Recital programmes for January – March 2016

A series of three lunchtime Organ Recitals given on the magnificent Moot Hall Organ recently restored with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Friends of the Moot Hall Organ. Listen to this splendid instrument whilst enjoying the ambiance of Colchester’s elegant Town Hall. Admission is free, with retiring collection in aid of The Friends of the Moot Hall Organ.

1pm Tuesday 5th January 2016: Ian Ray (Hon. Borough Organist)

Happy New Year

Fantasia in G major BWV 572                                                                                          
J.S.Bach (1685-1750)

Piano Interlude of music played on the newly acquired Boston Grand Piano generously presented to Colchester by Councillor Nick Cope

Adagio sostenuto (the ‘Moonlight’) from Sonata Opus 27 no 2    
Ludwig von Beethoven (1770-1827)

Polonaise in C sharp minor Opus 26 no 1                                                       
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)

Clair de Lune (Suite Bergamasque)                                                                  
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Jean Langlais (1907-1991)

Three Pieces from 24 Pieces en style libre: Lied, Divertissement, Carillon
Louis Vierne (1870-1937)

1pm, Tuesday 2nd February 2016: John Cooper (Organist Emeritus, St Mary le Tower, Ipswich)

Bells,  a Star, Kings and a Ride in the Snow

Les Carillons de Paris                                                                                          
Louis Couperin (c.1626-1661)

Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern                                                        
Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)

Marche des Rois Mages                                                                                    
Theodore Dubois (1837-1924)

An Air composed for Holsworthy Church Bells and varied for the organ 
Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876)

Sonata in D minor Op65 no 6: Chorale, Variations 1,2 & 3, Fugue, Finale                                           
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)

In dir ist Freude BWV 615                                                                                                 
J.S.Bach (1685-1750)

Chanson de la Vierge Pensive : an Aria for Organ (1995)                                      
Andrew Carter (b.1939)

Sleigh Ride                                                                         
Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) arr. Thomas Trotter

Henri Mulet (1878-1967)

1pm, Tuesday 1st March 2016: Colin Nicholson (St Botolph’s, Colchester)

Organic Entertainment

Invention in C                                                                                                        
Heinrich Gerber (1702-1775)

Voluntary I (Trumpet Tune)                                                                                   
William Boyce (1711-1779)

Fantasy for Pedal Organ                                                                                          
Johann Krebs (1713-1780)

Fantasia with echoes                                                                                              
Jan  Sweelinck (1562-1621)

Fugue in Jig style                                                                                            
Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)

Sonata Quarto                                                                                                     
Stefano Bernardi (1585-1636)

Anon (late 17c)

Variations on a popular theme: Introduction, (2 variants), theme, 9 variations, Finale in fugal style                                                                           
Christian Rinck (1770-1846)


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 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 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. Last October 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 an organist, conductor, accompanist and pianist and a recording of popular organ music on the Moot Hall Organ

John Cooper is Organist Emeritus of St Mary-le-Tower, the Civic Church of Ipswich (where he was Organist and Director of Music from 1971-99) and Organist of St Mary’s Church Grundisburgh, in Suffolk.  His work at St Mary-le-Tower included the maintaining and development of a fine tradition of choral singing.

He was for many years a Senior Lecturer in the School of Music at the Colchester Institute where he was in charge of the BA(Hons) in Music and responsible for establishing a flourishing tradition of organ playing. For many years he directed the Ipswich Choral Society and John is well known throughout East Anglia as an organ recitalist and accompanist. Both his sons are professional musicians, Stephen as a fine baritone singer and Nick as a cellist who has appeared  as concerto soloist with the Colchester Symphony Orchestra

Colin Nicholson is a Colcestrian, born and bred (b.1932). He is a life-long member of St Botolph’s Church, where he has  been Director of Music for  more than 60 years. Educated at St John’s Green School and Colchester Royal Grammar School, he left at 16 to study with Mr Kingdon, organist of St Mary-at-the-Walls and in that year gained a place at the Royal College of Music. He studied the organ with Harold Darke and composition with Herbert Howells. In 1955 he began a teaching career in various local schools, culminating in 20 years as Head of Music at CRGS. His music making has always covered a wide range of activities and age groups and in 1966, working with a colleague, Rodney Tomkins, St Botolph’s Music Society was founded. The Society is unique in that it consists of both an amateur choir and orchestra regularly rehearsing; it has also been the backbone of efforts to rebuild the church organ (1966) and purchase the Steinway Model D Grand Piano giving the church two of the finest instruments in East Anglia. SBMS programmes often contain unusual or neglected music and on December 12th 2015 the concert included a new work for Soprano, Choir and String Orchestra by Colin Nicholson.