THE ESSEX ORGANIST - Essex Organists` Association

THE ESSEX ORGANIST
The Newsletter of the Essex Organists’ Association
May—June 2015
www.essexorganists.net
EDITORIAL
T
he idea of an ‘organ day’, when an area gathers together players and enthusiasts to enjoy a special
presentation of an organ of particular interest and invites notable individuals from the organ world
to participate in a whole day’s programme, is an appealing one; however, it requires considerable planning
and organisation, and with enough resources to implement the idea. To work well it has to be properly
publicised too, and that requires effort and good planning. Over the last decade I have been fortunate to have
been able to attend a number of the London Organ
Days and March 2015 was the last occasion. There
Featured in this issue:
were very significant Essex connections for this
 p.2 Some personal impressions of LONDON
year’s LOD. You can find out what these were by
ORGAN DAY 7th March 2015, at Methodist
reading my report of the event in this Newsletter (see
Central Hall, Westminster ‘Transcriptions and
page 2).
Edwardiana’
Essex does not at present have the means of mounting
- Alwyn Jones
its own area event, but is fortunate in being located
 P.4 A Ed Taylor’s Improvisation Workshop –
conveniently enough for its members to be able to get
30th May 2015 at Christ Church, Chelmsford
to the LOD. And this year there is a further option in
- Ed Taylor
that there is an East Anglian Organ Day which is
being held on 9th May in the Royal Hospital School
 P.5 EOA Visit to Coggeshall Saturday 14th
Holbrook, Suffolk. We (Gillian and myself) will be
March
attending this for at least the celebrity recital by the
- Alwyn Jones and Gillian Ward Russell
great French organist Olivier Latry, and there will be
 P.8 NOTICE OF 2015 AGM
a report about this in a subsequent newsletter. We also
have a report of the EOA visit to St Peter-ad-Vincula
 P. 8 Can Organ Practice be good for your
Church in Coggeshall (see page 5), where the organ
health?
there is now surely fine enough to host such a day,
- John Utting
should the opportunity one day arise!
 P. 9 Organ Composer Anagrams
Also in May we have an improvisation workshop on
- Michaela Cottee
offer. See presenter Ed Taylor’s introduction (page 4)
 P.10 Letter to the Editor
to this event and do come to give a warm welcome
 P. 10 Forthcoming EOA events
back to Chelmsford to one of our former student
members, now working at Newcastle Cathedral. We
 P.10 Other events
already have a few brave volunteers to try out their
 P.12 Organ scholarship
artistry before our very ears.
A little piece about of the possible effect organ playing has on health fitness by John Utting (see page 8)
investigates how significant that connection might be. To be honest, the outcome is somewhat inconclusive,
but one can always rely on John to come up with interesting ideas related to organ playing.
Finally, don’t forget our AGM on 23rd June which will again feature an opening buffet supper in the excellent
meeting room facilities in Danbury’s St John-the-Baptist Church. Please note that we need to know your
intention to attend for purposes of our catering planning. See you all there, I hope!
Alwyn Jones
1
Some personal impressions of LONDON ORGAN DAY
7th March 2015, at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster
‘Transcriptions and Edwardiana’
The Organ at Methodist Central Hall!
Public domain picture
We were unavoidably delayed on our journey up to London and so we missed the opening
introductory talk by Tom Bell and also the introduction to the organ given by Gerard Brooks,
the current Central Hall organist and Director of Music. The first playing session was
underway as we paid for our admissions in the main foyer, and what immediately struck me
was the wonderful tone of the voice of the great organ emanating from the auditorium. I’m
sure that this was, in no small measure, thanks to the player being Gerard Brooks himself,
but the fact is that this quality of voice lasted throughout the day with some six different
players and my ears never tired of listening to the sheer beauty of the tones. Although I had
been to the Hall a couple of times over the several decades of my academic career the
occasions were strictly business and the organ had played no part in the proceedings. In any
case the occasions were before the organ was restored and I gather from Gillian that this 2011
restoration has made a whale of a difference. Anyway, it had me swooning from the outset.
Tom Bell says in his Welcome programme notes: “since completion of the restoration Central
Hall has become one of the premier ’big’ organ venues in London”. Well, I’m not surprised.
He also said “This is a fine organ and ideal for the repertoire we will be exploring.” How true
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that was, too. Gerard Brooks’ programme of works by William Lloyd Webber (1914-82) and
John Arthur Meale (1880-1932) illustrated this point immediately – it was three works by
Meale which were in progress as we arrived - Edwardian period music at its Romantic best.
The second session presented by Tim Byram-Wigfield, who has given recitals in many UK
and European venues and in the USA, and is currently Director of Music at All Saints,
Margaret Street, London. He called his programme The Art of Transcription and it included
some works requiring dazzling keyboard and pedalboard skills. Our enjoyment was
enhanced for this and for all the organ playing throughout the day by there being two wellpositioned large split screens showing CCTV images of the player at the manuals and his feet
at the pedalboard.
James Lancelot, Master of the Choristers and Organist at Durham Cathedral since 1985
played a programme of Music by Parry which was inspirational in its interpretation of the
music of this most brilliant of English composers. The finale of Fantasia and Fugue in G
(1913) I found particularly moving.
Soprano Rachel Cox and pianist-accompanist Ian Tindale gave an accomplished and wellselected programme of songs by Brahms, Stanford, Parry, Ireland and Bridge and a piano
solo by Ireland, which was a delight whether the pieces were familiar to me or not. Three of
the Miniatures from Stanford’s An Irish Idyll were particularly appealing to my Celtic spirit.
Ian Tindale’s playing was a highlight for me too. I loved his touch and sensitivity. Both of
these young talents are graduates of the Royal School of Music and, not surprisingly, are
already in great demand.
We already had an Essex connection for the day in that John Utting now has Richard Brasier
as his organ teacher, but next came Weston Jennings, the organ scholar at Chelmsford
Cathedral, making another strong connection for us. In his programme, entitled Some of
Lemare’s Organ Works, this is young American organ virtuoso performer, played as his
second piece Andantino in D-flat “Moonlight and Roses”. Yes, this is the source of that
popular 20th Century song. Weston’s unashamedly emotive interpretation of this piece had
the tears welling up in my eyes as it vividly brought back memories of a particular cinema
organ that used to add enormous pleasure to my cinema-going in the late 1940s. I only now
realise how much the experience influenced my love of music of all kinds. Weston finished
with the substantial Sonata No 1 in F which he had ‘discovered’ only fairly recently but which
he delivered as if he had known it years. It is certainly a remarkable work, in seven
movements, full of ideas and well-integrated, almost like a symphony.
We spoke with Weston after his performance and in his modest response to my enthusiastic
THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF MATERIAL FOR THE MAY-JUNE ISSUE OF
‘THE ESSEX ORGANIST’ IS 31st MAY 2015
Late submission of urgent matter may be acceptable in certain circumstances.
Editor.
3
praises he confessed that he does like to feel that he is playing for a small intimate audience
however big the venue and occasion.
The final session was also Essex-connected featuring (as it did) not only Tom Bell, who
welcomed the EOA a year or two ago on a visit to London organs, but also Essex-born
Richard Brasier (see the March-April 2013 edition of our Newsletter). Richard and Tom
have recently teamed up to give organ duo recitals.
Alwyn Jones
Ed Taylor’s Improvisation Workshop – 30th May 2015
at Christ Church, Chelmsford
Edward Taylor
Public domain photo
I will give an introduction to the basics of improvisation and I will talk about the different
ways improvisation can be used during a church service, such as during the conclusion of
the offertory hymn. I will demonstrate examples of improvisation based around gospel
readings and for use at communion. There will be the opportunity for 3-4 organists to
perform or try out some improvisation on simple themes whilst receiving guidance. To
finish the session, I will perform an improvisation based on a theme suggested by the group.
Ed Taylor
4
EOA Visit to Coggeshall Saturday 14th March
The EOA had been invited by committee
member, Philip Prior, to go to St Peter-ad
-Vincula Church in Coggeshall to be
given an up-to-date picture and
appreciation of the refurbished organ.
Philip is the Musical Director at the
church, a post he has held for more than
ten years. Our President opened the
afternoon by greeting members, friends,
and two members of the Stanway U3A
who had asked to attend. Gillian made
particular mention of her own time as
Director of Music at this church and
welcomed a former choir member
(Michael Turner) who had moved away
from the town many years ago and was
on a visit. Philip then gave his well
thought out presentation which
comprised a talk about the history of the
organ and its recent rebuilding, enlarging
it from a sizable two-manual and pedal
instrument to a three-manual organ (see
specification); he concluded with a
demonstration of the organ’s colours in a
well-crafted improvisation which took us
on a guided aural tour of the stop
combinations; this was made all the
more interesting by his handout with the
list of registrations he was using. The
organ case had been added fairly recently
and makes a colourful and grand focal
point to the west end of the building.
The console is some distance away in the
south aisle, which results in a small
delay, to which players have to adapt.
Philip’s dedication to the rebuilding
project and his obvious enthusiasm for
the results are commendable.
He
The 2009 (Village Workshop) case
at Coggeshall
© Stuart Pegler
Philip Prior discusses the rebuild
with Alwyn Jones
© Gillian Ward Russell
5
Stuart at the console
Gillian at the console
© Alwyn Jones
© Stuart Pegler
encouraged us to play the organ for ourselves, and all the organists present (there were, of
course, some non players there) to try the instrument for themselves. The performances
showed that the organ can cope with all types of repertoire. The afternoon concluded with
tea and cakes and much friendly socialising.
The church itself is large and bright with an open feel; it is a fine building with a good
acoustic for music. About a century ago, when the formation of the Diocese of Chelmsford
was in the making, St Peter-ad-Vincula, Coggeshall was on the short list to become the new
cathedral: this is an indication of the splendour of the place; it has always had a good organ;
now it has an instrument that is truly worthy of the building and the worship that takes place
there.
The only negative was the poor turnout from members which was disappointingly low.
GWR&AJ
6
ST PETER-AD-VINCULA, COGGESHALL, ESSEX
ORGAN SPECIFICATION SEPTEMBER 2014
Holdich 1874, Bishop 1895, Mander 1959, 80 (Clarinet added)
Village Workshop 2009 (Case), 2014 (Rebuilt, enlarged, new console)
Swell (enclosed)
Great
Double Open Diapason
16ft
Open Diapason
8ft
Large Open Diapason
8ft
Stopped Diapason
8ft
Small Open Diapason
8ft
Viol da Gamba
8ft
Claribel
8ft
Voix Celeste
8ft
Dulciana
8ft
Principal
4ft
Principal
4ft
*Flute #
4ft
Flute
4ft
Fifteenth
2ft
Mixture (15,19,22)
III
Twelfth
22/3ft
Fifteenth
2ft
*Contra Fagotto (ext Oboe, new bottm octave) #
16ft
Sesquialtera (12,17) remodelled
III
Horn
8ft
*Mixture (22,26) #
II
Oboe
8ft
Trumpet
8ft
Clarinet
8ft
*Clarion (ext GtTpt, new top octave) #
4ft
Tremulant
*Solo Trumpet (new ext Solo) #
8ft
Swell Octave
Swell to Great (+Thumb piston)
Swell Sub Octave
Solo to Great (+Thumb piston)
Swell Unison Off
Solo
Pedal
*Trumpet (Gt)
8ft
*Resultant Bass (derived Op Wood & Bourdon)
32ft
*Clarion (Gt) #
4ft
Open Wood
16ft
*Clarinet (enclosed in Sw)
8ft
Open Metal (Gt)
16ft
*Oboe (enclosed in Sw)
8ft
Bourdon
16ft
*Solo Trumpet (new) #
8ft
Octave
8ft
Solo Octave
Cello(Gt)
8ft
Solo Sub Octave
Bass Flute
8ft
Solo Unison Off
Fifteenth
4ft
Swell to Solo (+Thumb piston)
Trombone
16ft
*Contra Fagotto (Sw) #
16ft
General
Trumpet (Gt)
8ft
Great & Pedal Combinations Coupled
*Clarion (Gt) #
4ft
Swell Combinations on Toe Pistons
Great to Pedal (+Thumb & Toe pistons)
General Cancel Thumb piston
Swell to Pedal (+Thumb piston)
6 Divisional pistons each to Great,
Solo to Pedal (+ Thumb piston)
Swell, Solo and Pedal. 8 Generals. 64
channel system inc stepper.
*= new stop; # = new pipework
7
NOTICE OF 2015 AGM
The 2015 AGM and Buffet Supper will be held on 7.15 pm Tuesday 23rd June at St Johnthe-Baptist Church Meeting Room, Danbury.
We require nominations as follows
Hon. Secretary/ Hon.Treasurer
Youth Development Officer
Newsletter Editor
Newsletter Layout and Presentation
Publicity Editor and Webmaster
All the above are elected each year. Committee members Robert Scholes and Fay Hepworth have now
served two years therefore we need nominations for two committee members to serve for two years
each.
Please ensure you have this date free and are able to attend. Your support is vital to
the health and continuing strength of our Association. For reasons of efficient
catering for the buffet, please notify President, Dr Gillian Ward Russell, of your
intention to attend by 9th June at the latest. You can do this by email, by letter or by a
phone call (see back page for all contact details).
Can Organ Practice be good for your health?
Sometimes after a period of organ practice my legs feel slightly stiff. Perhaps this is due to
poor technique, but it did make me wonder how much actual exertion is required for organ
playing, and whether this might be enough to increase physical fitness.
Then I remembered something that happened to me about 40 years ago when I was a young
doctor. In order to measure my cardiac output I was required to have a long tube passed into
my lungs (this kind of thing went with the job in those days). Cardiac output is the volume of
blood that the heart can pump in one minute. Then I had to do various grades of exercise to
check the accuracy of the measuring device being used. What I remember about this is that
simply bending and straightening of the arm was enough to double the cardiac output. Now, it
may be that the method was poor or that I was totally unfit, but it did seem to me to be a big
increase for such a small amount of exercise.
So I began to wonder whether organ playing, needing the use of the legs as well as the arms as
it does, might actually increase the cardiac output enough to promote significant physical
fitness.
8
I don't have access to complicated medical machinery these days, so the best thing I could do
was a simply to pulse monitor. However, I hoped it would provide me with some meaningful
evidence.
Here are the results:
Activity
Pulse rate
Slumped in chair
83
Slumped on organ bench
80
Long pedal solo
82
4 part fugue
80
Lots of annoying mistakes
81
Nice brisk walk
104
What do these results tell us? Well, it looks as if I will have to continue worrying about not
getting enough exercise!
John Utting
ORGAN COMPOSER ANAGRAMS
Unscramble these 18 anagrams to identify the organ composers (surnames
only).
Who would have thought you could get such uncomfortable feelings from these
six respected composers’ names?
A NASTINESS, THICK OWL,
NEMESIS
I EXUDE MESS,
WE RULE FEEBLY, A GLUM NIT, A
Why such strange animal behaviour from these six!
I FLED COBRAS, MS LED HENS ON, SLY EWE, ELK WINCES, CAT TRAILS, HERRING
BEER
These may or may not be appropriate epithets for another six composers.
Well, the first probably is!!
REGAL, REGAL TREK, WE RULE FEEBLY, GAINS ALL, PRUDE, HIS MEN DANCE
With acknowledgement to Michaela Cottee, who provided these imaginative anagrams.
AJ
9
Letter to the Editor
I thought the members of the Essex Organists Association might be interested to know that in
the West Chapel of the Southend Crematorium we have a 13-stop Osmond of Taunton Pipe
Organ - installed around 1961, we believe, and containing much from an unknown Conacher
instrument. The instrument currently has about 14 notes unplayable on various divisions, so
work is due to start to remove it for a complete and thorough refurbishment with the addition
of some much needed improvements and a new stop. It is expected to be re-installed at the
end of June and once the instrument has settled down we intend to hold an evening Organ
recital with a retiring collection for Fair Havens. If any members would like to attend I would
be more than happy to advise them, via Gillian Ward Russell, of the time and date. Also the
instrument can be made available for playing if any members would be interested and access
can be given for evenings and weekends. By the way, the contract for this refurbishment has
been let to W&A Boggis of Roydon, Norfolk.
Kind Regards, Steve Taylor.
FORTHCOMING EOA EVENTS
2—4 pm Saturday 30th May: Improvisation at the Organ, a workshop using the organ
at Christ Church, Chelmsford, led by Edward Taylor (former EOA student member, now
Director of Music Newcastle Cathedral). Playing places will be limited so please apply as soon
as possible to Gillian Ward Russell to register. Or just turn up to observe and enjoy. Cost: £8.
Also see separate notice written by Edward in this newsletter.
7.15 pm Tuesday 23rd June: AGM and Buffet Supper at St John-the-Baptist Church
Meeting Room, Danbury. See separate notice for details
2—5 pm Saturday 5th September: Visit to St Laurence Church, Upminster
(Kenneth Tickell organ) plus optional visit to Upminster Windmill. Further details will appear
in forthcoming issues of the Newsletter.
2.30 pm Saturday 10 October: Talk by Tony Dunhill - Making Music - Tony Dunhill
talks about his love of music and demonstrates some of the instruments he has made. Pelly
Room, Boreham Church.
OTHER EVENTS
10 am—6 pm Saturday 9th May: East Anglian Organ Day at The Royal Hospital
School Chapel, Holbrook, Suffolk: entitled A Parisian Extravaganza.
The
Celebrity feature is a recital by Olivier Latry, international recitalist. The event is
arranged by Suffolk Organists’ Association. £25 for the day; or 5 pm recital (Olivier Latry)
10
only: £10 (£7 concessions). For tickets and further details apply by email to
[email protected]
5.30 pm Saturday 16th May: Recital by former student member of EOA Simon
Thomas Jacobs at St Alban’s Abbey.
7.30 pm Saturday 23rd May: All Saints Church, Writtle. Organ Recital by Daniel
Moult, adjudicator of our Organ Competition. Profits to go the Writtle Organ Fund.
6.00—9.00 pm Thursday 21st May: Moot Hall, Colchester: Colchester-born
concert organist David Drinkell makes a triumphant return to his home town to give the
opening recital on the restored organ. David is Director of Music at St John’s Anglican
Cathedral of St John-the-Baptist, Newfoundland in Canada. The programme will contain
a new work by Colchester-based composer Julia Usher: also ‘The ART and INDUSTRY of
PIPEWORK’ with sound diffusion by Duncan Chapman. http://www.duncanchapman.org
This event is hosted by the Mayor of Colchester and is by invitation only but please note
that the concert will be repeated on: Sunday 24 May at 4pm when the recital
will be open to all and free!
St Laurence, Upminster Organ Recitals: Thursday lunchtimes series: 13.05 - 13.50
pm. Free admission with retiring collection.
May 14th - Richard Brasier.
June 4th - Richard Brasier with Nathan Richards, trumpet.
June 25th - Richard Brasier.
Upminster International Organ Festival - 6.30 - 7.30 pm. £10 entry (£6
concessions)
July 4th - Johannes Geffert - Bonn
July 11th - Tina Christiansen – Brahetrelleborg, Denmark
July 18th - Chelmsford Cathedral Choir (UK)
July 25th - Stefan Kießling - Thomaskirche, Leipzig
August 1st - Richard Brasier and Tom Bell ‘organ duo’ - London
7.30 pm Saturday 11 July, : Maldon Choral (directed from the keyboard by Gillian
Ward Russell) present an evening of ‘Songs from Stage and Screen’ plus supper and bar at
Maldon Town Hall. Booking essential (tickets £12 from 01621 851141).
1.10 pm Thursday 16th July, Frinton Parish Church : Anne Skinner (flute) and
Gillian Ward Russell (piano and organ).
1.00 pm Tuesday 21 July: Moot Hall, Colchester. Gillian Ward Russell at the newly
-restored Moot Hall Organ .
11
Witham Parish Church
Director of Music: David Martin
33, Bridge Street, Witham, Essex CM8 1BU
Telephone: 01376 515827 E-mail: [email protected]
ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP
The Parish Church of St. Nicolas, Witham is looking for a new Organ Scholar to take up the
position from September 2015, initially for one year but with the possibility of a further
year.
The new Organ Scholar is likely to be aged between 14 and 18, to be reasonably competent
on the piano or electronic keyboard, and willing to make a commitment to the church over
a twelve month period.
What we offer is the chance to learn the organ, with regular lessons given in church by an
excellent teacher; to practise regularly on our superb Kenneth Tickell instrument; to work
with the choir, training, leading and accompanying them; and to play regularly at services.
What the Organ Scholar has to do is attend organ lessons, choir practices and services
regularly during term time; to practise regularly and to make progress on the organ; and to
take advantage of the opportunities being offered.
If you know of anyone who might be interested in the St. Nicolas Church Organ
Scholarship, please get in touch with the Director of Music, David Martin.
The Essex Organists’ Association
Affiliated to the Incorporated Association of Organists
President: Dr Gillian Ward Russell BA (Hons) MPhil PhD FRCO ARCM LRAM LTCL
 15 The Heights Danbury Essex CM3 4AG 01245 226551 [email protected]
Editor: Alwyn Jones
 15 The Heights Danbury Essex CM3 4AG  01245 226551 [email protected]

Layout and presentation: Stuart Pegler
1 Kestrel Mews Maldon CM9 5LJ  01621 850530  [email protected]
Distribution and Treasurer: Michael Little
 11 Long Brandocks Writtle Essex CM1 3LT  01245 421023  [email protected]
Website and publicity: Chris Tutin
 12 Curlew Close Heybridge Maldon CM9 4YB  01621 842676  [email protected]
www.essexorganists.net
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