Hon Borough Organist

Ian Ray
Borough Organist since 1988

Ian Ray was appointed as Colchester’s Honorary Borough Organist in 1988. He presides at the Moot Hall Organ for the annual Mayor-Making ceremony and the Oyster Feast, as well as playing for a variety of miscellaneous cultural, social and official civic events.

Ian gained his FRCO as a young man studying with Douglas Mews and Douglas Hawkridge and soon became well known in East Anglia as an organist, conductor, singing coach and pianist, regularly performing in various concert series in Hertford, Harlow, Chelmsford, Long Melford, and Ipswich, as well as presenting recitals in various London churches including St Martins in the Field and directing performances further afield in Prague, Rheims, Rouen, Wetzlar and Snape Maltings.

Ian has devoted much of his life to teaching, having recently retired after a distinguished career of 40 years as a lecturer in music at Colchester Institute. Since 1969 he has been Director of Music at Lion Walk Church where he runs a popular lunchtime concert series. His passionate commitment to stimulating the musical life of Colchester is further evidenced by his work since 1976 as conductor of the town’s Choral Society, in which role he has been responsible for bringing a large number of eminent singers and instrumentalists to perform the major choral works, as well as commissioning new compositions.

In October 2015 Ian received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Essex in recognition of his services to music in Colchester and the surrounding area.

An interview with Ian Ray is available here.

Information about previous Colchester Borough Organists can be found in an article by Nigel Chapman.