- Swell to Great
- Swell Octave
- Swell Sub Octav e
- Swell Unison Off
- Great to Pedal
- 4 thumb pistons to each manual
- 2 extra thumb pistons to the Swell ‘Solo 1’ and ‘Solo 2’.
- 4 Toe pistons to the Pedal
- Reversible thumb pistons to Great to Pedal and Swell to Great
- Reversible toe pistons to Great to Pedal, Swell to Great, Pedal Fagotto 16 and Pedal Fagotto 8.
- General Cancel
- Balanced Swell Pedal
- Great and Pedal combinations coupled.
John Harding, a former President of SOA was the organist for 25 years covering the rebuilding of the organ, and who, together with the Minister of the Church, published a booklet containing the memories of those involved called: 'Memories of Rebuilding Together'. Unfortunately, both have since died. John Harding was a newly retired architect and splendid organist and was inspired to put the organ works on a shelf and have the console on an electronic umbilical cord.
John Harding himself has written about this part of the story:
“The question of an instrument for the new church building arose and I was asked to join a small Committee to discuss this and make recommendations. After some investigation, it was decided to use the two-manual pneumatic action organ of 1916 (built by Bishops) from the old building as the basis of a new instrument. As there was no space in the new worship area for a mechanical action instrument, it was decided to put the action and pipe work on a shelf at the rear of the worship area, convert to electric action and provide a movable console on the floor at the front.
I was appointed Organist of the Church and commenced my duties in February 1989 when the new building came into use. The opening Recital was given by Michael Nicholas, then Organist of Norwich Cathedral, in April of that year. In planning the instrument, some additions were made to the specification and provision was made for two additional pedal stops (reeds) which, after extra money had been raised, were added in 1994 and inaugurated in a Recital by Peter Wright of Southwark Cathedral.I felt very privileged to have had a major hand in the design of an instrument in the church where I was to be the organist. The organ has been pronounced very suitable for the building and because of its modest size and movable console has been much used for organ classes by the Suffolk Organists Association, URC Musicians' Guild and also the Diocese.”>
Sunday 30 September 2018 Memorial Organ Recital by Peter Crompton, Organist Emeritus on the Grand Organ, Holbrook
Although not an SOA event, Peter Crompton, a former President of the SOA and Organist Emeritus of Royal Hospital School played a very enjoyable programme which had been personally selected by Professor Bernard de Neumann who was born in 1943 and has recently died. He was a former pupil of the school and an internationally renowned mathematician and computer scientist. He was also a patent-holdng inventor and a naval historian. He was the Royal Hospital School Archivist and during his career worked for Marconi Research, GEC Research, NASA, ESA, NATO, RTZ, MOD (RN, Army and RAF), RARDE, RSRE, ASWE, AUWE, RAE, The City University, and as a visiting lecturer at several universities. He was a member of the Court of Essex University and also served on the Council of the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications.
Some of his mathematical work helped to make it possible to receive imagery from deep space missions, for example from the Viking Landers 1 & 2 that transmitted the first colour pictures back from the surface of Mars. This same work also helped improve FM radio receivers and facilitated their miniaturization. He also invented and patented a self-configuring multi-processor computer, that included ideas used for the technology used in contactless smart cards, RF identification tagging chips, subcutaneous micro-electronic chips (eg pet identification) and industrial control and social monitoring, etc. Adaptions of it also has application in certain kinds of Information Warfare.
Clearly Bernard (or Bernhard) was a man of great talent and the powerful programme of music he had chosen reflected that and was brilliantly performed by Peter Crompton with the usual Crompton verve! The audience participation in the singing of the hymns was equally enthusiastic and a number of SOA members were present: Michaela Cottee (with her father and sister) and Dave Kinnersley; Gillian Wildney; Ann and Bob Smith; Howard Gibbons and entourage; Tony Dunn (and his mother); Ann Little; Brian Bartlett (who used to look after the website and is organist of St Thomas' Roman Catholic Church in Woodbridge); Geoffrey Boyle; and Andrew Garfath-Cox. This was a splendid afternoon and a very full audience appreciated the fine music with rapturous applause in a sun-kissed Chapel.
- HYMN - He who would valiant be
- Trumpet Voluntary Jeremiah Clarke (1674 - 1707)
- Tocaa & Fugue in D minor BWV 565 J S Bach (1685- 1750)
- Fantasia and Fugue on BACH Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886)
- HYMN - Eternal Father Strong To Save
- The Ride of the Valkyries Richard Wagner (1813 -1883)
- HYMN - Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
- Nimrod Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934)
- HYMN - Jerusalem
- Toccata from Symphony V Charles-Marie Widor (1844 - 1937)
Saturday 22 September 2018 – Suffolk Festival of the Arts Organ Competition at the Chapel of the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook. Promoted by Suffolk Organists' Association.
This event ran again for the second time. Roger Green, our President, and many other members of the Association attended and greatly enjoyed what we saw and heard with more young organists taking their first steps in organ playing. In preparation for a third time next year, do you know a young organist? Perhaps you have heard them or perhaps you teach them. Do they know about this event? Please give them the opportunity to enter. Now would be a good time to start to encourage organists to take part next year. Of course it gives a warm glow if you ‘win’ but taking part is the thing and having the opportunity to listen to other young organists. These organists will be greatly encouraged by YOUR attendance so please come along and support them all. Encouraging, still further, the organists of the future will be the adjudicator, Peter Wright, Director of Music at Southwark Cathedral.
Roger Green comments: "As I write this the unmistakable sounds of the organ in the chapel are still ringing in my ears. My day started at ten in the morning as the organists began to arrive to familiarise themselves with the organ. How revealing to work with them and try to be as helpful as possible without getting in the way. I really enjoyed it and was delighted with the seriousness with which the organists took their preparation. It was fascinating watching them adapting their technique to the organ and the acoustic.
Nine organists played in the competition and most chose to play the gallery organ. All credit to Alice Smith who preferred to play the east end organ. It suited her repertoire very well.Taking part is the important thing and the learning experience offered by the venue was immense. Those taking part were Hannah Meeks, Luke Parmenter, Alexander Taylor, Alexander Evans, Alice Smith, Oliver Woods, Paul Austen, Jamie Robertson and Adam Chillingworth. They all deserve congratulations for taking part and giving such pleasure on the day."
The format of the competition follows. More information about entering for 2019 will be available on the website of the Suffolk Festival of Performing Arts website for the Organ competitions 2018 nearer the time. You can find more information HERE.
- Beginners (-1 to 3+), One piece – 3 minutes playing time. Awarded: the Suffolk Organists' Association Cup and Suffolk Festival Award and £15
- Transitional (-4 to 5+) One piece – 5 minutes playing time. Awarded: from the SOA the Little Cup and from Suffolk Festival Award of Junior Champion and £25
- Advanced (-6 to 7+) Two contrasting pieces – 8 minutes playing time. Awarded the Roger Green Cup and SOA Award £35.
- Recital (-8 to 8+) Balanced programme no more that 20 minutes playing time verbally introduced by the performer or alternatively with his/her programme notes. Awarded: from the SOA, George Thalben Ball Cup and from the Suffolk Festival, the Award of Suffolk Festival Senior Organ Champion and £50. £50 Cup
- And also, Most promising Player Award. Awarded: £15
There are Organ Classes at four different levels:
There were performers in each of the four classes and afternoon was organised by Andrew Leach and the adjudicator, Peter Wright. At the close of the afternoon a short recital was given by Martin Ellis in place of Harrison Cole, winner of last year's Recital Class who is now on his gap year at Wells Cathedral.
Adjudicator Peter Wright admitted having great difficulty in comparing the performances in each class, noting the high standards of technique and musicianship on display from the young players. All the performers in the first three classes achieved marks of 90 or more (“Outstanding”).
From left to right: In the Royal Hospital School Chapel: Alice Smith, Paul Austen, Jamie Robertson (George Thalben Ball Cup), Alex Taylor (Little Cup), Peter Wright (Adjudicator), Alexander Evans (Roger Green Cup), Oliver Woods, Hannah Meeks (Suffolk Organists' Association Cup)
Beginners (Grades 1-3, under 2 years’ study)
Hannah Meeks was the only entrant in this class, playing the first of the Eight Short Preludes and Fugues by J.S. Bach. Her performance on the Grand Organ deservedly won the Suffolk Organists’ Association Cup.
Transitional (Grades 4-5)
Luke Parmenter and Alex Taylor both moved up a class this year, having competed in the Beginners’ section in 2017. Luke's performance included the opening of Pachelbel’s Chaconne in F minor. He was followed at the Grand Organ console by Alex, whose accounts of J.S. Bach’s Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (BWV 639) and C.S. Lang’s Tuba Tune narrowly won him the Little Cup.
Advanced (Grades 6-7)
Alexander Evans began his programme with the first movement of J.S. Bach’s Trio Sonata in E minor, BWV 528, and concluded with La vierge et l'enfant, the first movement of Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur. He was justly commended for holding the musical line throughout, despite having chosen a relatively slow tempo. Alice Smith was then ready at the East End Choir Organ to play the first of Guilmant’s Versets on the Magnificat, from his Op.41 No.2. She followed this with the first movement of J.G. Walther’s Concerto in B minor, which was also much appreciated by audience and adjudicator. The final performer, Oliver Woods, had chosen a programme of Bruhns’ Fugue in G minor and Fanfare by William Matthias, both played with style on the Grand Organ. The three performers were separated by just three marks, but the Roger Green Cup was ultimately awarded to Alexander, who thus retains the prize he won in 2017.
At the break, tea and biscuits were provided by William Saunders, Director of Music at RHS.
Recital Class (Grade 8 or above)
There were three entrants: Adam Chillingworth, Jamie Robertson and Paul Austen. All three were very accomplished players but Peter Wright made the important observation that in designing a programme even of three pieces that the performers consider their choice so there is differentiation between each piece, either in tonal colour, or tempo or key. The result was extremely closely contested with Jamie being the overall winner with 89 points and recipient of the George Thalben Ball Cup, Adam a very close second with 87 points and equally close in third place was Paul with 85 points. The Recital class was particularly difficult to judge and Peter Wright, a name synonymous with Southwark Cathedral, had this unenviable task. Throughout the afternoon his remarks were helpful, perceptive and encouraging.
Paul opened the second half of the afternoon with a fluent and informative description of the pieces he was going to play. The first immediately called for rapt attention from the audience. They were as challenged as the performer had been but which nonetheless amply rewarded them for his patient study. The unusual registrations conjured from the RHS organ emphasised that Messiaen's use of serial techniques were to the fore in his first piece Piece en trio. This is the first piece from the seven movements of Livre d'orgue written during 1951-52. Hindu rhythmic patterns are a key feature of the work, being explicitly marked on the score. The piece is designated for performance on Trinity Sunday and is headed by the quotation from 1 Cornithians 13 "For now we see theough a glass, darkly..." This obscurity is reflected in the treatment of the various rhythms in "irrational values". Messiaen's compositional technique gives great freedom to the three parts of the trio texture, which often interweave so as to become indistinguishable from each other.
Paul's second piece was Gargouilles et Chimere (24 Pieces de Fantaisie Quatrieme Suite Op 55). This was written in 1927 after a visit to the United States had given him new possibilities for timbre and expression. This piece transports you on to the parapets, where gargoyles and chimeras as in the title are carved all kinds of mythical creatures in the stonework of Notre Dame de Paris where Vierne was organist from 1900 until his death (famously at the organ console during a recital) in 1937. This piece paints a musical picture through changes of stop combinations, sudden changes of tempo and texture, dramatic gestures, and richly chromatic harmonies.
The third piece was Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr', BWV 662. This setting comes from the collection sometimes known as the 'Great Eighteen' choral preludes, compiled during the final decade of Bach's life while in Leipzig. It is lavishly decorated and ornamented, as is the fugal accompaniment in the lower manual parts which themselves are hardly less rich melodically. The work is crowned by a florid cadenza-like passage.
Jamie is a pupil in Year 12 studying Music and Music Tech, French and German at Thetford Grammar School and plays also the double bass and piano. Every Saturday, he attends Junior Trinity in London and is an Organ Scholar of St. Peter Mancroft in Norwich. His three pieces were a Stylus Phantasticus Toccata in F by Buxtehude, Allegretto from 4th Sonata of Mendlessohn and rounded off with the Toccata from Widor's 5th Symphony. Peter Wrigth commented that the first piece was rhythmically strong, the Mendlessohn had an excellent tempo and in the bass parts had a graceful charm and on Jamie's final piece remarked that Jamie played Widor's famous Toccata with energy and appropriate articulation and at a tempo that was not breakneck and with good contrasts of crescendo culminating in the climatic crescendo. Although there were no programme notes or spoken delivery by Jamie, his musical playing had communicated their own response to the audience whose applause spoke for itself.
Adam is 13 years old and has been studying the organ for three years and is Organ Scholar at St. Mary Le Tower Ipswich. He was a chorister at St. John's College, Cambridge for five years. His first piece Intrada composed by Grayston Ives (born in Diss, Norfolk in 1948 and who prefers to be known as Bill) for Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul's Cathedral. The second piece was Wachet Auf by J S Bach composed in 1731 traditionally played in Advent where Adam coped manfully with an absent Aflat key on the RHS Grand organ! His final piece was Fantasie auf Nun Danket Alle Gott, a very rousing piece which has been written by his composer father, John Chillingworth FRCO born in Dublin in 1956. Especially written for Adam by his father for a recital at St. John's College, it is definitely a piece that take no prisoners. It was written to exploit the range of stops of St. John's organ, Cambridge and on the mighty RHS organ sounded magnificent.So concluded a wonderful day and the final adjudication. Although winning your class must also be an ambition and Hannah Meeks had that pleasure in the class for beginners. Alexander Taylor led the field in the transitional class and also took the award for the most promising player – richly deserved. Alexander Evans and Jamie Robertson took the prizes in the Advanced and Recital classes respectively.
After Peter Wright had given his adjudication, insightful remarks and much encouragement to all the performers, the afternoon concluded with a short recital of three pieces by Martin Ellis appreciated by those present, handling the organ with skill and musicality: Scherzo by Bossi, Meditation by Gabriel Dupont and Flor Peeters' Toccata from Suite Modale. Thanks to RHS for its hospitality and particularly to William Saunders who made us very welcome and allowed us the run of the venue.
Thursday 9 AUGUST 2018 - Ipswich Arts Association Recital at the Corn Exchange, Ipswich presented in association with the Suffolk Organists' Association. Recitalists: Ben Banks and Harrison Cole. 1pm
Where have all the young organists gone? Well you could find two of them at this event. These are two highly talented young organists. In the photo, Ben Banks is on the left and Harrison Cole is on the right.
Ben Banks is 19. He was educated at the Royal Hospital School where he was the Peter Crompton Organ Scholar. Ben has just completed the year in Portsmouth as the Cathedral Organ Scholar and will begin to read music with an Organ Scholarship at Oriel College, Oxford this September. He currently studies with Daniel Moult and says that apart from music he enjoys football and hiking.
Harrison Cole is 18 and completes his A-levels and school education in June this year. He has spent Sixth Form at Ipswich School as a music scholar, studying piano with Andrew Leach, and for the past three years has been at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department, where he studied organ with Anne Marsden Thomas and conducting with Alexander Walker. Starting from September, he will be the Senior Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral, where he will be working with the choir, which in 2011 was voted by Gramophone as the greatest choir with children in the world. In October 2019 he will be reading music at Trinity College, Cambridge – he will also be an organ scholar there, working with the college’s world-famous choir, under the direction of Stephen Layton.
Harrison has toured across Europe, and has performed in a variety of venues, including the Royal Albert Hall and Snape Maltings. As an accompanist and chamber musician, Harrison enjoys a varied schedule of playing with instrumentalists, singers and choirs. He won the Recital Class in the Suffolk Festival of the Arts Organ Competition, being the first ever winner of the George Thalben-Ball recital cup. Recently, he performed Messiaen’s L’Ascension as part of a Suffolk Organists Association 2017-18 meeting at North Walsham Parish Church. I don’t think that any of those present will ever forget the experience. Apart from music, Harrison enjoys a wide variety of literature, philosophy and history.
The Ipswich Town Hall Organ
And there is another good reason for enjoying this event. It is a rare opportunity to hear the organ in the Corn Exchange. Built originally in 1876 by T. C. Lewis for Holy Trinity Paddington, it was moved to Ipswich in the 1970s. The specification today, for better or worse, is much more comprehensive than that offered by T. C. Lewis. Sadly the organ does not find many opportunities to appear in public. Would you like to see that change?
Roger Green remarks: "I searched quite a bit for familiar faces at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. There was an excellent attendance in support of our two brilliant young organists but sadly limited numbers from the Association. How often do you find an opportunity to hear the enigmatic organ in the Corn Exchange? We were left in no doubt however that the audience enjoyed the music and the organ and hugely appreciated the skills and musicality of Ben and Harrison. Thanks to them for preparing such an interesting programme, well suited to the audience, and with illuminating notes to add to the enjoyment."
Ben played the following pieces of music and he has written comprehensive performance notes which follow to accompany his excellent technical and sensitive performance. His choice of pieces was able to showcase the extensive range of colour, mood and style available in organ music.
- César Franck (1822 – 1890): Chorale in A minor FWV 40 1890
- Samuel Coleridge Taylor (1875 – 1912): Melody
- Herbert Howells (1892 – 1983): Psalm-Preludes Set 1 Op.32 No.2 1915/1916
- William Mathias (1934 – 1992): Jubilate Op.67 No.2 1974
There are two common misconceptions about Franck's Chorale in A minor. The first was that it was reputedly his last ever work - we now know that this isn't true; the second is that there was some religious backdrop to the chorale - an image of the resurrection in the A major finale, perhaps. In fact it is much more likely the commitment and devotion implied are aimed towards Augusta Holmes, a musician of Irish descent living in Paris at the same time as Franck to whom he dedicates the piece. Listen for: the toccata like beginning; the chorale melody, composed by Franck himself; the passionate middle section for his dedicatee, presumably; and, the crescendo from nothing, climaxing in the return of the chorale melody.
Next in the programme is a work by one of the most surprisingly unknown composers of his time. At one stage, his 'Setting of Scenes from the Songs of Hiawatha' was as famous among choral societies in Britain as Mendelssohn's Elijah or Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius. Coleridge Taylor was the son of a Sierra Leonean doctor. When his father left in his early teens, Coleridge Taylor was admitted on a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he was taught by Stanford. who considered him one of his star pupils. Coleridge Taylor incorporated a lot of eclectic styles into his music, trying to bring some African and Arabic influences into his works. 'Melody' is not one of these pieces; it is a typically Victorian work, with a very sentimental, sensitive feel to it, with a strong hint of Dvorak.
Howells is one of the greatest and most loved composers of English choral music in the 20th century. He also made a great contribution to the organ repertory. A major one of them is his two sets of Psalm Preludes - meditations on psalm texts. You can hear Howell's unmistakeable signature style in these works - it is almost late romantic in nature with stylish chromaticism, adventurous harmony and some influences from Gregorian chant. It has been described as "an ecclesiastical style for the 20th century". This piece is based on Psalm 37, verse 11 'But the meek-spirited shall possess the earth'. You can hear this in the haunting melodies, colour and beautiful stillness at the conclusion, preceded by the dynamic zenith of the piece - a veritable wave of colour and power.
Mathias was indubitably one of the finest composers and most distinctive 20th century Welsh composers, not least in his organ compositions. His works are rooted in technical discipline, and although there are lots of exciting rhythmic and melodic devices used, he always strives to make his music very engaging. Jazz and folk are genres which have clearly has an impact on this work in particular, in both rhythmic and melodic senses. Parallel fifths, crunching dissonance and driving rhythms all combine to make this work thrilling, colourful and most of all, jubilant.
This exceptional recital continued with a splendid performance by Harrison. He played music from the following two composers with conspicuous skill and he describes in his performance notes further insights into the nature of these lovely pieces.
- Percy Whitlock (1903-1946): From Five Short Pieces 1929
- 1. Paean
- 2. Scherzo
- 3. Folk Tune
- 4. Allegretto
- Louis Vierne (1870-1937): From 24 Piéces de Fantaisie , Livre IV, op.55 1926/1927
- 1. Naïades (Water nymphs)
- 2. Les cloches de Hinckley (The bells of Hinckley)
This part of the programme comprises music written almost at the same time, the Whitlock pieces having been composed in 1929 and Vierne's just two years earlier, but are exemplary works of two contrasting styles of organ writing. Percy Whitlock rose to a certain degree of prominence as a professional British organist during the first half of the 20th century, though due to his reluctance to self-publicise himself, he did not achieve widespread recognition. Consequently, his compositions were largely unheard of until after his death in the 1980's, when a revival of British organ music led to a re-discovery of his work. The Five Short Pieces are typical of Whitlock's 'light music' feel, a term used not in the dismissive sense by any means - they exude great charm and are indeed rather well written. I have taken liberty in this selection from the Five Short Pieces with the original order. So I have chosen to play first Paean which is bright and stately, having an Elgarian nobilmente quality about it; this is followed by a lively Scherzo. The Folk Tune is at once intimate and sombre, featuring a gloriously expressive melody on a solo flute. In contrast, the final choice from this set is the Allegretto, replete with ravishing harmonic twists.
The Pieces de Fantaisie feature some of Vierne's greatest organ music. Taaking all the pieces together from the four Suites, Vierne explores the full capabilities of the instrument, featuring the interesting textures, exotic chromaticism and his striking ability to create atmosphere that characterise his later music, which organists have come to love over the years. Naiades calls to mind the river-dwelling fairies that inhabit the world of the Homeric epic, taking the form of a florid yet demanding sextuplet perpetuum mobile. Les cloches de Hinckley was inspired by a visit to St. Mary's Church, Hinckley, Leicestershire by Vierne in 1925, where he transcribed the carillon, first heard in the pedals at the beginning of the piece. This exuberant fantasy increases in excitement as the carillon progresses up the register of the organ, combined with the denser counterpoint. The climax features a grand restatement of the carillon in the pedals with descending scales abounding, a common feature of the English bell-ringing style, and is one of the few times that Vierne indicates an ffff dynamic (i.e. as loud as possible!).
One hour of glorious music by two outstanding young performers was much appreciated by the large audience. This is the third occasion of this recital for the people of Ipswich to hear their Corn Exchange Organ. The inaugural concert in August 2013 was given by Alan Loader, John Cooper and Andrew Garfath-Cox, as a result of representation at an IAA AGM by Andrew Garfath-Cox for consideration to be given to reintroduction of this organ to the general public after many years of disuse. Peter Crompton and John Cooper played for the second recital in 2016. This third recital was undertaken by our two younger students, Ben and Harrison to whom we are most grateful for giving such an entertaining lunchtime recital. A number of members of SOA were spotted among the very well attended event: Barry Palmer, Martin Ellis who did the page turning for both performers, Roger Pulham, Peter Crompton, Paul Austen, Stephen Hogger, Anne Little and our President Roger Green who made the introductions to our recitalists.
Tuesday 10 JULY 2018- Visit to Burtey Fen, Pinchbeck, Spalding, Lincolnshire
This was a splendid opportunity to play four organs in total. At Burtey Fen, two theatre organs (Compton and Wurlitzer) and the concert organ (1965 Gray and Davison from St Marylebone Parish Church) and in Spalding, the organ of the Parish Church. The day had been generously organised by our President, Roger Green with excellent travel instructions as Burtey Fen was a little off the beaten track which he and his wife, Laraine, had researched assiduously in advance of our day out. He had restricted the numbers for this event so that each person would have plenty of time on each of these phenomenal instruments. This proved to be the case as most unfortunately, Peter Crompton was unable to be with us because of a smashed windscreen on his way to us, his second in about three weeks! Stephen Hogger also missed being with us because of a diary error. However no time was wasted after Roger had given us all the health and safety information as we followed his carefully worked timetable for several hours of enjoyable organ playing as we attempted to master each of the instruments. Laraine, Ann and Bob Smith were an encouraging, enthusiastic and most appreciative audience of the performers: Roger Green, Tony Dunn, Andrew Garfath-Cox, and Robert Waller. It had been hoped that Michael Bayley, a skillful devotee of theatre organ music who has played often at Burtey Fen would have been able to be with us but his health prevented him coming.
We were welcomed to Burtey Fen by the two co-owners of this privately owned music hall, one whose principal interest is in the maintenance of these historical instruments, the other, a collector of posters and memorabilia for which only a building of this size could accommodate. On the stage in a large hall sat the two theatre organ consoles and a piano playable from the consoles and also an accordion. We were entranced. This was playable once one had discovered the appropriate tab on the instrument. Most major cinemas of the 1930's and 40's had their own pipe organs that would rise dramatically from beneath the stage to accompany the silent films or entertain the audience between films. This is no the case with organs though at Burtey Fen. Fortunately a lukcy few have been saved by enthusiasts and are now highly prized. Wurlitzer Organs were manufactured in the USA but Compton's were the British counterpart, made by the John Compton Organ Co. of London. A total of 262 cinema organs were made by this firm, but today only a quarter of these survive.
We were privileged to play one such organ now resident in a purpose built music hall in Pinchbeck, near Spalding, Lincolnshire - a 10 rank Compton organ, formerly of the Ritz Cinema, Tunbridge Wells. The cinema was opened on December 3rd 1934, with the film 'Sing As We Go', starring Gracie Fields. A highlight of the programme was the organ interlude, given by Alex Taylor. Here the Compton remained, delighting audiences, until 1970 when it was removed to make way for a multi-screen complex. There was an outcry from the public of Tunbridge Wells, and a band of loyal followers lobbied in vain to find an alternative home for the organ in the town.
Henley and District Organ Trust purchased the organ and installed it in the Regal Cinema, where it was used for monthly concerts until 1986 when the cinema closed down. It remained untouched, and fell into disrepair until 1993 when developers bought the cinema which was to be demolished to make way for a car park for a nearby supermarket. In order for the organ to be saved it had to be bought, dismantled and removed within a couple of weeks.
The saviour: Nicholas Pitts. A classically trained organist and organ restorer, with an interest in nostalgia and a determination to save the organ when he heard about its history from well-known theatre organist, David Shepherd. Nicholas immediately bought the 7 rank Compton - unseen - and together with a small army of helpers brought the console and its 600 pipes back to Pinchbeck - just in time, as two days later the cinema was demolished!
The past few years have seen Nicholas restore the organ to its former glory. All moving parts were removed for renovation, with all the leather, wiring and wind ducting being replaced with new. The pipework was cleaned and repaired, and five additional sets (ranks) of pipes were included in the specification to make a total of twelve ranks. People heard about this restoration and wanted to hear it but where could it go? Nicholas, together with another nostalgia fan, Mark Willerton eventually found an ideal site, and set about designing the building to house the Compton and Mark's vast collection of music and film memorabilia from the 1940s, 50's and 60's. Once again the organ was carefully dismantled and put into storage, whilst the new building was constructed.
The three manual Compton, complete with its original illuminated surround, which slowly changes through a rainbow of colours as the organ plays, stands regal on the stage, again in perfect working order, to mesmerise audiences just as it did in its heyday. The chamber, at the rear of the stage, houses the twelve ranks of pipes (Tibia, Vox, Diapason, Flute, Cello, Celeste, Trumpet, Tuba, Clarinet, Kinura, French Horn and Saxophone), and all the percussion (Xylophone, glockenspiel, vibraphone, drums, cymbals etc.)
Nigel Ogden, presenter of Radio 2 The Organist Entertains was invited to give the opening concert in October 1999, and now in its new purpose built home, The Mighty Organ Plays again, known as the Burtey Fen Collection, taken from the quaint district name in Pinchbeck.
To its left was the Wurlitzer (two manuals utilising 6 ranks, with some extras added, console from the Regent Ipswich - yes a local instrument - and organ from the Gaumont Exeter).
In a balcony at the rear of the hall was the concert organ in the form of the 1965 four manual instrument by Gray and Davison for St Marylebone Parish Church (Pedigree reaches back to Schultz -1872) with many additions.
Visiting the church in Spalding was a most pleasant surprise for the church is hugely spacious with very beautiful stained glass windows and its double side aisles. It is a former priory church. The organ, based on a Rushworth and Draper but withmany additions and alterations in a modern case is well placed to speak into the nave and the choir on the north side but the three manual console is detached from the organ on its own balcony in a 'loft' on the south side. The layout of the stops on the console is somewhat idiosyncratic as the lowest pitches are to the tops of the jambs but with a fair number of playing aids. Its specification allowed a large variety of different musical styles to be performed authentically which could be appreciated better in the body of the church than when performing in its gallery.
Roger Green comments: "Our day out at Burtey Fen and Spalding Parish church was fully subscribed although sadly two members had personal problems at the last minute and had to withdraw, so the organists on the trip all had some extra time to play. What a joy to hear our serious musicians turning themselves into light organists and doing a very good job too. The organists certainly entertained and the superb facilities at Burtey Fen added to the fun of the day. We were made very welcome indeed and I was much smitten with the Wurlitzer. All the players had the opportunity to play the organ in Spalding Parish Church. This is an interesting instrument by Rushworth and Dreaper who were responsible for various modifications over the years not all, as we might judge with glorious hindsight, for the better. I admit indulging a certain sigh of relief as I sat down to play. Familiarity was a joy after toying with Tibias. "
The day concluded with a convivial meal in the garden at a local pub close to Burtey Fen with excellent home cooked food. We all want to thank Roger for organising and inviting us to enjoy such a remarkable day which we very much appreciated.
Sunday 17 June 2018 Organ Recital by Peter Crompton at The Royal Hospital School, Holbrook
Although not an SOA event but organised by RHS in collaboration with the RCO, we were able to listen at 4pm to Peter Crompton, a former president of our Association give a very fine performance in a programme of great variety which included some transcriptions.
The afternoon started with an open console event for an hour and a half which was taken up by a number of SOA members but also some fellow organists who had travelled from as far afield as London for this especial opportunity to play the Grand Organ. From the Association, we heard Anne Little, Gillian Wildney, Michaela Cottee and Andrew Garfath-Cox play. It was interesting to learn that everyone was an 'amateur' playing the organ as an interest albeit of high standard. This was also the case for one person who had only been studying the organ for a year. Within this group, their professional lives included a software engineer, university statistics lecturer, a chemical engineer, a teacher of mathematics and computing, and a civil servant. William Saunders, Director of Music at Royal Hospital School, ensured that everyone unfamiliar with the large four manual organ had splendid registrations chosen by him with alacrity which enhanced each person's performance to everyone's delight. The group warmly thanked William for his help in this splendid opportunity to play one of the best organs in the land.
The group then moved to the music block for refreshments kindly served by Edward Allen, Head of Academic Music. This was followed by a short talk by Simon Williams, RCO Director for East, South and South-West England on a new early-level certificate scheme for organists, the RCO Certificate of Accredited Membership (CAM), which is designed to establish and develop fundamental skills and musicianship at the organ. Further information can be found on the RCO website.
Then we were to be entranced by Peter's recital. He is a Graduate of the Royal Northern College in Manchester. He undertook postgraduate study in Liverpool during which time he had organ lesson with Noel Rawsthorne, formerly of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and celebrated recitalist. Peter received the honorary title of Organist Emeritus on his retiremnet as Director of Music at the Royal Hospital School, where he presided over the magnificent four manual Hill, Norman and Beard organ for nearly forty years!
As a recitalist and accompanist, Peter has appeared at many major venues including St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, Liverpool Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall, where he has played the mighty Willis organ for the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance for twenty-one years! It is broadcast on BBC television and radio, and attended by Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family as well as the Prime Minister and other leading members of the government.
Peter has also broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and 3 and has made several accalimed recordings on the organ of the Roayl Hospital School with the latest being entitled 'Encore' on the Regent label. Recent recitals have included the Organ Festival at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, the Moot Hall in Colchester, the Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent, Cartmel Priory in Cumbria and, Westminster Cathedral. Coming up will be recitals at Leeds Minster and Bath Abbey.
Peter then played the following programme which was a tremendous performance enjoyed by the gathering including a number of members of the Association: Tony Dunn, Anne Little and Andrew Garfath-Cox. The opening chords of the Tournemire shook the audience into wakefulness to the tour de force which was to come. Some gentler pieces by Tracey, Delius, Bridge and Orff sharpened our experience for the three toccatas in the programme and several transcriptions. At the conclusion, the audience rose to their feet as Peter acknowledged their effusive applause and with a shout from him of 'One more' he sailed into an encore item of Bedard's Toccata from Suite Liturgigue with William Saunders furiously page turning for this exciting final piece, which rounded off a most wonderful and sunny, musical afternooon in Holbrook.
- Improvisation sur le Te Deum Charles Tournemire (1870-1939)
- Toccata and Fugue in F BuxWV 157 Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)
- Now thank we all our God (Cantata 79), arr. Fox (1685-1750)
- Aria Ian Tracey (b. 1955)
- Intermezzo (Karelia Suite) arr. Ludwig Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
- On hearing the first Cuckoo in Spring arr. Fenby Frederick Delius (1862-1934)
- Imperial March arr. Martin Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
- Adagio in E Frank Bridge (1879-1941)
- Toccata in F Jules Grison (1842-1896)
- In Trutina (Carmina Burana) Carl Orff (1895-1982)
- Final (Symphony 1) Louis Vierne (1870-1937)
Saturday 9 JUNE 2018- Meet the President at Stowmarket United Reformed Church. 2.30pm Illustrated Talk by Roger Green - 3.30pm Tea and Cake - 4pm Recital by Peter Crompton
Andrew Garfath-Cox writes:
We announced that "At 2.30pm Roger will give a talk interspersed with organ music. He will visit some of the influences on him as a young organist and musician. He will talk about some of the ideas in his recent book, 'Harmony in Worship', and will speak, perhaps controversially, about the present state of the church and church music and a future for both. Roger will include some of his own organ music. By the end you should know much more about him." Well, we were not to be disappointed!
Roger, after thanking the church authorities for allowing us to be in their lovely church introduced two accomplished singers, Elaine Henson and Janet Robinson whom Roger accompanied on the organ with a piece he had especially composed for this afternoon's event. It was based on the words of the hymn 'Glad that I live, am I' and this theme was certainly the essence of the paradigm for this lifetime commitment to music education, initially as a school teacher for 28 years culminating as a lecturer at the Faculty of Education of Cambridge University and Homerton College. Although both mezzo sopranos, Elaine sang the upper part and Janet, the lower in this world premiere performance which Roger described as 'equivalent to taking your clothes off in public!'. The piece was received with acclaim by the audience and we would be fortunate enough to hear the piece a second time at the conclusion of Roger's talk.
Roger is a working class boy from North London. He told of the transformation made to his Primary school by the arrival of a music teacher, Miss Flowers. She exuded music and Roger told us that he ‘fell in love’, aged ten. Miss Flowers was the first major influence on him as a musician. She also inspired him to greater things and thus Roger won a scholarship to Trinity College of Music at 10 years old and a place at the local Grammar School. Between these institutions there was a constructive tension between two paradigms of musical thought: the academic theory of music with the eleventh commandment 'Thou shalt have no consecutive fifths’ contrasting with the creative approach based on composition and improvisation. The latter approach was the hallmark of the teaching of Glady Puttick at Trinity College and Roger described her as his second great musical influence. He had the run of the school organ where he appreciated the smooth tone of the instrument and was soon to fall under the influence of Martindale Sidwell, organist at St Clement Danes and Hampstead Parish Church. Roger still treasures Sidwell’s markings on many copies, often in fine detail and most usually related to articulation. We were treated to several illustrative demonstrations. However Roger was also prepared to stand his ground with his teacher on the question of where a particular Bach phrase begins and ends. Roger believes that the task of the performer is ultimately to make the music breathe and find new life. He admitted that rubato plays a part, for him, even with Baroque music.
As a student of the University of Wales in Cardiff, Roger encountered a different style in the teaching of Robert Joyce organist of Llandaff Cathedral. Reviving memories of those days Roger played a concoction of flashy music: snippets from Cesar Franck Chorale no 3, the early bars of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Widor's Toccata and the final section of the Dubois Toccata to generous applause.
Clearly Roger was an exceptional music teacher whose style and enthusiasm for teaching seemed unbounded with many of his students finding places in orchestras throughout Europe. He spoke of his encouragement of joint arts courses, music, dance, drama, art, pottery, photography etc. and the enriching quality that such course could offer. He recollects how, after the final night of the run of a major musical production the students often found themselves ‘homeless’ and turned up to the rehearsal space almost on automatic pilot to relive their intense involvement in these activities.
Roger mused over his philosophy of learning asking the questions 'How do you learn?' and self reflectingly 'How do I learn?'. And in tackling the question 'Why education', he considered the latin 'educo' (to lead out) and its implication that the process of education is to enable the student to find what they know and to develop a mind that can think independently. His association with students and his colleagues gave him the opportunity to analyse these questions and to use these perceptions in his engagement with children in schools also.
So what did Roger look for in his choice of music? He explained that for him it was to expose the ‘language’ in music, often through the emotional content. He suggested to the audience that a neglected example was to be found in the music of George Oldroyd and he then played to us a most beautiful Oldroyd piece, the first of the ‘Three Liturgical Improvisations’ for which the starting point is 'My Soul has a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord'. A piece where 'thumbing down’ is necessary! He admitted that his brain is always full of music and that it ‘leaks out’ through humming and whistling and sometimes finds expression as a composition. He reminded us Robert Schumann, after he had played a piece, was asked ‘what did that mean?’ Schumann just played the piece a second time. The implication is that the music speaks for itself. It doesn't need explanation because it enriches and enhances our lives – ‘it speaks from heart to heart from the ground of my being to yours.’ He declared that he had never felt hugely inspired by the avant garde movement. For him, it was to be a tunesmith and a lyricist. Roger then played three of his own compositions. The first, the third of ‘Five Impressions’ used a repeated melodic line to create the texture into which the pedals injected an augmented version. The second, the second of ‘Five Pastorales’ and the third piece, underlining one of his vital messages for the afternoon - the need for a sense of humour. This was tellingly evidenced by his composition, ‘Sortie; Swift Exit!’ The audience clapped enthusiastically.
Roger turned then to another interest: as a writer. His recent book (Harmony in Worship – published by Kevin Mayhew, ISBN 978 1 84867 860) co-authored with Rev. Stephen Mitchell researched the relationship between worship and music, asking questions like 'Why music in worship?'. Roger counselled the need to change with the times but to keep in focus the aim of good music as intrinsic to worship. A quotation from the book: 'When words fail - music does not'. But it should be of high quality and at this point he choose to illuminate this point with the wonderful tune 'Coe Fen' written by Kenneth Naylor. Coe Fen is the stretch of common land beside the River Cam behind Peterhouse College in Cambridge. Two verses of the hymn were sung by Elaine, Stephen and Janet. The second verse was even more dramatically enhanced by the descant composed by Roger himself. After this interlude, Roger further entertained the question, ‘Can we see our churches closing as an opportunity for regeneration?’ He cited his own redundant church of St. Peter's in Sudbury as a place which, since 1976, has a vibrant purpose at the heart of the community and attracting some 65,000 visitors each year. He also noted that the church in which we were seated might have become a shopping centre except for the stalwart defence of the church by the congregation. He said also that at All Saints Parish Church in Newmarket, they have been inspired to keep the organ in working condition even though they use worship bands.
Our knowledge of Roger as teacher and lecturer, composer and writer fully satisfied, we listened again to the second performance of 'Glad that I live, am I'.
Glad that I live am I, That the sky is blue; Glad for the country lanes And the fall of dew. After the sun the rain, After the rain the sun, This is the way of life, Till the work be done. All that we need to do, Be we low or high, Is to see that we grow nearer the sky. (Lizette Woodworth Reese (1856-1935).
A second world premiere! These secular words were transcended by Roger's music into a devotional spiritual message. This fascinating talk and music performed live was much applauded by the audience and we thank Roger very much for such a thought provoking first event of his presidential term.
At 3.30pm At the interval much convivial conversation and fellowship was enjoyed and the excellent Tea and cakes consumed. Roger Green had invited us to a magnificent presidential party and we thank him for that.
At 4.00pm Peter Crompton very kindly agreed to offer a recital on the organ in the church and he performed a well judged programme of pieces which Peter played with his inimitable enthusiasm which did the organ justice. Peter is the Organist Emeritus at the Royal Hospital School where he served as Director of Muisc for nearly thirty years and, also twice a former President of our Association The church was destroyed by a bomb during the war and a new building was erected in the early 1950s with a new organ, the last instrument designed and worked on by Henry Willis III. The organ is interesting, even controversial, with a very bold Great Diapason chorus, flutes in common between Great and Swell, mild strings very typical of Willis at the time, Swell up to a 12.15 mixture and a bold reed. The effective pedal section relies on downward extensions. The acoustic in the building is the finest stop on the organ.
- Postludio Festivo Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877 - 1933)
- Sketch in Dflat Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
- Adagio in Gminor Tomaso Albinoni (1671 - 1751)
- Imperial March Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934)
- Aria Ian Tracey (b.1955)
- Sortie in E flat major Louis James Lefebure-Wely (1817 - 1869)
- Evensong Easthope Martin (1882 - 1925)
- Toccata Georgi Mushel (1909 - 1989)
It was a splendid afternoon well attended by members of the Association as well as members of the congregation and their friends. SOA members present were: Gillian Wildney, Anne and Bob Smith, Nicholas Jardine, Barry Palmer and his wife Val, Robert Waller, Paul Austen, Roger Pulham, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Juliet Adams, Tony Percival, Mike Pluck, Michael Bayley, William Baldry, Peter Crompton and our President, Roger Green and his wife Laraine.
Roger says: "To all those who attended the first event of the year in Stowmarket I send my very warm thanks. More than 60 people came along to enjoy music, chat and cake and I was very personally touched by the kind remarks from members of the association. Huge appreciation to Peter Crompton who played the concluding recital. Wonderful music played with Peter’s unmistakable style and flair. "
Saturday 19 May 2018 St. Andrew's Church Rushmere
The Rushmere Organ Experience was led by Drew Cantrill. Our President, Roger Green was present and listened to Drew working with a group of young pianists to give them their first experience of the organ. Roger commented 'And it was a magical experience. They played singly and in ensemble. It is amazing how many people can play a console at the same time. How they enjoyed it and developed in confidence over the morning. Huge congratulations to Alan Loader and everyone involved in this inspirational event." This is testament to the good work being done by two of our Association members. Roger asks 'Could you set up a similar event in your area?'
Saturday 12 May 2018 - AGM at St Mary le Tower – 3pmRecital by Andrew Furniss, Assistant Director of Music at Methodist Central Hall Westminster.
Saturday 14 April 2018: A DAY IN NORFOLK
This last event was as promised by the President, Martin Ellis, a visit to two fine organs in North Norfolk which he forecast would be "Of course, ...[good] weather ... spring like with plenty of sun on order!!!" It was! A strong contingent of members came: Alex Evans, 17 years old, a student at Brentwood School, who had taken part in the organ competition in the Autumn came with his mother, Harrison Cole and his parents, Martin and Miriam Ellis, Stephen Hogger, Nicholas Thistlewaite who recently joined the Association, Anne Little, Tony Percival with Mike Pluck, Roger Green our President-Elect, Robert Waller, Barry Palmer, Tony Dunn, Andrew Garfath-Cox, and William Glasse. Everyone's transport arrangments either by train or car worked smoothly and on time.
Our first venue was at 11.00 where we met the organist since 2001, David Shippey, at the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, Cromer and the generous hospitality of members of the congregation. Here in this glorious very large church is a fine Hill, Norman and Beard 4-manual organ which followed on from a two manual organ bought by money raised in 1867 and sold when this new organ purchased from Bath Abbey in 1897 was installed. David Shippey, organist and Director of Music gave each of us a pamphlet describing this history of the organ and how the regular weekly recitals given here were started in 1885. This includes rather unusually not only the specifications of the stops for each of the divisions but also a schematic showing the positions of each of these stops and couplers, the divisional and general pistons and expression pedals and setters. Since 1976 the organ has been in the hands of RAJ Bower & company, Norfolk organ builders and and a number of additions have been provided including a new 32' Contra Trombone and the Fourniture extended to 5 ranks. As promised David Shippey generously gave us plenty of time to explore the organ and he played it to us too.
After making our own lunch arrangements in a town with an abundance of choices, we reconvened at the Parish Church of St. Nicholas in North Walsham where we were hosted by the organist and Director of Music, David Ballard. Where can you go and be entertained by an organ which has sufficient power that it can be heard in the local supermarkets? We learned not only about the collapse of the tower by over exuberant bell ringers in the 19th century fortunately during the night after they had left but also about the very strong tradition of music in this church that has been further energised by David who has been at the church from his time as a young chorister. The large choir of boys and men and another choir of girls and women come together for major festivals. How is this achieved? David as a teacher in the local primary school is able to bring a little nudge to bear on his pupils to join up!
The highlight of the afternoon was the recital by Harrison Cole, a Year 13 pupil at Ipswich School who has been awarded the gap year Organ Scholarship at Wells Cathedral from September this year before he takes up the organ scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge from October 2019. His exemplary playing gave us great pleasure last Autumn when he won the Recital Class in the Suffolk Festival of the Arts Organ Competitions which the Association sponsored but this recital showed how his musicianship and technique has developed even further with his tutor Anne Marsden Thomas at the Junior Royal Academy of Music. Four masterfully chosen pieces from the Orgelbuchlein of Johann Sebastian Bach set the scene for the premier performance in this Church of Messiaen's L'Ascension. The perfect acoustic of this large church,allowing the amazing harmonies to mingle but not to be confused, enhanced the mystery and the brilliance of this four movement work written in the years 1932/33. As the music died away, the audience was left in awe of both the music and Harrison's excellent rendering. There was more than a moment of silence before sustained applause. We should be grateful too to Alex Evans for his page turning skills and the excellent 3 manual Hill Norman and Beard/ Bower organ.
- 1. Christ lag in Todes Banden ("Christ lay in the bonds of death") BWV 625
- 2. Jesus Christus, under Heiland ("Jesus Christ, our Saviour, who conquered death"), BWV 626
- 3. Ich ruf' zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ ("I call to thee, Lord Jesus Christ"), BWV 639
- 4. Heut' triumphiret Gottes Sohn ("Today the Son of God triumphs"), BWV 630
- Majesté du Christ demandant sa gloire à son Père ("The majesty of Christ demanding its glory of the Father")
- Alleluias sereins d'une âme qui désire le ciel ("Serene alleluias of a soul that longs for heaven")
- Transports de joie d'une âme devant la gloire du Christ qui est la sienne ("Outbursts of joy from a soul before the glory of Christ which is its own glory")
- Prière du Christ montant vers son Père ("Prayer of Christ ascending towards his Father")
Harrison Cole, North Walsham Parish Church, 3.30pm
From the Orgelbuchlein, Johann Sebastian Bach 1685-1750
L'Ascension (1932/1933), Olivier Messiaen 1908-1992
- Alex Evans: Trio Sonata No.4 in E minor J S Bach
- Tony Dunn: XVii Récit de Cornet/ Trio Sonata No.2 2nd Mvmnt. J S Bach / Aragon Lord of Rings compilation
- Andrew Garfath-Cox: I do like to be beside the seaside/ Sarabande on the Morning of Easter Howells
- Robert Waller: Epilogue Norman Gilbert
- Barry Palmer: Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana/ Psalm of Glory
- Anne Little: Aria detto Balletto Guilomo Frescobaldi
- Martin Ellis: Cradle Song Howells/ Toccata Gigout
- David Shippey, the Organist: Sortie No.10 Dubois/ Andante in Bflat and Andante in F Lefebure-Wély
- Roger Green: 'Swift Exit' Green/ Song Green
- Alex Evans: An improvisation
- Ann Little: Capriccio "Cucu" Johann Kasp Kerll 1627-1693
- Stephen Hogger: Fanfare Martin Howe
- Barry Palmer: Arioso J S Bach/ Joyful, Joyful We adore Thee (Ode to Joy) Beethoven
- Andrew Garfath-Cox: Minuet Scherzo Jongen/ Handel in the Strand Percy Grainger/ Spring Song Hollins
At Cromer, members who played:
At North Walsham
As the last of the outing of the year before the AGM in May, we wish to thank Martin Ellis for the variety of events which he has planned in his presidential year and which has continued our desire over many years to encourage the love of organ music and its performance especially through assistance to our younger members to play to appreciative audiences.
Monday 19 March 2018 Grand Organ Recital at Royal Hospital School by Nicholas Freestone
Although not an SOA event, this was organised by our Council Member, Andrew Cantrill-Fenwick and the recitalist, Nicholas Freestone, has been a member of SOA since he attended Ipswich School, where William Saunders, now Director of Music at RHS, formerly taught.
Nicholas is now Acting Sub Organist at St. Paul's Cathedral, London where he shares in the playing of the daily services and plays a full role in the activities of the thriving music department. Between September 2015 and July 2017, Nicholas was Organ Scholar at St. Albans Cathedral, where he accompanied the Abbey Girls' Choir, directed the Abbey Singers and assisted in the accompaniment of the Cathedral Choir. Nicholas is a graduate of Worcester College, University of Oxford, where he held the organ scholarship between 2011 and 2014. While at Oxford, Nicholas broadcast on Radio 4, performed on two recordings that gained the accolade of BBC Music Magazine 'Christmas Choice' and directed Worcester College Mixed Choir in concert at St. John's Smith Square.
Our endeavour as an Association to support young organists certainly has borne fruit in the success of Nicholas. He created a varied programme which showed his remarkable talent on the wonderful organ in the RHS Chapel. The audience was most appreciative of how he conjured from the palette of organ stops both very soft sounds especially at the start of Howells's Psalm and in the Skye Boat Song by Liddle to the mighty cathedral power that that fine instrument seems to conjure, for example in the Litanies of Alain. After the Recital, he demonstrated and talked of various techniques to colour the words in psalm playing and his experience currently of playing in the large acoustic of St.Paul's Cathedral.
- Grand Choeur in D, op18 no 1 Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911)
- Psalm Prelude 'Lo, the poor cryeth' (Set 1 Number 1) Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
- Romance (Symphonie IV, op32) Louis Vierne (1870-1937)
- Sky Boat Song op10 no 1 David Aprahamian Liddle (b. 1960)
- Andante moderato in C minor Frank Bridge (1879-1941)
- Le Jardin suspendu + Litanies Jeahn Alain (1911-1940)
Saturday 17 March 2018: A KIST OF WHISTLES AND TWO RECITALS BY STUDENT MEMBERS!
This was a well attended event at Christ Church URC, Ipswich. Members present were: Roger Green, William Glasse, Gillian Wildney, Paul Austen, Bob Waller, Andrew Jackson, Melanie Phillips, Barry Palmer, Christopher Mitchell, Stephen Hogger, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Roger Pulham, Martin Ellis and James Crowe.
Roger Pulham, our Treasurer, remarked 'Like everyone present, I enjoyed last Saturday’s event at URC Tacket Street Ipswich. Good attendance, fine playing, excellent talk, hospitality, warm building, refreshments and car parking. Thanks to all who helped to make the occasion successful.'
The two recitalists, Gilbert Jackson and Jonathan Palman both gave excellent performances. John Norman gave a most interesting talk 'A Kist of Whistles', on the subject of organ pipes and their nomenclature and in his answers to a wide range of questions from the audience gave insights into the world of organ building with humour. We were very appreciative of his willingness to come and intrigue us with his expansive knowledge.
The itinerary for the afternoon was as follows:
At 13.30 Gather at Christ Church URC/Baptist, Tacket Street Ipswich where Gilbert Jackson one of our Student members will give a short organ recital. Gilbert is working for Grade 7 this summer. He is a pupil of Alexander Binns and, in another capacity, plays the clarinet in the Suffolk Youth Orchestra. He is also a singer – a very good all–round musician. His programme is:
- From Suite Gothique Op.25: Menuet Gothique Leon Boellman 1895 1862 - 1897
- From Sonata No.2 in C minor BWV 526: Johann Sebastian Bach Second movement 1685 - 1750
- From Sonata I: 2nd movement: Ruhig bewegt 1937 Paul Hindemith 1895 - 1963
- From Op.90: Lamento 1904 Alexandre Guilmant 1837 - 1911
- Tuba Tune Op.15 1929 Craig Sellar Lang
At 14.00 We shall move from the Church to the Hall behind where we shall welcome our guest for the afternoon, John Norman. He is a member of the famous family who ran the organ building firm of William Hill & Norman and Beard This will be a power point presentation, A Kist of Whistles, which will help us to understand the pipework which lies behind the name on the stop head at the console. This illustrated talk will be aided by Roger Pulham’s equipment. Thank you Roger!
At 15.30 Tea and Cake
At 16.00 We shall return to the Church for our second recital to be given by Jonathan Palman, another of our student members on the 3 Manual Bishop/Hill Norman & Beard organ. Jonathan is studying music at Anglia Ruskin University at Colchester and is Assistant Organist at St Edmunds Church, Southwold. His programme is:
- Fantasia in G BWV 572 Johann Sebastian Bach 1685 - 1750
- Elegy 1944 George Thalben–Ball 1896 - 1987
- From Symphonie 1 Op 42: Pastorale 1874 Alexandre Guilmant 1837 - 1911
- Cat Suite: Prrrelude, Cats at Play, Catnap, and Toc-cat-a Denis Bedard born 1950
- Finish c. 17.00
NO MEETING IN DECEMBER
Saturday 10 February 2018: A DAY WITH BOUDICCA IN COLCHESTER
- Travel: by Car. At 11.00 we meet at St Botolph’s Church where Colin Nicholson will demonstrate the organ. You will have the opportunity to play the instrument.
- At 12.30 walk up in to the Town centre and make for lunch – own arrangements.
- At 14.00 we meet at Lion Walk URC for a Master Class. We shall welcome three young organists. David Pipe (former ADOM York Minster; Founder of the new Leeds RC Diocesan Organ School will help these young players to improve their performances.
- c.15.30: Tea and Cake
- At 16.00: David will give a recital on the 3 manual HNB/ Walker organ Finish: c.1700.
SATURDAY 20 JANUARY 2018: A VICTORIAN DAY IN IPSWICH
The event was well attended by the following: R.Pulham, J. Wearne, A.Cantrill-Fenwick, N.Jardine, G.Wildney, P.Crompton, W.Baldry, A.Dunn, A.Little, C.Moore, H.Singleton, A.Smith, R.Smith, A.Leach, A. Hogger, B.Palmer, M.Cornelle, M.Spencer, P.Austen, R.Green, A.Percival, W.Glasse, J.Adams, J.Banks, B.Banks, M.Ellis.
- 11.30, The President, Martin Ellis, and Andrew Leach will give a short recital in St Mary’s at the Elms Church, including the Duet for Organ by Samuel Wesley.
- c. 12.30: Lunch (optional) at Arlington’s in Museum Street where you could meet our invited speaker before the afternoon.
- c14.00 we cross the road to the warm environment of Museum Street Methodist Church for a lecture given by The Rev’d Canon Dr Nicholas Thistlethwaite lately Canon Precentor and Sub Dean of Guildford Cathedral. His subject: The organ builders Gray and Davidson. Nicholas is writing a book about this important Victorian firm. His PhD was the iconic book The Making of the Victorian Organ.
- Tea and cake will be provided. Finish: c.16.00
A recital by Ben Banks follows.
The series of Monday concerts continues at RHS. The first lunchtime concert of 2018 took place on Monday 8 January at 1.30pm in the Chapel. Our SOA Council Member, Andrew Cantrill-Fenwick, played the organ with Bandmaster, Rich Harvey (trombone). Their programme was:
- Gordon Jacob, Four Little Pieces
- William Walton, Suite from ‘Henry V’
- Georg Philipp Telemann, Fantasie in A minor
- Alexander Guilmant, Marceau Symphonique, op 88
- Gabriel Fauré, Après un rêve
- Leon Boellmann, Toccata (Suite Gothique)
MONDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2017 MASTERCLASS at 1.30pm on the GRAND ORGAN of ROYAL HOSPITAL SCHOOLPeter Wright, Organist of Southwark Cathedral and a former President of the Royal College of Organists played an excellent recital which was followed by a masterclass. His Programme was:
- Jean Guillou (b. 1930) Saga No.6
- William Boyce (1711-1779) Voluntary in D
- Louis Vierne (1870-1937) From 'Pieces de Fantaisie: Andantino / Feux follets
- Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911) Grande Choeur 'Alla Haendel'
- George Gerschwin (1898-1937) Promenade (Walking the Dog)
- Claude Balabstre (1727-1799) Variations sur la Marseillaise et l'air 'Ca ira'
After this splendid performance of such a variety of styles of music brilliantly executed on the Hill, Norman and Beard organ, how would the participants follow in the steps of such a master of the instrument. We hade nothing to fear as Peter was a most understanding and able teacher who was able to transform our efforts with succinct but extremely pertinent suggestions allowing us to reach beyond what we might have expected to the essence of the music that we had chosen to perform. Such an opportunity to play a piece of French Romantic organ music with the tutoring of Peter Wright was readily taken up by Paul Austen, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Tony Dunn and Hugh Singleton.
We were asked to comment on our chosen piece and any additional information that we associated with it. The members of the masterclass have recorded their experiences in this masterclass.
Paul Austen: "I presented "Sur le Rhin" ("On the Rhine") from the third suite of Pièces de Fantaisie, op. 54, by Louis Vierne (1870-1937). Vierne wrote this set of six pieces in 1927, just after his recital tour that year to North America, where he encountered many new tonal possibilities on the instruments he played. Although the impressions of a river cruise along the Rhine are magnificently conveyed, there appears to be (as quite often with Vierne) an underlying emotional subtext; this erupts on the final two pages in a sustained fortissimo outburst on full organ, complete with double pedalling. As Peter Wright observed, I was playing from the 2008 Bärenreiter "Urtext" edition, which differs slightly from the more familiar Lemoine score.
It was very satisfying to sit again at the console of the RHS chapel grand organ - I had only done so once before, as an eleven-year-old attending an introductory event hosted by Peter Crompton back in 1989! Having planned my registrations (including piston settings) in advance proved helpful, although without prior rehearsal, perhaps it was over-ambitious to expect to give an entirely fluent performance first time around!
Peter Wright's comments and advice covered technique, creating a musical line throughout each phrase, and how to regard (or disregard!) the phrase markings in the score. I very much valued Peter's input, and I will have his suggestions in mind when traversing similar repertoire in future. There was of course also much to be learned from his advice to the other participants."
Tony Dunn: "My organ tutor had suggested I learn “Andante sostenuto” from the Symphonie Gothique (Op 70) by Charles-Marie Widor and the opportunity to play this piece in a masterclass with Peter Wright was timely and exciting. Peter highlighted the good things about my performance (registration, pace) and then showed very clearly and succinctly how improvements could be made (bringing out the tune; making the repeated notes more legato) and with some short exercises applied to my playing of the piece there was an immediate marked improvement – amazing. Thank you, Peter."
Andrew Garfath-Cox: "I chose 'Piece Heroique', the third composition in Trois Pieces of 1878 by Cesar Franck. He is a man to be admired as a pedagogue by the great respect that his bande of students showed to him, as a composer for the humility he showed in welcoming feedback for his own music, and for his kindly nature in the generosity he showed to other performers by his willingness to jump on his bicycle to listen to them at their recitals.
Cesar Franck composed a small oeuvre for the organ (just 12 major organ works) starting when he was 46 years of age, which laid the foundations for the French symphonic style. Each piece, in my opinion, is a tour de force and many are introduced by a dedication to the greatest French composers of his time and one (Pastorale) dedicated to Aristide Cavaille-Coll.
Piece Heroique has no dedication and was written for the concert hall of the Trocadero in Paris. Although there are few performance directions in the score, Peter's first comment that in the title was the clue on how to develop the music was apposite. The whole structure of the piece becomes startingly obvious when this heroic nature of the music is recognised. That it starts in a minor key and finishes triumphantly in the major is another. He also made another interesting comment on technique: how to touch and release the keys. There is no need to believe that the keys have to be released by the action of your fingers, they will do that for themselves. This gave immediately a relaxation and more freedom to playing technique.
Peter was able to give you that confidence in what you are playing. Through his movements and precise comments the music began to sing and you could feel the majesty of Franck's characteristic writing. Peter is a great teacher, splendid performer and sensitive both to the nuances of the music as well as of the player. Another Cesar Franck. It couldn't have been a more productive twenty minutes or so."
Hugh Singleton: "I chose Hymne d'Action de Graces "Te Deum", the third part of Trois Paraphrases Gregoriennes Op5 by Langlais as he was a great improvisor. You could imagine the Te Deum developing after an adventurous extemporisation one Sunday. I particularly enjoy the recurrence of the initial theme towards the end and how this climbs ever higher up the keyboard. It feels like there should be accelerando in this phrase as the energy builds.
It's a piece entitled for a liturgical setting but with drama suitable for recital. Langlais was blind from birth so he would listen to the sounding of the pipes as a guide for his fingers.
It was very helpful to have expert guidance from a specialist in French Romantic repertoire. It was amazing how the piece really transformed from just being given a few simple instructions. It was like he was the conductor and I was the instrumentalist."
All four participants were most grateful that we were able in the masterclass to have such an excellent chance to improve our performance under the generous guidance and motivation of Peter Wright on the splendid instrument in the Royal Hospital School Chapel. We also recognised the judgement of Paul Austen's reflection upon such a memorable afternoon that it would be impossible not to mention Peter's earlier recital, the highlight of which - for him - was his colourful rendering of another Vierne piece: "Feux follets", from the second suite of Pièces de Fantaisie (op. 53).
Andrew Garfath-Cox January 2018
SATURDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2017: THE SOA ANNUAL LUNCH AND RECITAL – BURY ST EDMUNDS
12.00 for 12.15: Meet at The Fox Inn, 1 Eastgate Street, Bury St. Edmunds IP33 1XX for the lunch. The up to date menu may be found on their website Please pre-order from the menu through the Secretary email@example.com by Saturday 4 November.
Our guests will be Alex and Dora Binns – Alex was appointed Sub–Organist at the Cathedral in 2016. At 14.00 we shall make our way to St Mary’s Church where c.14.30 Alex will give an organ recital. You will have the opportunity to play the organ after the recital. Finish c.16.00 Donation £10
In Praise of Organ Tuners and Builders
Organists rely on just a very few people who have the task of maintaining and tuning our instruments with considerable skill. Andrew Stevens tunes the Royal Hospital School organ and keeps it in sound working order. He works all over the East Anglian region but also visits the Channel Islands twice yearly. Andrew Garfath-Cox was able recently to join him and his wife on one of his twice yearly visits to the islands which you can read more about here.
SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER 2017: ALL OFF TO LONDON
- Travel: Train. Ipswich 0843 Manningtree 0853 Colchester 0903.
- 10.00: We met at Lincoln’s Inn Chapel and were welcomed by William Whitehead who spoke about the Orgelbuchlein project. He explained how Bach had completed 46 chorale preludes of a total of 164 that he had planned and had entered the titles in a manuscript book. He showed us a facsimile copy of this and we were able to see in Bach's own hand those chorale preludes that he completed with the corrections that he made; clearly a working copy. Why did Bach not continue? William suggested a number of reasons but the empty staves on the blank pages have been an invitation and the impetus for this new project to do so. This was to be a European project and will eventually be published in six volumes, the first volume imminently and so is intended to cover those chorales which Bach never achieved. Composers were approached for new works within their own style but within the structure of the originals where the chorale is heard played through once. William demonstrated a number of these newly composed pieces on the organ (Tickell 3 manual) and what a variety we heard. This will be a major contribution to new repertoire for the organ.
- 14.00 meet at All Saints Church, Margaret Street. Tim Byram-Wigfield welcomed us and spoke about the history of the church and demonstrated the organ (Harrison 4 manual 1907/1957/2002). He played a Prelude by Bach in A minor, Mein junges Leben hat ein End SwWV324 from 6 Variations by Jan Sweelinck After and Tu es Petra by Mulet.
- An urn for tea and coffee was available in the crypt and at 16.00 when the organ scholar arrived to practise we left our host Tim Byram-Wigfield who had most generously helped us with organ registration and fascinating conversation.
- Robert Waller Choral in E minor Langlais
- Philip Speirs Air Samuel Wesley / Andante in F Lefebure-Wely
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Fanfare and Processional Douglas Wagner
- Stephen Hogger 'Were you There' Christopher Tambling
- Peter Crompton Final Vierne / Litanies Alain
- Robert Waller Fanfare Lang
- Stephen Hogger Andantino in F from Vesper Voluntaries Elgar
- Andrew Garfath-Cox The Song of Sunshine Hollins / Piece Heroique Franck
- Martin Ellis March for 'The Phoebe' Whitlock
- Peter Crompton Adagio in E Bridge / Introduction and Toccata Choveaux
- Robert Waller Antiphon III Langlais
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Andantino Bedard
The members who attended this excellent opportunity to listen to and hear the playing of two very fine musicians were: Peter Crompton, Martin Ellis, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Stephen Hogger, Tony Percival, Mike Pluck, Philip Speirs and Robert Waller.
The music played by our members:
Lincoln's Inn Chapel
All Saints Margaret Street
SATURDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2017: ALL HANDS ON DECK!
ORGAN COMPETITIONS DAY sponsored by Suffolk Organists' Association.
The official announcement of the winners can be found here on the Suffolk Festival of Performing Arts website.
Organ classes were back on Saturday 23 September 2017. Beginners and Transitional classes were held at St Mary Elms, Ipswich, and Advanced and Recital classes at St Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich. Candidates will be advised about practice times after the closing date. Piston settings will be notified at the same time. The Suffolk Festival of Performing Arts were grateful to the Suffolk Organ Association for sponsoring this and for providing trophies for each class and performing opportunities for the winners. If the winner of the Recital class gains a mark above 90, he or she will be awarded three organ recitals in 2018 at: Southwark Cathedral, the Moot Hall, Colchester, and Methodist Central Hall, Westminster. There may be two recitals for the runner up at other venues if he or she gains a mark above 90.
We were pleased that the Adjudicator for this year's competition was Gerard Brooks who is Director of Music at Methodist Central Hall Westminster and Curator Organist at Christ Church, Spitalfields. He is a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and also teaches at Latymer Upper School and for the RCO Academy. His recordings on the Priory label have all been broadcast on national radio and include the complete works of Eugene Gigout and Saint-Saens. Gerard is a regular tutor on RSCM and RCO courses and has also taught for the London Organ Day, Oundle for Organists and the Edinburgh Organ Academy. He is the founding Director of the London Organ Improvisation Course and is on the exanination panel of the Royal College of Organists. His sensitive, pertinent and encouraging assessment of the playing of each candidate was appreciated by all those who took part.
MORNING: ST MARY AT THE ELMS CHURCH IPSWICH
There were two Classes held: Beginners (Grades 1-3) 5 minutes each. Transitional (Grades 4-5) 5 minutes each.
- Christopher Mitchell (14 years old) played Chaconne in F minor, Pachabel
- Oliver Mann (12 years old) played Jubilate, Hepburn
- Luke Parmenter (13 years old) played Dialogue, Marchand
- Alexander Taylor (10 years old) played Allegro, Frescobaldi
Beginners Class won by Christopher Mitchell
- Alice Smith (13 years old) played Toccata by Sweelinck; Rorate Caeli, Demessieux
- Oliver Woods ((12 years old) played Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' Ich her, Zachau; Prelude in C, Krebs
Transitional Class won by Alice Smith
Oliver Woods was the most promising player in the morning classes.
AFTERNOON: ST MARY LE TOWER CHURCH IPSWICH
There wwere two Classes: Advanced (Grades 6-7) 8 minutes each. Recital (Grade 8 and above) 20 minutes each.
- Alexander Evans (? years old) played “O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig”, BWV 618 J S Bach; Fanfare Matthias;
- Amy Quinton (16 years old) played Prelude A minor, Georg Bohm; Prelude in C BWV 545, J S Bach
- Jonathan Jolly (16 years old) played Priere a Notre Dame, Boellmann; Prelude and Fugue Eminor BWV 555, J S Bach
Advanced Class was won by Alexander Evans
- Tony Dunn played O Mensch, Bewein Dein Sünde Gross BWV 622 J S Bach; Aria Detto Balletto, Frescobaldi; Dialogue Between The Trompettes, Clarion & Tierces of The Grand Clavier & The Bourdon With The Larigot of The Positif (Gloria, 4th Verse) Messe Pour Les Paroisses, F Couperin
- Harrison Cole (17 years old) played Folk Tune, Whitlock; Trio super “Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend”, BWV 655 J S Bach; Prelude and Danse Fugue, Gaston Litaize
Recital Class was won by Harrison Cole
The Association was keen to make this revival of the Organ Classes into the Annual Competition a success and members of the Council were in attendance all day to support the candidates. We thank especially Roger Pulham and Nicholas Jardine for their stewarding and provision of refreshments. We are now preparing to run this competition again in 2018. If you did so this year, do so again and also encourage others who you know play the organ at any stage of their journey to take on the challenge!
Saturday 16 September 2017 Celebrity Grand Organ Recital Peter King Organist Emeritus Bath Abbey
Although not an SOA event, our member, Andrew Cantrill-Fenwick, Organist of Royal Hospital School reminded us that this was not an event, to be missed. There was no doubt that we were listening to a 'virtuoso of world class' as described by BBC Radio 3's Chris de Souza. Peter King had chosen a programme of many contrasting pieces through which he was able to let the music speak, each one a new delight to hear. His unimpeachable technique, skillfully acting as his own page turner and managing seemingly effortlessly the registration often selecting stops with exquisite dexterity, allowed us to hear and enjoy a fine performance of the huge range of tonal colours of this 4 manual Hill, Norman and Beard instrument within the marvellous acoustic of the School's Chapel.
A sensitive start to the Franck working up to its splendid climax was followed by the gaiety of the Ireland. After a masterful performance of the Prelude and Fugue of Mendlessohn, we moved into quasi theatre organ territory with the magical character piece of Frederic Wood and the Valse Mignonne of Karg-Elert. Though already we had had a marvellously entertaining concert we climbed to greater heights with the powerful Sonata on the 94th Psalm by Reubke. This concluding work allowed us to attain the pinnacle of great organ music through Peter's fabulous execution.
In the audience our members felt privileged to be present. They were William Glasse, Andrew Cantrill-Fenwick, Robert Waller, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Peter Crompton and Gillian Wilding. The flyer had said that the concert promises 'a spellbinding combination of repertoire, player, instrument and acoustic'. We had all these ingredients in spades and it was truly a memorable occasion!
- Piece Heroique Cesar Franck
- Capriccio John Ireland
- Prelude and Fuge in E minor Mendlessohn
- Sunrise on Stonehenge (Scenes on the Downs Op29, i) Frederic Wood
- Valse Mignonne Op 142 ii Karg-Elert
- Sonata, the 94th Psalm Reubke
Saturday 2 September 2017: AN AFTERNOON IN WEST SUFFOLK
NO MEETING IN AUGUST
- Travel: by Car to Haverhill.13.30: Meet at the Old Independent Chapel (URC) (J J Binns 3 manual).You will have the opportunity to play the instrument (J J Binns 3 manual).
- c.15.00 we shall leave Haverhill for St Peter and St Paul Parish Church Clare.
- c.16.00, St Peter and St Paul Parish Church, Clare. Ben Banks, currently Peter Crompton Organ Scholar at Royal Hospital School and Organ Scholar elect Portsmouth Cathedral, was unable to give the organ recital in memory of Robert Lucas who died in May 2017 having served as Organist and Choirmaster of the Church for 35 years. Martin Ellis gave the recital. After which members were welcome to try the organ (Bishop 2 manual).
- Tea and Cake will be available. Donation £ 10. Please let our Secretary know you are coming by 29 August firstname.lastname@example.org Finish: c.17.30
Old Independent Chapel URC, Haverhill and St. Peter and St Paul, Clare
Andrew Garfath-Cox writes:
On a beautiful sunny second day of Autumn, members met in Haverhill at this magnificent church with its splendid 3 manual 1901 James Jephson Binns organ, whose sound is well-known to the Hauptwerk community as a sample set by Lavender Audio. The beautiful church and its organ was financed by the Gurteen family, wealthy clothing manufacturers based in the town who chose the Leeds firm of Binns to build the instrument that has survived with relatively few changes and is presently under the care of Peter De Vile, organ builder and tuner of Saffron Walden. The Binns patent mechanical piston setter mechanism is an unusual feature of the organ and, also, perhaps controversially, the addition in 1992 of the Trumpet en Chamade. This stop, powerful enough to rip the hair of the organist's skull, was joined by the addition of Choir 2 rank mixture, pitched sensibly at 12th and 15th in the treble to blend well with the existing flue work and on the Swell, a Gross Tierce (3 1/15th) rank from middle C. The Great Posaune was altered to give a more trumpet like sound perhaps more in keeping with the overall sound of the Great. At some time before this entirely sympathetic rebuild of the organ by Hill, Norman and Beard, the Great Harmonic Flute 4' was replaced by a Nazard 2 2/3'.
As we were to hear from our performers' very varied choices of music, the organ was able to be effective with quieter registers as well as with its clear and bright diapason chorus. The reeds pack sufficient punch for performance of both French and German baroque and French Romantic repertoire. But it comes into its own with English Romantic repertoire where large variations of tonal colours are available.
Members who came to Haverhill were: Paul Austen, Michaela Cottee, Tony Dunn, Tim Easter, Andrew Garfath-Cox, William Glasse, Dave Kynnersley, Barry Palmer, Tony Percival, Mike Pluck, Roger Pulham, Robert Waller and joining later at Clare were, Juliette Adams, Martin Ellis, Miriam Ellis and Stephen Hogger. The following peices were performed:
- Tony Percival demonstrated the range of tonal colours in a short improvisation
- Tim Easter Je te veux Erik Satie 1866-925
- Robert Waller Paean John Marsh
- Tony Dunn Basse de Trompetter Louis Marchand 1669-1732 / Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein BWV 734 J S Bach 1685-1750
- Paul Austen Le Jardin Suspendu Jehan Alain 1911-1940
- Barry Palmer Schottische Anon / Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee Ludwig van Beethoven 1770-1827
- Michaela Cottee Christe qui Lux William Blytheman 1525-1591
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Fanfare Percy Whitlock 1903-1946
- Roger Pulham Plein Jeu / Fugue on the Trompette / Offerory on the Grands Jeux Louis Couperin 1626-1661 /
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Jig Fugue BWV 577 J S Bach 1685-1750
At 4pm, we reconvened at Clare Parish Church, with its magnificent slender pillared nave brightly lit by the afternoon sunshine punctuated every quarter by the chimes of the tower clock. The two manual Bishop and Sons organ stands in the south transept. Unfortunately our younger member, Ben Banks, was unable to play for the recital and Martin Ellis played in his stead.
Martin reminded us of the many organists who give long service and had recently spoken to Colin Edgar who started playing in Stonham fifty years ago and who is now 81 years old. Also two of our members Tony Percival at Christchurch Tacket Street Ipswich and John Wearne, Museum Street Methodist Church celebrate their silver anniversaries this year and there are many more who also have given long service to their respective churches. A celebrated example of dedicated service to organ music and performance is Francis Jackson who will be 100 years old on the 2nd October! This recital was dedicated to the memory of Robert Lucas, Organist and Choirmaster of Clare Parish Church for 35 years.Martin's recital concluded with a request of the audience to stand for his final piece Elegy 1944 by George Thalben-Ball, a former organ tutor of Martin and the final chord was accompanied by the striking of the clock for 5pm. Roger Pulham, our Treasurer, thanked Martin for his performance and arrangements for the day. Tea and refreshments were partaken as some members played the organ and the SOA enthusiasts for the organ departed after a most convivial afternoon event. Michaela Cottee asked what she might play, remarked, before beginning her piece, that 'It is difficult to say this, but I am playing Scheidt ... Samuel Schiedt.' Her rendering of 'Das Jesus an dem Kreuz stund' was however exemplary.
- Tim Easter Prelude and Fugue in B minor BWV 544 J S Bach 1685-1750
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Antiphon II Marcel Dupré 1886-1971
- Michaela Cottee Das Jesus an dem Kreuz stund Samuel Scheidt 1587-1654
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Scherzo from Suite Modale Flor Peeters 1903-1986 / Intrada Grayston Ives b. 1948
Saturday 8 July 2017: A PLEASANT AFTERNOON BY THE STOUR
14.30 Out SOA member Andrew Cantrill-Fenwick, Organist of the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook will give a lecture on the development of French Organ Music, first given at the East of England Organ Day 2015. After Tea and Cake, Andrew will give an Organ Recital of French Organ Music on the iconic HN&B 4 manual in the Chapel. Finish: c.17.00 Cost: £ 12
Paul Austen writes the following account of the informative lecture and splendid recital:
Our members, Juliette Adams, Paul Austen, Tony Dunn, Martin and Miriam Ellis, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Roger Green, Stehen Hogger, Ann Little, Roger Pulham, Robert Waller and Gillian Wildney gathered, at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, with a talented ten year old Alexander Taylor and his parents on a very warm and sunny afternoon to hear a lecture and recital by Council member Andrew Cantrill-Fenwick.
Andrew’s theme was “French Masters of the Organ”. The lecture, replete with fascinating images of people, places and organs, took us through the great sweep of 19th and 20th century French organ music, beginning with the arrival in Paris of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1833. Particular mention was made of Saint-Saëns, Franck, Widor, Vierne, Dupré and Messiaen.
It was interesting to note the ongoing influence of the Conservatoire de Paris, where many of the great organists and composers studied and later taught. Another fascinating strand was the growing awareness during the later 19th century of the organ music of J S Bach. Tea and cake were kindly provided by Stephen Hogger and gave us an opportunity to socialise – so much so, that we had to be summoned into the chapel for the recital by Andrew himself!
Barely had we settled into our seats in the choir stalls when the opening salvo of Widor’s Marche Pontificale signalled that we were underway. Amid the waves of sound rolling through the chapel from the 4-manual Hill, Norman & Beard organ, it was gratifying to yet be able to hear Widor’s counterpoint quite clearly. Our youngest audience member had found his way up into the organ gallery, no doubt gaining an excellent view of the action at the console!
Andrew’s programme was as follows:
- Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), Marche Pontificale (Symphonie 1)
- Clement Loret (1833-1909), Chacone (Douze Pièces)
- Jehan Alain (1911-1940), Deuxième Fantaisie
- César Franck (1822-1890), Piece Héroïque
- Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), Prière avant la communion (Livre du Saint Sacrement)
- Louis Vierne (1870-1937), Scherzetto (24 Pièces en style libre)
- Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911), Finale (Sonata no 1)
It was good to hear Alain’s Deuxième Fantaisie live, having previously enjoyed his performance on the Royal Hospital School Organ’s YouTube channel (well worth a viewing!). As with the Messiaen and Vierne pieces, this was an ideal opportunity to savour some of the instrument’s more refined timbres. We were very grateful to Andrew (ably assisted throughout by Robin Cantrill-Fenwick) for this excellent and memorable afternoon.
Saturday 17 June 2017: ALL ALONG THE A12
- Travel: Coach organised from Ipswich Rail Station at 08.45 (parking £3 for the day – bargain)/pick up at Marks Tey c.09.15. Cost of Coach will be £ 20 Please book by Saturday 3 June.
- 09.45 St Nicholas Parish Church Witham (Tickell 2 manual)
- 11.30 St Mary’s Parish Church Shenfield (Principal Organs 3 manual)
- Lunch: own arrangements in Brentwood.
- 15.00 St Thomas’s Parish Church (N&B 1897 rebuilt Bunting 1970 recently Nicholson 3 manual)
- Return via: Marks Tey to Ipswich Rail Station at c.18.00
- Ann Little – Unter der Linden grune (Sweelinck)
- Robert Waller – Chorale Prelude on a Melody by Orlando Gibbons (Healey Willan)
- Wolfgang Fauser – Allegro from Sonata in F major, Wq 70/3 (C P E Bach)
- Steven McDonough – Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 (J S Bach)
- Paul Austen – Mein junges Leben hat ein Endt (Sweelinck)
- Martin Ellis – No. 5 from Six Short Preludes and Postludes, First Set (C V Stanford)
- Robert Waller – Allegro Festivo, from Thirty-Six Miniatures for Organ (Noel Rawsthorne)
- Bob Smith – Improvisation
- Robert Waller - Aria (Noel Rawsthorne)
- Wolfgang Fauser – Voluntary for Organ (J C Pepusch)
- Steven McDonough - Christ lag in Todesbanden (J S Bach) - Andante tranquillo, from Sonata No. 3 (Mendelssohn)
- Ann Little – Salix, from Plymouth Suite (Percy Whitlock)
- Martin Ellis – Fugue in E flat, from BWV 552 (J S Bach)
- Paul Austen – O wie Selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen; O Gott, du frommer Gott, from Eleven Chorale Preludes (Brahms)
- Robert Waller – Elegy (Noel Rawsthorne)
- Wolfgang Fauser – Mit Fried' und Freud' fahr' ich dahin, BWV616 (J S Bach)
- Martin Ellis – Folk Tune, from Five Short Pieces (Percy Whitlock)
- Robert Waller - Celtic Lament, from Thirty-Six Miniatures for Organ (Noel Rawsthorne)
- Wolfgang Fauser – O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde gross, BWV 622 (J S Bach)
- Ann Little – Voluntary (Maurice Greene)
- Martin Ellis - Meditation on the Irish Tune Slane, from Three Pieces for Organ (Eric Thiman) - Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, BWV 669 (J S Bach)
- Robert Waller - Flourish for an Occasion, from Thirty-Six Miniatures for Organ (Noel Rawsthorne)
- Steven McDonough - Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen, from Eleven Chorale Preludes (Brahms) - Jesus Christus unser Heiland (J S Bach) - Finale from Sonata No. 4 (Mendelssohn)
- Wolfgang Fauser – Allegro di molto from Sonata in D, Wq 70/5 (C P E Bach)
Paul Austen and Robert Waller have kindly submitted this report of the day's activities.
St Nicholas, Witham
On a beautiful sunny day, we boarded a 7 seater minibus, starting at Ipswich Station and picking up at Marks Tey. Arriving at St Nicolas, Witham, we were introduced to the church and organ by David Martin, Director of Music. David talked about the instrument he had originally played, a Speechly organ sporting an abundance of apparently undistinguished 8’ stops. After the failure of the tubular pneumatic action, a new instrument was commissioned from Kenneth Tickell, this being completed in 2002. Since then, the church’s musical life has flourished.
To conclude, David Martin played Le Fils, from Trois méditations sur la Sainte Trinité by Jean Langlais. For anyone wishing to hear more of this superbly-designed instrument, Andrew Cantrill-Fenwick fully demonstrates it in his video, “An Introduction to the Pipe Organ”, available on the iRCO website.
St Mary the Virgin, Shenfield
We arrived at Shenfield and were greeted by the Director of Music, Suzanna Brooks. We were served with very welcome coffee and cake. This church also boasts a new instrument, similarly dating from 2003, by Principal Organs of York.
St Thomas, Brentwood
We retired for luncheon then met up again at St Thomas, Brentwood. David Rooke, Director of Music Emeritus, gave us an informative short talk about the history of the building and the organ. Two organ scholars, Daniel and Alex, then demonstrated the instrument, playing Elegy by George Thalben-Ball and a transcription of a piano prelude by J S Bach. We were then ourselves encouraged to play.
The organ at Brentwood was originally built by Norman and Beard in 1897, a sister instrument to the organ in, what is now, Chelmsford Cathedral. Six additional stops were added in 1908. No further alterations were made until 1970, when the instrument was rebuilt and modernised by Brian Bunting. A major overhaul of the organ was undertaken by Nicholson’s of Worcester, and the instrument was re-dedicated in September 2011. Sam Adams, Director of Music, laid on a cup of tea. Needless to say, we returned home a very happy party!
Sunday 11 June 2017
Although not an SOA event, our new member of Council, Andrew Cantrill-Fenwick, School Organist of the Chapel of the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook gave a fine performance at which a number of members of the SOA were present. His programme was:
- Carillon (Herbert Murrill 1090-1952)
- Evensong (Easthope Martin 1882-1925)
- Marche Heroique (Herbert Brewer 1865-1928)
- Grand Dialogue (Louis Marchand 1669-1732)
- La Favorite (Francois Couperin 1668-1733)
- Grand Jeu avec Tonneure (Michel Corrette 1707-1795)
- Carillon de Westminster (Louis Vierne 1870-1937)
The thunder effect in Corrette's piece was very realistic and to one 24 year old member of the audience this recital was his first opportunity ever to hear an organ and was very impressed by the enormous range of sound and volume that this fine instrument was able to give in the hands of Andrew Cantrill.
Thursday 1 June 2017
It was with much sadness that we recorded the death of our Council Member, Michael Simmonds. Members of SOA attended the service in a packed church at St. Mary's, Ardleigh. The service had been prepared by Michael and the organist was SOA member and former President, Peter Crompton.
Saturday 20 May 2017 AGM at Bentley Village Hall with an organ crawl and afternoon tea in The Case public house.
The AGM was held at 6pm with the President, Ann Little in the chair. She reviewed the events that have taken place during the year. The new Council was voted in with Andrew Cantrill-Fenwick and Paul Austen as new members. The death of Michael Simmonds, a member of Council was recorded. The remainder of the Council was voted in enbloc. Roger Green becomes President-Elect because of his current indisposition and we welcomed Martin Ellis, our new President who then laid out his calendar of events for the year.
Earlier in the afternoon, three churches were opened for members to play the organ: St. Mary's, Bentley; St. Mary, Belstead and St Peters, Copdock where Michael Osborne was pleased to receive visitors.
Thursday 20th April 2017 Visit to London. Freemasons Hall, Church of St. Dunstan, Fleet Street and the Temple Church
It is hoped that members can travel to London by car or train and then use the tube to the three venues to enjoy A FABULOUS DAY IN LONDON!
10.30-12.15pm Meet at Holborn Underground Station to walk to Freemason's Hall
2.15pm Church of St. Dunstan's in Fleet Street
3.45pm-5.15pm Temple Church
This is not a day to miss; we meet at Holborn Underground Station at 10.30am and walk to the Freemason’s Hall where we shall be able to hear and play the 50 stop Willis III/Harrison 3 manual organ (for the specification log into Grand Temple Freemason’s Hall organ). We shall have from 11.00am until 12.15pm there before going to lunch (own arrangements). There are plenty of food outlets in the area of Kingsway/Aldwych.
At 2.15pm we shall meet at the Church of St Dunstan in Fleet Street. In 2010, David Wells rebuilt the 3 manual organ which had last been rebuilt by Willis III in 1947. The opening recital was given by Thomas Trotter. We shall be able to play the organ and to have a cup of tea and biscuits (by kind provision of the Administrator) before crossing Fleet Street to the Temple Church, where George Thalben Ball was organist for almost 60 years, arriving there at around 3.45pm. We shall have an opportunity to look round this iconic medieval Church, restored after WWII in the 1950s, before 4.00pm when Martin Ellis, (an Old Templar and President designate of the Association) will introduce the fantastic 4 manual Harrison organ which received a rebuild in 2012/13.
Unfortunately neither the Director of Music, Roger Sayer, who was the soloist on the Temple organ for the music score for Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for 'Interstellar' nor Greg Morris is available that day. We have until 5.15pm to play the organ and we will be looked after by Liz Clarke, the music PA. There is a book about the organ on sale at the Church.
I am sure you will find this is a splendid opportunity to play some fine London organs so do come along!
Some people may want to travel by car to Newbury Park where there is plenty of parking space and from where you can travel to Holborn on the Central Line. Please purchase a Travelcard as it will prove cheaper than single tickets. By the way, you will find yourself having to drive to the Gants Hill roundabout returning east along the Eastern Avenue to gain access into Newbury Park Station.
If you are intending to travel by Greater Anglia from Ipswich, Manningtree or Colchester, the following is recommended:
- Ipswich 0909
- Manningtree 0919
- Colchester 0929
- Liverpool Street arr.1019
- Central Line to Holborn Make sure you have a pre-booked Travelcard
- Walk from Temple Church to Blackfriars Circle Line to Liverpool Street
- Liverpool Street dep. 1810
- Colchester 1900
- Manningtree 1911
- Ipswich 1923
The cost from Ipswich using red spotted hanky.com is £ 32.85 + £ 8.10 for a travel card. You will have to buy two single tickets unless you wait until the 1908 from Liverpool Street when a return ticket will cost c. £ 26 + £ 8.10.
18th March 2017 Past Presidents' Composite Recital at St Clement's Congregational Church, Ipswich. 2.30pm
A very select audience was entertained by six Past Presidents of the Association and refreshments were kindly provided by ladies of the congregation. We were very warmly welcomed by The Revd. Gillian Lester-Brown and the Elders to St. Clement's, an independent church in the great congregational tradition.
Stephen Hogger introduced Simon Pulham of Bishops and he spoke about this hidden gem, a Bishop & Son organ, possibly the finest two manual in Ipswich. This was built at Westbourne Mills, later Cromer Road in Ipswich which after the required demolition of the old premises in London, had become the principal works for the firm in 1897. Around 1880, Edward Hadlow Suggate, a young man who was employed as a tuner recognised the parlous state of the business and raised the capital to buy out the Bishop family. He and then his daughter, Hilda Mary Suggate, were to run the business for the next hunded years.The organ has remained almost completely original save the electric blowing. This organ from the Suggate period is a two manual pneumatic organ of 18 speaking stops and with excellent tonal qualities in a spacious building with a fine acoustic. Our Past Presidents Ann Little, Stephen Hogger, Juliette Adams, James Crowe, Andrew Garfath-Cox, and John Cooper gave voice to the instrument introducing and playing a variety of pieces. The music played during the afternoon was:
- Ann Little: John Bull (1562/63 - 12 March 1628) - Voluntary Whitlock (1 June 1903 – 1 May 1946), - On an old French Air Grayston Ives (1948) Intrada
- Stephen Hogger: Berceuse Louis Vierne (8 October 1870 – 2 June 1937)
- Juliette Adams: Hermann Schroeder (26 March 1904 – 7 October 1984) Four pieces
- James Crowe: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (30 September 1852 – 29 March 1924) On a theme of Orlando Gibbons Noel Rawsthorne (born 24 December 1929) Londonderry Air James Healey Willan (12 October 1880 – 16 February 1968) On a theme of Orlando Gibbons Song 13
- Andrew Garfath-Cox: J S Bach (31 March 1685 - 28 July 1750) Chorale Prelude 'Ich ruf zu dir Herr Jesu Christ' BWV 639
- John Cooper: J S Bach Prelude and Fugue b minor BWV 544
For those who would like to hear more of this organ, a CD, An Edwardian Album, was produced by Stephen Hogger with John Cooper FRCO as the soloist, ably assisted by June Molloy. It has a broad variety of music including Hollins 'A Song of Sunshine'. Michael Simmonds was the Recording Engineer and Terry Hepworth, the Editor and the concept was masterminded by Simon Pulham. It has a very informative well designed accompanying booklet by Maximilian O'Donnell, Simon Pulham, and Stephen Hogger.
25th February 2017 "Who Needs Feet?"
An illustrated talk by Andrew Cantrill at Bentley Village Hall. 7.30pmOur member, Drew Cantrill had prepared for the few who came a really perceptive and informative talk with excellent photos, video clips and music which enhanced his excellent and persuasive portrayal that there is music for 'manuals only' that are well worth investigating. To some, it would be a surprise to see that the technology of organ building and the addition of the pedal board (the use of feet would be a first for almost any other musical instrument) crept so slowly across the continent to our country.
No instrument has changed as much as the organ over its long history, but full pedalboards didn’t become commonplace across Europe until the middle of the 19th century! The use of the pedals grew out of Renaissance choral music, and the Norrlanda organ in Sweden is the earliest proof we have - dating from 1370. The North Germans took pedal technique to a new level of virtuosity, almost 300 years before the arrival of the concave & radiating pedalboard patented by Fr Willis in Britain in 1855.
Some composers of music for manuals only have been unjustifiably neglected. Music by Byrd, Bull, Cabanilles, CPE Bach, Wesley and Vierne can be just as satisfying to play as repertoire for manuals and pedals.
The raffle, tea and cakes were organised by the Bentley friends of our President, Ann Little. The other members who were present were Stephen Hogger, Martin Ellis and his wife Miriam, Paul Austen, Robert Waller, Gillian Wildney and Andrew Garfath-Cox.
Saturday 26 November 2016 Lunch at the Arlington, Museum Street,Ipswich
Guest speaker: David Wakefield. Music afterwards at the Unitarian Meeting House
Robert Waller reports: 12 members gathered at the Arlington for the this year's Annual Dinner with our guest speaker, David Wakefield.
As the number of members who came was few, we were fortunate enough to be in a separate room which made it a more intimate affair.
The food was good but did take a while to serve.
We invited our guest speaker to give his talk at the Arlington rather than the Meeting House. After an introduction by Ann Little, we were delighted to hear David describe how he first heard the organ as a 10 year year old and was delighted to be given a go on the organ. He joined the Navy, then in the submarine core. While in the Navy, he explained how he took every opportunity he could to play the organ for services on ships and submarines. He reminisced about the loading of a small organ through a hatch to get it on the sub! He retired from his career with the Navy after the conflict with Argentina and at some time worked for the RSCM. His continued interest in organ playing lead him when he retired to decide to have tuition on the organ and he has been a regular attendee for many years at the St. Giles Organ School until recently under the direction of Anne Marsden Thomas.
After his interesting talk, the group moved to the nearby Unitarian Meeting House where our president, Ann Little, treated us to a short recital with a French flavour which was well received. After this we retired to the church hall for tea.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ann for a splendid meeting which was enjoyed by all
Ann's recital pieces:
- Lento No4 from an Album of soft voluntaries. L Boellman
- Mére Marie de l'lncarnation No 2 of 'Suite Carmelite' J Francaix
- Noel Grand Jeu et Duo no 10 of 12 Noels Louis Claud Daquin
- Antienne Salve Regina No 3 of 'Mariales' Naji Hakem
- After an Old French Air No 1 of 'Reflections' Percy Whitlock
- Pasticcio No 10 of 'Organ Book' Jean Langlais
For those interested in the menu, this was the choice:
The set menu either two courses for £14.95 or three courses for £18.95.
Saturday 22 October 2016 Ladies Composite Recital
An excellent recital was given by two ladies: our President, Ann Little and Juliette Adams, member of Council at St John's Church, Felixstowe. It was a great shame that there were only five in the audience! Stephen Hogger, our Secretary says he hopes that there will be some better attendances at future events as they take a lot of organising and notes that the expenses are the same for fifty as they were for five.
24 September 2016 Mid Suffolk Afternoon Organ Crawl
This event didn't take place. However on this date there was a visit from the Norfolk Organists Association, our friends over the border, who welcomed SOA members Martin Ellis and Andrew Garfath-Cox to their gathering in St. John's Church, Felixstowe with a welcome by Jeremy Prentice, organist of the church.
Thursday 11 August 2016 IAA Recital The Ipswich Corn Exchange 1.00pm
This second recital given by members of SOA, the previous one was two years ago, was this year performed by our distinguished members John Cooper and Peter Crompton. A very popular and successful recital on the Corn Exchange's Lewis organ. Peter and John played superbly to a very crowded audience. They thoroughly deserve our appreciation for keeping the importance of the Corn Exchange organ, and any improvements that can eventually be made to it, firmly in the public eye. Other than Peter and John, the SOA members spotted in the audience were Roger Pulham, Philip Speirs, Ann Little, Stephen Hogger, Juliette Adams, Bob Smith, Martin Ellis, June Molloy, Barry Palmer, Andrew Garfath-Cox and, our almost 102 year old member, Lilian Caudle with her daughter Rosie. All went extremely well. We were most grateful for the work done by Bishops to make the organ ready for this recital and I am sure all the audience were appreciative of this effort.
John played: Piece d’Orgue BWV 572 by J.S.Bach; Village Variations by Andrew Carter; and Humoresque by Pietro Yon. Peter played: Mohrentanz by Susato; Pavane by Faure; Sortie by Bedard; A Memory by Friml and the concert concluded with Toccata from Symphony 5 by Widor.
Saturday 6 August 2016 7pm Christ Church, Tacket Street, Ipswich IP4 1AU
Recital by our member Tony Percival. Admission is free and there will be refreshments at the interval.
Tony will be playing music by Andriessen, Bach, Vierne, Boellmann, Rheinberger and Faure. Admission is free with a retiring collection and refreshments at the interval.
Tuesday 12 July 2016 2pm St. Peter's Sudbury
Talk by Roger Green on his newly published book on the relationships between organists and priests. A members' recital on the Grand Lewis Organ will follow open to all. Unfortunately this event is being postponed to a later date.
Saturday 4 June 2016 10 am
West Suffolk Visit to Newmarket and Bury St. Edmunds.
- 10.00 am St. Mary's Newmarket Rushworth and Dreaper(3 manuals) welcomed by the organist Mark Rodman BEM
- 11.30 am All Saints, Newmarket James J. Binns (2 manuals) welcomed by Brian Thatcher
- 1.15 pm Lunch: Cote Restaurant Abbeygate Street
- 3.00 pm St. Mary's Bury St. Edmunds welcomed by the Director of Music Adrian Marple
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Reflection Daniel Bishop
- Robert Waller Cuckoo Saint-Saens
- Stuart Matheison Pavane Ravel / To a Wild Rose McDowell
- Michael Bayley Two German Folktunes: Up tempo / Waltz
- Barry Palmer Paean - A Song of Triumph Oliphant Chuckerbutty
- Roger Green In the Sunshine Roger Green / Aka Tonbo Roger Green
- Michaela Cottee Verset Leon Boellman / Christe lux William Blitheman
- Robert Waller Fanfare C S Lang
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Concerto Intermezzo R G Hailing
- Roger Green Elizabethan Dances II arr. Roger Green
- Robert Waller Eventide Alec Rowley
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Piece d'Orgue BWV 572 J S Bach
- Michael Bayley All the Things You Are Jerome Kern / Wien bleibt Wien J Schrammel
- >Michaela Cottee Herzliebster Jesu, was hast Du verbrochen Helmut Walcha
- Barry Palmer St. Anthony Chorale Haydn arr Rawsthorne / The Lord's my Shepherd Jessie Irvine
- Stuart Matheison Gymnopedie No.1 Erik Satie / Sonatina Thomas Attwood
- Andrew Garfath-Cox England's Glory Nigel Ogden
- Gilbert Jackson Herzlich thut mich verlange J S Bach / Lament Guilmant / Fugue C major BWV 553 JS Bach
- Adrian Marple Sonata No.III Mendelssohn / Knightsbridge Eric Coates
- Juliette Adams Jesu Christus, unser Heiland BWV 665 J S Bach
- Geoffrey Boyle Offertoire Grand Jeu + Plein Jeu Couperin
- Robert Waller Prelude New Commonwealth Vaughan Williams
- Roger Green Trumpet Voluntary Jeremiah Clarke
- Michael Bayley Fine and Dandy arr Robin Richmond / The Loxam Bounce Arnold Loxam
- Barry Palmer Fanfare for a Bride Noel Rawsthorne
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Prelude on Darwall's 148th Percy Whitlock / Vesper Voluntaries No 1 and 11 Elgar
- Stuart Matheison Largo G F Handel
Music played at St. Mary's, Newmarket
Music played at All Saints, Newmarket
Music played at St. Mary's, Bury St. Edmunds
Saturday 21 May 2016 2pmAGM 21 May 2016
The AGM will be held in the Lecture Room of St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds at 3pm
The afternoon will start at 2pm with an organ recital by James Thomas, Organist and Master of the Choristers
James played the following programme:
- Sonata No.7 in F minor Op127 Josef Rheinberger
- Le Cygne Camille Saint-Saens arr. Alexandre Guilmant
- Chorale No.2 Cesar Franck
Members enjoyed listening to James's fine playing and the rendering of Guilmant's arrangement of Le Cygne was exquisite. We are most grateful to James for opening our 82nd Annual General Meeting so impressively with all the different colours of the organ artfully included in his choice of programme.
The main organ at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral was built by Harrison and Harrison of Durham in 2010, much of the old organ was unreliable and when it was removed from the organ chamber, much of it was disposed of. Its replacement has four manuals and 59 speaking stops encased in the Quire case and the Transept case each decorated to match its position in the cathedral. Before it was ready for its inauguration on Advent Sunday, 28 November 2010, each of the 3500+ pipes had to be 'voiced' both on their own and in combination with others. The fine result was a brand new organ for the cathedral, the newest cathedral organ in England.
Saturday 23 April 2016 12 noon
ANNUAL LUNCHEON The Fox Inn, The Street, Newbourne, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4NY 01473 736307 12.15pm for 12.45pm
The Association’s Annual Luncheon took place at this attractive hostelry in the pretty village of Newbourne, close to the River Deben some 20 minutes’ drive (7½ miles) from Ipswich. The President welcomed the twenty-one members who had come to this most enjoyable and cheerful social occasion especially thanking James Crowe for his meticulous organisation and his choice of a splendid location. The President also welcomed,in particular, Gillian Cleaver who had come with her helper Mary. Gillian has been a stalwart member of the Association for very many years. After more than 3 hours of convivial chatter, the members departed fully satisfied with their chosen fare and the hospitality shown by the staff of the Inn.
The Fox is a wonderful 16th-century building set in pretty grounds with a secluded rose garden and a well-stocked pond. It is one of Suffolk’s best-kept secrets. It is at the centre of the Newbourne community who always provide an enthusiastic welcome. The Inn offers fine food with typical dishes on the menu, including classic Fritto Misto, Sea Bass fillets, Shepherd’s Pie, “This little Piggy” and the house’s famed Seafood Gratin. A wide range of perfectly conditioned ales such as Adnams, St. Austell Tribute and Woodfordes Wherry as well as a great selection of wines.
Our members were able to opt for either a 2-course or a 3-course meal. Each course had multiple choices, and the cost of £20.00 or £25.00 respectively was fully inclusive of a large (250ml) glass of wine (or soft drink) and the service of tea and coffee.
Many members met again in the evening at 7.00pm, where our member and Past President Peter Crompton played an organ recital at the Royal Hospital School, which was a thrilling conclusion to our most pleasurable day.
Saturday 23 April 2016 7.00pm
Peter Crompton Organist Emeritus Royal Hospital School played the Grand Organ in the school's chapel with many members of the SOA present gathered in a large and appreciative audience. Peter's appealing programme warmed the audience on this rather cold April evening. His page turner was our student member Ben Banks, Crompton Organ Scholar at RHS. Members Andrew Cantrill, Tony Dunn and Gillian Wildney, Michaela Cottee and Dave Kinnersley, who had other duties during the day, were present.
- Sortie Bedard
- Toccata in F major BWV 540 JS Bach
- Pomp & Circumstance March No. 4 in G major Elgar
- Aria Manz
- Toccata on Vom Himmel Hoch Edmundson
- Adagio for Strings Barber
- Impromptu Vierne
- Te Deum Hymne d’Actions de Graces Langlais
- The Ride of the Valkyries Wagner
Saturday 19 March 2016
High Suffolk Stradbroke, Eye, Occold and Bedingfield and lunch at The Black Horse Thorndon Stradbroke
James Crowe organised a splendid tour of four churches and the following members were present: Ann Little, Gillian Wildney, David and Janet Brand, Bob and Anne Smith, Christopher Moore, Roger Green, Peter Tyron, Peter Crompton, Barry Palmer, Martin Ellis, Robert Waller, Gilbert Jackson and his mother, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Tony Dunn, Michael Bayley and James Crowe. Unfortunately Michaela Cottee was unable to be with us.
Stradbroke All Saints
We were welcomed by Douglas Chittock playing the 1873 Holdich organ who started the morning with • Meditation from Thaïs Jules Massenet and • Trumpet Voluntary Jeremiah Clark
- Pedal Key action Stop action Compass-low C Compass-high f1 Keys 30 1: Bourdon Pedal Pipes 16
- Great Key action Stop action Compass-low C Compass-high f3 Keys 54 2: Open Diapason 8 3: Stop Diap & Clarabella 8 4: Principal 4 5: Flute 4 6: Fifteenth 2 7: Mixture 1 1/2
- Swell Key action Stop action Compass-low C Compass-high f3 Keys 54 Enclosed 8: Dulciana Diapason 8 9: Stopped Diapason 8 10: Principal 4 11: Twelfth 2 2/3 12: Fifteenth 2 13: Trumpet 8
Members then played
- Robert Waller • Stabat Mater Alan Viner
- Tony Dunn • More Palatino J.P. Sweelinck
- Gillian Wildney • Air on a G string J.S. Bach
- Gilbert Jackson • Prelude in G minor BWV 558 J.S. Bach
- Barry Palmer • Christ be our Light Bernadette Farrell • There is a hope Stuart Townend
- Michael Bayley • Dance of the Honeybees Benjamin Richmond
- Ann Little • Toccata from BWV 564 J.S. Bach
- James Crowe • Improvisation on the hymn-tune Chorus Angelorum
- Andrew Garfath-Cox • Wedding Day Ronald Watson
St. Peter and St. Paul, Eye Parish Church
Our hosts were Peter Lee and Colin Bartlett. Peter demonstrated the instrument with an improvisation that built to a climax from very soft stops. Colin gave a survey of the organs in the church over the last 500 years and the circumstances that led to the removal of the Walker organ and recent replacement by the 1888 J. J. Binns organ from St. Mark, Woodhouse, Leeds, a redundant church in Leeds which has been renovated and installed in 2015 by E. J. Johnson and Son (Cambridge) Ltd. A plaque is attached to the new detached console provided in memory of Ethel Annie Casebow (1923-2012) née Ethel Everard of Everard Shipping Co.
- Pedal Organ. Contra Bourdon 32 Open Diapason 16 Violone 16 Sub Bass 16 Flute Bass 8 Principal 8 Violoncello 8 Contra Posaune 32 Trombone 16 Posaune 16
- Great organ. Bourdon 16 Open 1 8 Open 2 8 Dulciana 8 Harmonic Flute 8 Wald Flute 4 Ocatve 4 Twelfth 2 2/3 Fifteenth 2 Mixture 3 ranks Trupet 8 Clarion 4
- Swell Organ. Bourdon 16 Open Diapason 8 Salicional 8 Voix Celeste 8 Stopped Diapason 8 Harmonic Flute 4 Ocatve 4 Piccolo 2 Mixture 3 ranks Contra Fagotto 16 Cornopean 8 Oboe 8 Vox Humana 8
- Choir Organ. Open Diapason 8 Viol d'Orchestre 8 Lieblich Gedact 8 Dolce 8 Suabe Flute 4 Clarionette 8 Tuba (unenclosed) 8 Cymbelstern
Members then played
- Robert Waller • St John Damascene Noel Rawsthorne
- Gilbert Jackson • Lament Alexandre Guilmant
- Andrew Garfath-Cox • Festive Trumpet Tune David German
- Tony Dunn • Toccata and Fugue in D minor J S Bach
- Michael Bayley • East Anglian March Richard Webb• Prelude in E flat J Stuart Archer
- Gillian Wildney • Reflection Daniel Bishop
- Roger Green • Allegro Festivo Noel Rawsthorne
- Martin Ellis • Scherzo in E Gigout
- Ann Little • The Fifers Francois Dandrieux • Aria Noel Rawsthorne
- Peter Crompton • Tu es Petra Henri Mulet
- Peter Tryon • Fugue from Sonata No.6 Mendelssohn
Lunch at the Black Horse Thorndon
St. Michael Occold
The Churchwarden, Stephen Hubner, welcomed us and we played the single manual Bevington four stop organ and short one octave pedalboard organ of unknown date.
- Manual Key action Stop action Compass-low C Compass-high f3 Keys 54
- 1: Open Diapason 8 2: Dulciana 8 3: Stopt Diapason 8 bass 4: Principal 4
- Michael Bayley • March from Die Zauberflote Mozart
- Gilbert Jackson • Offertory in B flat Alexandre Guilmant
- Andrew Garfath-Cox • Celtic Lament Noel Rawsthorne
- Ann Little • Unter der Linden grune Sweelinck
St. Mary Bedingfield
We were welcomed by the organist Jean Waddell who has played at this church and two others for more than 50 years to play their Norman and Beard two manual organ. At the end of the session, we repaired to the Village Hall across the road where afternoon tea was served with an abundance of homemade cakes prepared by the ladies of the church for our enjoyment.
- Pedal Key action Stop action Compass-low Compass-high Keys 1: Bourdon 16
- Great Key action Stop action Compass-low C Compass-high g3 Keys 56 2: Wald Flute 4 ? 3: Flauto Traverso 8 ? 4: Open Diapason 8
- Swell Key action Stop action Compass-low C Compass-high g3 Keys 56 Enclosed 5: Principal 4 6: Lieblich Gedact 8 7: Horn Diapason 8
- Tony Dunn • Prelude BWV 556 J S Bach
- Gilbert Jackson • No. 1 for Eight short preludes and fugues BWV 553 J S Bach
- Robert Waller • Mary at the foot of Jesus Quentin Thomas
- Barry Palmer • Be Still My Soul an arrangement of Finlandia by Sibelius • All Glory Laud & Honor Melchior Teschner
- Gillian Wildney • Aria Dr. Blow
- Andrew Garfath-Cox • Canzona Second movement of Organ Sonata in C minor Percy Whitlock
- Michael Bayley • Royal Windsor John Farman
Saturday 5 March 2016
The Thirtieth London Organ Day Southwark Cathedral German Masters
This IAO event ably planned by the Artistic Director, Tom Bell and organised by the staff and volunteers of the IAO. The spirit of the day was inspired by the centenary of the death of Max Reger and we were to hear works by other German masters J S Bach, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Rheinberger, Schumann and Schmidt too. Tom said he had chosen Southwark Cathedral because of the wonderful TC Lewis organ of the cathedral and a German connection. Thomas Christopher Lewis (1833-1915), one of the leading organ builders of late 19th Century Britain was heavily influenced by the work of Heinrich Edmund Schulze (1824-1878) last of five generations of German organ builders.
Our SOA members turned out in full strength with David Banister, Michaela Cottee, Martin Ellis, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Ann Little, Anthony Percival and Mike Pluck present. Peter Wright, Organist of the cathedral opened with Prelude in B minor BWV 544 and gave information about the organ and the fact that with no choir school, nevertheless his predecessors and he himself had kept the music of the cathedral at a high standard. He then played Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue from Sonata No 8 of Rheinberger and concluded with Reger's Dankpsalm Op 145 No 2, a most impressive work. He reminded us that they aim to repair and restore this great instrument particularly wishing to update the console. This would allow more performing aids to be incorporated helping, especially on a day like this one, the setting up of combinations of stops more easily. He encouraged us to give any donation that might help towards this project.
The day continued with a splendid recital by Henry Fairs: first, a delightful arrangement of JSB's Prelude and Fugue in B flat minor by Reger, next a very quiet reflective piece, Melodia by Reger, followed by the Allegro Maestro written in 1855 by JPE Hartmann, a Danish composer from his Sonata in G minor, then the Four Sketches of Schumann and finishing his excellent playing with the great work of Reger: Phantasie and Fuge über den Namen B-A-C-H.
The afternoon performances were equally enjoyable with a recital by Tom Bell with a fully Brahms programme which included Nos. 2, 4, 5 and the very beautiful piece No. 10 from Elf Choralspiele Opus post.122 together with two Praeludium and Fugue, one in g-moll, the other in a-moll. Graham Barber gave a talk putting Reger in the context of the musical, cultural and political events occurring during Reger's short life with slides, excerpts of recorded music and also those which he played on the piano. This was followed by the work of Tom Daggett, an organist and educator who is developing most enthusiastically an outreach programme for St. Paul's Cathedral and who holds the Order of the British Empire Organ Outreach Fellowship. His aim is to reach thousands of children in schools who may have had no experience of seeing an organ or hearing the huge variety of music that an organ can play and getting them to sing so that they can become part of this cultural heritage and participate in an enjoyable group activity. The final recital of Reger, Franck, Schumann and Schmidt's Toccata in C-dur was played with consummate skill by Bernard Haas, now Professor of Organ at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.
Our splendid day immersed in the music of the German Masters and listening in particular to the great variety of styles that Reger used in his composition of organ music, which we learned was only a part of his expansive oeuvre, gave us new insights and reminded us that Reger's harmonic language is not solely just black ink on the manuscript. The next London Organ Day is on 4 March 2017 at The Dutch Church and the theme is Stylus Phantasticus with the music of Buxtehude, Bach, Sweelinck and Frescobaldi.
Desert Island Discs Interview of John Cooper by Juliette Adams at St. Mary at Stoke Church Hall, Ipswich IP2 8DA
We are very delighted that we will have the opportunity to hear John Cooper FRCO give his thoughts on church music and related topics from his extensive wealth of experience. John will be interviewed by Juliette Adams in a format similar to Desert Island Discs and the afternoon will begin at 2.30pm in the church hall of St. Mary at Stoke, Belstead Road, Ipswich IP2 8DA. There will be refreshments and we ask that donations be made to cover our costs of the afternoon. Juliette would be grateful if you could phone her on 01473 226664 to let her know that you will be coming (for catering, etc.) John has recently recorded a CD to mark the 100th aniversary of Bishops, local organ builders and this will be on sale. This is not an occasion to be missed and we welcome you to it. Read more about John.
This was a most interesting occasion and a very good turn out by members and guests. John Cooper with his wife Ute; our interviewer Juliette Adams, a member of Council; Geoff Cooley who had been John's assistant at St. Mary Le Tower; Stephen Hogger who dealt with playing the music John had chosen; Simon Pulham, organ builder from Bishops who brought along the CD of John playing the organ of St. Clement's Church, Ipswich in celebration of the 100th anniversary of that instrument which is maintained by Bishops; from St. Mary at Stoke, John and Brenda Barbrook; current members of Council, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Roger Pulham, Robert Waller, Peter Crompton, James Crowe with his wife, Fiona; Ann Little a former President; Philip Speirs, a former Treasurer with his wife Janet; Arthur and Pamela Jones; Barry Palmer; Gregory Frostick; June Molloy; Gillian Wildney.
Saturday 30 January 2016 1pm - 7pm
Bloomsbury Organ Day, at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H 8EPPhilip Luke, a member of SOA encourages all members of SOA and friends to attend an afternoon of organists' delight. Admission is free until 6pm. This year's subject is METAMORPHOSES (partitas, passacaglias, variations...). With afternoon recitals, presentations, and displays, then at 5pm the famous Bloomsbury Buffet (£5) and concluding with the celebrity recital by John Scott Whiteley, Organist Emeritus of York Minster at 6pm (£5). One of the presentations will be given by our esteemed Treasurer and former President Roger Pulham.
John Scott Whiteley, educated at Royal Holloway College, University of London and the Royal College of Music after which he was awarded scholarships to study with Maestro Fernando Germani in Siena and Professor Flor Peeters in Malines. He will be a familiar figure from his Bach recitals on TV wearing his dark overcoat and dark glasses!
For those who do not know the organ, it is a fine-sounding 3-manual, 52 speaking stops, with a 32’ reed and tuba, a sensitive amalgamation of two Binns organs, which some SOA members have played during previous trips to London.
We were welcomed by the organiser of the Bloomsbury Organ Day, Philip Luke, Organist of the church and his wife Carol who manned the admission desk for tickets for the recital and the splendid buffet tea. His inspiration for the day was that music is not a random succession of sounds, cobbled together with little thought, but a much more logical progression of ideas based often on just a few basic ideas and his challenge to the performers and presenters was to show the various processes by which a long and complex piece can be built up from a composer's or designer's initial ideas. By the end of the event we were in no doubt that this is the case and the talent of those who demonstrated these structures in beautiful music or design was second to none.
The generosity of the church in allowing such an event was much appreciated by the large number of attendees at these lectures and recitals in the afternoon which concluded with the magnificent recital by John Scott Whiteley. All the performers had given considerable thought on how to present the theme of Metamorphosis and equally John's artfully chosen programme was no exception. He took as his first theme =Metamorphosis through sequential development= using earlier and later forms of the Prelude and Fugue in D major BWV 532 including his own reconstruction of the form of a Prelude which would have predated Bach's own elaborate one. His second theme was =Metamorphosis through sequential composition= Here we were brought the work of Philip Glass showing the power of repetition in musical development in his compositions Metamorphoses I, II and III. Already by this point in the recital we had been entertained and educated by a highly inspirational performance but we were now to be inducted even further with two mighty compositions which would illustrate his third theme =Metamorphosis of themes through transformation=. The first piece was Priere (Op.20) by Cesar Franck and then Franz Liszt's Fantasia and Fugue on Ad no, ad salutarum undam. John's wealth of knowledge shone in his introductions to each of these three themes of metamorphosis delivered with his characteristic good humour. Notwithstanding the full programme that he already played, the thrilled audience applauded with such pleasure that John gave us an encore of a piece by Saint-Saens.
Highlights of the day were: the opening talk by Philip Norman introducing the theme of the day with very apposite excerpts to show how music is developed and metamorphoses; six students of the RCO Academy under the leadership of Ann Marsden Thomas who played masterfully; two further excellent recitals by Joshua Stephens playing Bach, Buxtehude and Widor and Richard Brasier playing Schumannm Mendelssohn and Mathias; the Hermes Experiment; and an excellent talk and slide presentation by Roger Pulham about organ cases through different historical periods to the present day.
Saturday 23 January 2016 10.30am - 11.30am
Recital at Museum Street Methodist Church, Ipswich (entrance through Black Horse Lane) Martin Ellis (Organ) and Dominic Joyce (Bass Baritone)
Dominic is a former choral scholar of St Mary le Tower, Ipswich and both Martin and Dominic are members of SOA. Admission is free but there will be a retiring collection in aid of church funds. Tea and Coffee available from 10am.
- Toccata in D minor 1912 Gaston Bélier 1863 - 1938
- Two Chorale Preludes on melodies in the Silesian Lutheran Hymnbook 1912: Trio: Gottlob, es geht nunmehr zum Ende Sarabande: O Jesu Christ, mein Lebens Licht Sigfrid Karg-Elert 1877 - 1933
- From Oedipus 1692 : Music for a while Henry Purcell 1659 - 1695
- From Bible Songs Op.113 1910: A Song of Freedom (Psalm 126) Charles Villiers Stanford 1852 - 1924
- Toccata and Fugue in D minor BVW 565 Johann Sebastian Bach 1685 - 1750
- Ronde Française Op 37 1896 Léon Boëllmann 1862 - 1897
- From South Pacific 1949: Some Enchanted Evening Richard Rodgers 1902 - 1979 & Oscar Hammerstein II 1895 - 1960
- Sea Fever 1913 John Ireland 1879 - 1962
- From Myrthen (Myrtles) Widmung (Dedication) Op. 25/1 1840 Robert Schumann 1810 - 1856
- Chelsea Fayre 1913 Reginald Goss Custard 1877 - 1956
- Pomp and Circumstance Military March No.4 Edward Elgar 1857 - 1934
Saturday 9 January 2016 10.00am
Visit to St. Mary's, Saffron Walden (plus a Hauptwerk demo) and the 1821 Henry Lincoln organ at Thaxted Parish Church
Our hosts at St. Mary's Saffron Walden were Peter De Vile and Andrew Malcolm, Organist Emeritus. Peter had made the arrangements for us to play the four manual organ and supplied each of the group with a booklet describing the organs that had been installed in the church since 1451.
A new organ built by TC Lewis & Co of Brixton was dedicated on a Tuesday evening in November 1885 with over a thousand people in the congregation which concluded with the organist playing Mendelssohn's Sonata No.3 and it was reported that 'loud were the praises...of the tone of the instrument, and the execution of the performer'. By 1910 with snow melting under the lead roof and dripping into the instrument costly repairs were essential and Norman and Beard of Norwich undertook the work with a detached console with pneumatic action. The vicar noted on discovery of the state of the old organ that 'it redounds greatly to the credit of the Organist that there are people in the congregation who say they cannot see or hear anything the matter with the organ'. In 1952, the organ console was moved to the rood screen still with pneumatic action!
In 1971, the organ was rebuilt by Hill, Norman and Beard now with electric action and several new stops including the Trompeta Real placed above the south screen. A further major overhaul by David Wells of Liverpool in 1996-1997 was celebrated by Dr. Martin Neary, Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey. In 1997 with the addition of a fourth manual, three electronic stops were added and this phase of completion was marked by a recital by Prof. Ian Tracey, at the time Organist of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, now Organist Titulaire.
The instrument now has four manuals, with five keyboard divisions (Solo, Swell, Great, Bombarde and Choir and the organ has a very solid foundation with the Trompeta Real continuing down to the pedal organ at 16 foot pitch.
On our arrival Andrew Malcolm gave a demonstration through excerpts from well known pieces listed on paper with the divisions of the organ that were being used. With this guide we were able to hear the huge variety of sound that is available from this instrument and later to see if we could match his splendid performance. Andrew then most kindly invited us to visit his home where we were able to play his beautifully constructed three stop tracker action two manual and pedal Skrabl organ in his music room with grand piano and also demonstrated the Hereford Cathedral sample set on his Hauptwerk organ.
We reconvened in the afternoon at Thaxted Parish Church were we welcomed by two ladies of the church, Sybil King, an indefatigable fund raiser and Ann Pickhaven, secretary of the fund raising committee who spoke to us of the effort involved in the refurbishment by Goete and Gwynn of the 1821 Henry Lincoln organ to full working order. It is the earliest surviving English church organ which retains all its original parts, and looks, sounds and plays as it did originally. It is not in its original home, which was St John’s Chapel Bedford Row in London, but was moved to Thaxted by Holdich in 1858. It was thrilling to play an organ that had been played by Gustav Holst who had lived in Thaxted. His composition, The Planets Suite, made playing a rendering of his tune 'Thaxted', associated with the words 'I vow to thee my country' de rigeur. The three manual Lincoln organ with its short keyboard on the top manual and straight pedal board only down to F did justice to the power and beauty of this well known tune.
At both churches, both magnificent architecturally with such contrasting instruments, the group had plenty of time to play a wide variety of music suited to each organ as below.
Hosts at Saffron Walden Peter De Vile and Andrew Malcolm
Opening by Andrew Malcolm Organist Emeritus with a demonstration of the organ with the following excerpts:
- Vierne Berceuse Swell strings. Solo Flute, then Gt. flute
- Drayton Pavane Swell flutes 8&4, Ped. 16, Solo Clarinet, then oboe
- Campbell Canterbury Improvisations Soft 8 flues, Gt,Sw,Ch coupled
- Couperin Chaconne Gt then Sw then Bombarde then Ch. choruses
- CS Lang Tuba Tune Tromba (rpt. plus Bombarde Open) Gt 8,4,2
- Karg-Elert Nun Danket Full Swell
- Campbell Gaudeamus Solo Trompeta, then plus Sw plus full Gt
- Peeters Ave Maris Stella Ends with full organ, minus Trompeta
- Peter Tryon Fantasia & Fugue in G minor BWV 542 J S Bach
- David Banister Romance sans Paroles Bonnet // Sortie Lefebure-Wely
- Philip Speirs Reflection Daniel Bishop // Elegy Thalben-Ball
- Roger Green Three Liturgical Preludes George Oldroyd // Sortie II Roger Green
- Michaela Cottee St. Anne (40 Hymn Tune Preludes) CS Lang // Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen Helmut Walcha
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Aria Ian Tracey // Prelude on 'Darwall's 148th" Percy Whitlock// Sleigh Ride (arr. Thomas Trotter) Leroy Anderson
- Michaela Cottee Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr Sweelinck // Jesu meine Freude Partita 5 Walther
- Stuart Matheison Pavane (arr. Richard Lloyd) Ravel // Largo from Serse (arr. Noel Rawsthorne) Handel
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 Elgar
Afternoon in Thaxted Parish Church on the 1821 Lincoln organ with hosts Sybil King and Ann PickhavenMembers played:
- Peter Tryon Trumpet Tune in D major David Johnson // Dansyre Tylman Susato
- Roger Green The Heavens Declare Benedetto Marcello
- David Banister Presto Pescetti// Hornpipe Henry Purcell // Adagio GF Handel
- Andrew Garfath-Cox 'Thaxted' from Planets Suite Gustav Holst // Aria Flor Peeters
- Philip Speirs Prelude CS Lang
- Michaela Cottee Trumpet Voluntary John Travers // Voluntary in D minor William Boyce
- Andrew Garfath-Cox 'Hyfrodol' Henry Coleman // Liebster Jesu, Wir sind hier BWV 731 JS Bach
- Stuart Matheison Nocturne from Midsummer Night's Dream Felix Mendelssohn // March from Scipio GF Handel // Gymnopaedie Eric Satie
Saturday 14 November 2015 2.00pm
'What shall we play?' Museum Street Methodist Church Ipswich
A time to share ideas about the vast repertoire of Preludes based on Hymn Tunes. Bring with you compositions within this genre. Why not bring another organist who is currently not a member? The meeting will be held around the console which is up on the balcony - there is a Stannah lift for those who need it.
Why not make a day of it? In the morning at Museum Street too,
Martin Ellis is playing another popular recital at 10.30am.We hope to meet for lunch in the same restaurant as we did for the AGM in May: @twenty5. A good time to share fellowship! The day will end with Tea and Cake at 4.00pm. Martin's recital PROGRAMME:
- Grand Choeur (alla Handel) in D Op.18 No.1 1866 Alexandre Guilmant (1837 – 1911)
- From Six Hymn Tune Preludes 1945: Prelude on ‘Werde Munter’ Percy Whitlock (1903 – 1946)
- From Dix Pieces 1892: Scherzo in E Eugène Gigout (1844 – 1925)
- Fantasia and Fugue in G published 1913 C Hubert H Parry (1848 – 1918)
- From Orgelbüchlein: O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sunde gross BWV 622 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)
- From Three New Impressions Op.142 1930: Valse mignonne Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877 - 1933)
- Prelude on the Hymn Tune Durness(Douglas Fox) 1977 Barry Ferguson (born 1942)
- From Suite Op.70 1959 Toccata Paul Creston (1906 - 1985)
Martin Ellis after his morning recital and his wife, Miriam, who had been page turner for her husband joined Michaela Cottee and Dave Kinnersley, and the President, Andrew Garfath-Cox, for a convivial lunch in the ancient beamed upper room of the restaurant @twenty5.
The afternoon was an opportunity to learn in a well attended session of the very considerable repertoire based on well known hymn tunes available to organists for the different seasons and festivals of the church's year. We listened attentively to a variety of pieces of varying levels of difficulty noting that simple pieces can truly be very effective in setting a tone to the theme of a service. It was an opportunity to compare styles of composition using the same hymn tune: 'Veni, veni Emmanuel' in an arrangement by Rebecca Te Velde with 'O come, O Come Emmanuel' by Gordon Young; 'Aberystwyth' by Healey Willan with 'Aberystwyth' by C Hylton Stewart.
We also learned new insights from discussion about some less well known composers such as William Wordsworth, who had been a teacher at Brentwood School, the very prolific output of two American composers Gordon Young, whose 'Prelude in Classic Style' is part of standard repertoire made know to British audiences by the late loved Carlo Curley and of Searle Wright. Our member, Roger Green, played two of his own pieces which were very well received with a positive expression of desire by those listening that he should publish them. He also reminded us that this collection might go alongside a book he is writing on 'Relationships: Organists and Vicars' where he appealed for evidence from the members present.
This enjoyable meeting was opened by the generous welcome of John Werne, organist of the church for the past 20 years and came about by a suggestion of Juliette Adams and organised by Martin Ellis and Miriam, who very kindly at the end of the two hour session provided the tea and cakes that concluded a very joyful afternoon of music and informative, amusing conversation.
- John Werne Prelude on 'Bread of Life' Gordon Young
- Roger Green 'Little Cornard' on the tune Hills of the North Rejoice Roger Green; 'Sine Domine' on Vaughan Williams tune for For all the Saints Roger Green
- Robert Waller Choral Prelude: Caswall Peter Hurford
- Michaela Cottee Veni, Veni Emmanuel Arr. Rebecca Te Velde 'O come, O come Emmanuel' Gordon Young
- Andrew Garfath-Cox 'This Endrys Night' George Oldroyd
- Martin Ellis Brother James' Air Searle Wright; 'Saffron Walden' William Wordsworth
- Juliette Adams 'Melcombe' Healey Willan 'Aberystwyth' Healey Willan
- Andrew Garfath-Cox 'Aberystwyth' C. Hylton Stewart; 'St. Peter' C Hylton Stewart
- Barry Palmer 'Great is thy Faithfulness' Arr. Marilyn Arison; 'It came upon a midnight clear' Noel Rawsthorne
- Other members present were: Paul Austen; Graham Eldridge; Dave Kinnersley; and a member of the church: Melanie Phillips
Saturday 14 November 2015 St Andrew's Church, Rushmere St Andrew, Ipswich 7.30 pm
This is another event that members might like to attend: Entitled 'A Voyage Round Our Organ', it will be an audiovisual exploration of the organ at Rushmere hosted by Mike Osborne, our organ builder, who will guide us (with the aid of a video camera) through some of the mysteries of its inner workings. Alan Loader (Organist and Director of Music), a member of SOA, will provide some appropriate musical illustrations. A modest admission charge of £5 to cover the cost of heating and refreshments, (wine and cheese in the Church Hall), with any profits going to the Organ Fund. The Voyage should last about an hour.
Saturday 24th October 2015 at 3pm Opening Recital by Ian Tracey,Organist Titulaire Liverpool Cathedral to Eye Church
Ian Tracey will be gving the first performance on the newly installed J. J. Binns organ built in the north of England in 1888 and now transferred to Eye. This majestic instrument will bring to this Suffolk parish one of this country’s finest examples of Victorian organ building. Thanks to their supporters and the skills of the organ builders, E. J. Johnson & Son (Cambridge), their dream is about to be realised! Eye Church will be producing a truly exceptional quality of organ music before this summer is out, to attract, encourage and stimulate organists from near and far. Let's turn out as SOA supporters to this event!
To a very large and appreciative audience including members of SOA, Professor Ian Tracey demonstrated the majestic Binns organ in celebration of its installation from its original home in Leeds with a splendid programme where he exhibited the range of tonal colours of this 3 manual organ with Tuba, Cymbelstern and 32 Contra Posaune. His highly imaginative choice of recital programme was injected too with his amusing anecdotes and his infectious humour. As an encore Ian played Widor's Toccata with panache and from memory. A truly brilliant world-class organist.
- Overture to 'The Occasional Oratorio' Handel arranged by W T Best
- Adagio in G Thomaso Albinoni
- Chaconne in D J S Bach in Goss-Custard arrangment
- Three Musical Clocks Haydn
- Capriol Suite Peter Warlock
- Suite Gothique (Choral, Menuetto, Prière, Toccata) Léon Böellman
- Elegy (Organ Symphony) Percy Whitlock
- Simple Gifts (Appalachian Melody) arranged Virgil Fox
- From 'Nutcracker Suite' Danse de la Fée-Dragée, Danse Arabe, Danse des Mirlitons Tchaikovsky arr. Tracey
- Lied to the Sun (Lied Symphony, Op. 66) Flor Peeters
Thursday 15 – Saturday 17 October 2015 SOA Autumn visit to North West of England: Liverpool Metropolitan, Chester, and Blackburn Cathedrals and Christ Church, Port Sunlight
Certainly not an occasion to be missed. Overnight accommodation will be in a Premier Inn. Travel: car or shared car.
Four 4 manual instruments played at Blackburn Cathedral, Liverpool Metropolitan, Chester and Port Sunlight. A truly magnificent event organised by Peter Crompton and Roger Pulham. We particularly thank the Organists for their splendid hospitality and inspiring playing: Samuel Hudson (Blackburn Catherdal), Richard Lea (Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral), Philip Rushforth (Chester Cathedral) and David Speechley (Port Sunlight URC Church). The event concluded with the Anniversary Recital at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral by Ian Tracey preceded by Choral Evensong, the third of our visit, for which the anthem was Brahms 'How lovely are Thy dwellings fair' beautifully sung by the very large choir and accompanied by Ian Tracey.
- Blackburn Cathedral (4 manual Walker)
- Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (4 manual Walker)
- Chester Cathedral (4 manual Rushworth & Dreaper)
- Christ Church, Port Sunlight (4 manual Father Willis)
- Liverpool Anglican Cathedral (5 manual Willis)
Sunday 11 October 2015 All Saints, Newmarket Recital 4.00pm
Anne Page will be presenting an organ recital on the refurbished Binns of Leeds organ. This is a charity event in aid of St Nicholas Hospice, Bury St Edmunds.
Sunday 27 September 2015 Music at Rushmere > Sunday Afternoon Concerts
Andrew Cantrill, Organist of Royal Hospital School, played at St. Andrew's Rushmere for a recital in memory of Phyllis Dawson, precedessor for over half century to Alan Loader who is the organist at the church and organiser of this series of concerts. Andrew played a fine programme. The first three pieces were by Soler, Cabanilles and JS Bach. The next three were by American composers David Johnson, Gerre Hancock and Seth Bingham. The recital concluded with Allegro Maestoso (the first movement of Edward Elgar's Sonata in G), Edward Bairstow's Evening Song and Garth Edmundson's Toccata-Prelude 'Vom Himmel hoch'. Exactly one hour's glorious listening to a very fine player with an appreciative audience.
Wednesday 8 July 2015 All Saint's Church, Newmarket 12pm
In May, an email from Brian Thatcher of All Saints asked whether their organ could be played by any members of the Association as they were considering whether the space it was occupying might be put to a different use and had understood that to put it into good order would be very expensive. Andrew Garfath-Cox made a preliminary visit to discover a very sound James Binns of Leeds 1908 organ. Yesterday, Philip Speirs and Andrew played the following programme to a very appreciative audience who were thrilled to hear their instrument being performed upon. Peter De Vile had tuned the organ and it was a pleasure to play.
- Fanfare Francis Jackson (1917-) [PLS]
- Sicilienne Maria Theresa von Paradis (1759-1824) [AHGC]
- Andante in D Alfred Hollins (1865-1942) [AHGC]
- Andante in F Louis Lefébure-Wely (1817-1869) [PLS]
- Aria Noel Rawsthorne (1929- )[PLS]
- Fanfare William Mathias (1934-1992) [AHGC]
- Reverie Harvey Grace (1874-1944) [AHGC]
- A Trumpet Minuet Alfred Hollins (1865-1942) [AHGC]
- The Lord's My Shepherd Schubert arr. William Lloyd Webber (1914-1982) [PLS]
- Toccata in D minor BWV 565 J S Bach (1685-1750) [PLS]
- Introduction and March William Walton (1902-1983) [AHGC]
Saturday 23 May 2015 Unitarian Meeting House, Friar's Street, Ipswich
Robert Waller writes:
On the morning of the AGM day, a number of SOA members were able to try out the organ at the Unitarian Meeting house.
David Newton was fortunate as he was the first to arrive and spent over an hour exploring the organ stops.
Ann Little was next at the console and played the beautiful ‘Aria’ by Noel Rawsthorne followed by Bach’s ‘Christ lag in totesbanden’ ending with no doubt one of her favourite composers Sweelinck ‘Unter der Linden grüne’.
Geoffrey Boyle was next chose to play several pieces by the Spanish composer Antonio de Cabezón ‘Tiento du premier ton’, ‘Dic Nobis, Maria’ and ‘Veni Creator’. He ended with a lovely chorale by Flor Peeters ‘Come, Holy Ghost’.
Our President, Andrew, followed with a delightful piece by Arne, ‘A Maggot’ followed by a piece by Ralph Vaughan-Williams ‘Rhosymedre’.
Roger Green delighted us with some of his own compositions, one of which was called ‘Miscordia’.
Juliette Adams was last to play and played a slow movement from one of Bach’s trio sonatas.
As usual time had run out and we all went on to the restaurant ‘@twenty25’
Our grateful thanks to Robert for letting us have this opportunity to play this organ.
Saturday 18 April 2015 Visit to All Saints, Friern Barnet; St. Dominic's Priory, Haverstock Hill; All Hallows, Gospel Oak
Fifteen SOA members boarded a coach for a splendid day out organised by Roger Pulham to listen to and play three organs: a 2-manual, a 3-manual and a 4-manual in North London on Saturday 18 April 2015. With excellent performances of their respective instruments by our hosts David Patrick (All Saints), Martin Stacey (St. Dominic's), and Martin Kemp (All Hallows). Each of these organists gave us a most generous welcome.ORGAN VISIT to LONDON 18 April 2015
All Saints Friern Barnet
Our host, David Patrick, played:
- Passacaglia John E. West
- Prelude on 'St. Mary' Charles Wood
- Toccata Brevis David E Gawthrop
- Ann Little Under der Linden Grüne Sweelinck (1562-1621)
- Tony Dunn Dialogue between Trompettes, Clairon and Tierces of the Grand Clavier and the Bourdon with the Larigot of the Positif Couperin (1668-1733)
- Martin Ellis Prelude and Fugue in C minor BWV 546 J S Bach (1685-1750)
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Sicilienne (arr. Vierne) J S Bach (1685-1750)
- Tony Dunn In Dir ist Freude J S Bach (1685-1750)
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Recessional: St. Theodulph Kenneth Gange (1939- )
- Michael Spencer Praeludium and Fugue in e-moll Nicholaus Bruhns (1665-1697)
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Fanfare William Mathias (1934-1992)
St Dominic's Priory, Haverstock Hill
Our host the organist, Martin Stacey, played:
- Praeludium and Fugue in G major BWV 541 J S Bach
- Folk Tune Percy Whitlock
- Symphony No. 6 1st movement Charles-Marie Widor
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Choral Song and Fugue S S Wesley (1810-1876)
- Martin Ellis Adagio in Eb Frank Bridge (1879-1941)
- Michael Spencer Psalm Prelude No 3 Set One Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
- Tony Dunn Herzlich thut mich verlangen J S Bach (1685-1750) Nun danket alle Gott Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933)
- Ann Little Thema Met Variaties Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981)
All Hallows, Gospel Oak
Our host the organist, Martin Kemp, played an Improvisation
- Martin Ellis Finale in Bflat William Wolstenholme (1865-1931)
- Stephen Hogger An improvisation
- Tony Dunn Elegy George Thalben-Ball (1896-1987)
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Choral No 3 César Franck (1822-1890)
Juliette Adams;Brian Bartlett; Michaela Cottee;Tony Dunn;Andrew Garfath-Cox;Graham Eldridge;Martin Ellis;Stephen Hogger; Dave Kynnersley; Ann Little;Tony Percival; Roger Pulham;Michael Spencer; Anne Smith; Robert Smith;
20 April 2015
Saturday 7 March 2015 The London Organ Day
A good gathering of SOA members met at Central Hall Westminster for a splendid day of music organised by the Artistic Director, Tom Bell.
Saturday 15 November 2014 Visit to Long Melford, Cavendish and Foxearth.
We met at 10.00am for an informal social gathering in the Bizzy Beans coffee shop of the Cherry Lane garden centre opposite the entrance to Kentwell Hall. At a very well attended outing, organised superbly by Roger Pulham, a new member, Martin Ellis, with his wife, Miriam joined us. Other members attending were: Michael Bayley, Michaela Cottee with Dave Kynnersley, Tony Dunn, Andrew Garfath-Cox, Roger Green, Wolfgang Hauser, Anne Little, Barry Palmer, Roger Pulham, Bob and Anne Smith, Philip Speirs, Robert Waller, and Gillian Wildney.
At Long Melford, besides the three manual Walker organ, we were invited to play the seven stop organ in the Lady Chapel.
At Cavendish, we heard another astounding selection of music from English composers, Whitlock, Popplewell and Nigel Ogden's Penguin's Playtime, over to the USA for Paul Manz's Aria, and from Europe, Sweelinck, Reger, Bach and Vierne and then down under for June Nixon.
At St. Peter and St. Paul, Foxearth, the beauty of the decorated panels on the organ matched perfectly the glorious sound from the historic Father Willis organ reverberating from the chancel decorated with exquisite wall paintings and striking stained glass. This visit to West Suffolk in threatening wintry weather was a most convivial event and the opportunity to play some fine instruments inspired the fine playing of a very broad range of repertoire.
Music played at Long Melford:
- Tony Dunn Prelude BWV 555 J S Bach
- Roger Green Liturgical Preludes George Oldroyd
- Robert Waller Flourish for an Occasion Noel Rawsthorne
- Wolfgang Hauser Festive Trumpet Tune David German
- Michaela Cottee Aria Brian Solomons
- Gillian Wildney Aria Andrew Carter
- Michael Bayley Etude Chopin Bye bye blues/ Round her neck she wore a yellow ribbon
- Ann Little Hymn: Hills of the North improvisation
- Martin Ellis Fantasia in G major BWV 572 J S Bach
- Barry Palmer Prelude in Classic Style Gordon Young
- Philip Speirs Voluntary in E minor John Stanley Andante in F Louis Lefébure-Wely
- Roger Pulham Voluntary John Stanley
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Spitfire Prelude William Walton
Music played at Cavendish:
- Michaela Cottee Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr Variation 1 Sweelinck Praeludium No.1 Cathedral Suite Gordon Young
- Prelude No.5 24 Pièce en style libre Louis Vierne Tony Dunn
- Roger Green Prelude William Lloyd Webber
- Gillian Wildney Aria Noel Rawsthorne
- Wolfgang Hauser Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ J S Bach
- Ann Little Hymn: O come, o Come Emmanuel (improvisation)
- Bob Smith Bunessan Michael Higgins
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Elegy Richard Popplewell Aria Paul Manz
- Barry Palmer Penguin's Playtime Nigel Ogden
- Robert Waller Emily June Nixon
- Martin Ellis Werde Munter Percy Whitlock
- Michael Bayley Brave Little Boys March Ezra Rea
- Wolfgang Hauser Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott Reger
Music played at Foxearth:
- Tony Dunn Prelude in G major BWV 558 J S Bach
- Wolfgang Hauser Allegro Voluntary XIII Maurice Green
- Robert Waller Prelude on a Phyrigian Mode Thomas Tallis
- Roger Green Little Cornard Roger Green
- Michaela Cottee Voluntary in D minor No 7 Voluntaries for Organ and Harpsichord William Boyce
- Ann Little Hymn: Come thou long expected Jesus
- Gillian Wildney Liebster Jesu wir sind hier BWV 731 J S Bach
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Arrival of the Queen of Sheba Handel
- Michael Bayley The Druid's Prayer Gordon Davson
- Martin Ellis Folk Tune Percy Whitlock
- Barry Palmer Tuba Tune C S Lang
- Roger Pulham Finale from Sonata No 6 Mendelssohn
- Andrew Garfath-Cox Paean from 'Five short pieces' Percy W Whitlock