Here comes Christmas: Ian Ray (Honorary Borough Organist) with Marenzio, 1pm, 14 December 2021

A programme of music for the Festive Season performed by Ian Ray (Honorary Borough Organist) with the Marenzio a cappella quintet.

No advance booking necessary; entry is free with retiring collection.


Gaudate – anon, from Piae Cantiones (circa 1500)
O Magnum Mysterium – Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548 – 1611)
Weihnachts und Neujarslied – Paul Homberger (1555 – 1634)

Hymnus “A solis ortus cardine” – Jean Titlouze (1563 – 1633)

There is no Rose – anon 15th century
Salve Puerle – Marc Antoine Charpentier (1645 – 1704)

Noël (Grand Jeu et Duo) – Louis-Claude Daquin (1694 – 1772)

I wonder as I wander – trad. Appalachian, arr. John Rutter (b.1945)
O Jesulein süss – J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750)
The Huron Carol – trad. Canadian arr. Eleanor Daley (b.1955)

Prelude on ‘O Jesulein süss’ – Georg Friederich Kauffmann (1679 – 1733)
Prelude on ‘O Jesulein süss‘ – Michael Gotthardt Fischer (1773 – 1829)

Star of Wonder – Alan Bullard (b.1947)
Gloucestershire Wassail – trad. English arr. Richard Shephard (1949 – 2021)
Candlelight Carol – John Rutter (b.1945)
The Twelve Days of Christmas – trad. English arr. John Rutter (b.1945)

This concert is supported by Honorary Alderman Sonia and Mr Keith Lewis and by Honorary Alderman Richard and Mrs Jacky Gower.

Marenzio Singers (sopranos Emma Bishton and Lesley Bullard, tenor Andrew Gunfield, alto Janet Spencer, bass Paul Torrington) are an established vocal quintet with repertoire ranging from the 16th century to the present day, including first performances of commissioned works. They are delighted to be joining Ian Ray in today’s recital.

Ian Ray was appointed as Colchester’s Honorary Borough Organist in 1988 and up until the organ’s demise in 2004 he presided 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.

Born in Hendon, North London, his family moved to nearby Dedham and he was educated at Dedham C of E Primary School and later in Colchester at the Gilberd School on North Hill. He 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 and directing performances further afield in Prague, Rheims, Rouen, Wetzlar and Snape Maltings.

Ian has devoted much of his life to teaching having retired in 2011 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 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Essex in recognition of his services to music in Colchester and the surrounding area. Future plans include regular work as a free-lance voice coach, organist, conductor, accompanist and pianist and making a recording of popular organ music on the Moot Hall Organ. When not involved in music-making or family affairs he pursues his interests in English Literature and walking holidays.