Organ recital: Ian Ray (Hon. Borough Organist), 1pm, 13 July 2021

Hon. Borough Organist Ian Ray opens this summer’s season of organ recitals in the Moot Hall at 1pm on Tuesday 13 July. Places must be reserved please by email to or by ringing 01206 272908; free entry, retiring collection.


Basse de Trompete – Louis Marchand (1669-1732)

Prelude & Fugue in E flat major (St Anne) BWV 552 – J.S. Bach (1685–1750)

Invocation – David Matthews (b. 1943)

Canzona in F minor (Op. 47 no. 1) – Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911)

Sonata no 3 in C minor Op 56 – Alexandre Guilmant
Allegro – Adagio – Allegro

Three pieces by Herbert Howells (1892–1983):
Allegro Scherzando & Aria from Six Short Pieces (ed. by Robin Wells)
Paean from Six Pieces

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.