Summer 2015 Organ Fest recital programmes announced

We are pleased to announce the programmes for the Summer 2015 Moot Hall Organ Fest recital series; free entry with a retiring collection for the Mayor’s charities.

Tuesday 21st July 2015 at 1pm

Gillian Ward Russell

A Theatre Matinee

Wedding March (from the incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream transcribed by Cunningham Woods)
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

My Heart, at thy sweet voice (from Samson and Delilah tr. Lemare)
Camille Saint Saëns (1835-1901)

Trumpet Tune (from King Arthur tr. Dearnley)
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

Gavotte (from Le Temple de la Gloire tr. Lemare)
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)

Sicilienne (from Pelleas et Melisande tr. Setchell)
Gabriel Faure (1845-1924)

Hallelujah (from Messiah tr. Cunningham Woods)
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Melody (from Faust tr. Lemare)
Charles Gounod (1818-1893)

Tuesday 28th July 2015 at 1pm

Ian Ray (Hon. Borough Organist)

Moot Hall Organ Miscellany

Moto Perpetuo (runner-up in PIPEWORKS competition)
Jenni Pinnock (b. 1987)

Toccata Adagio & Fugue BWV564
J.S.Bach (1685-1750)

Gigue de Pan
Douglas Mews (1918- 1993)

Sonata no IV in B flat major
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)

Allegro con brio, Andante Religioso, Allegretto, Allegro maestoso e vivace
Joseph Bonnet (1884-1944)

Joseph Bonnet (1884-1944)

Moot Hall Toccata
Alan Bullard (b.1947)

Sortie in E flat major
Louis James Alfred Lefebure-Wely (1871-1869)

Tuesday August 4th 2015 at 1pm

James Bowstead

Chorale Improvisation on Nun Danket Alle Gott
Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933)

Two Preludes founded on Welsh hymn tunes ‘Rhosymedre’ and ‘Bryn Calfaria’
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Four Chorale Preludes by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Aus tiefer Not schrei’ ich zu did BWV687
Heut’ triumphiret Gottes Sohn BWV630
Aus tiefer Not schrei’ ich zu dir BWV686
Valet will ich dir geben BWV735

Chorale Prelude: Herzlich tut mich erfreuen
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Paean (runner-up in PIPEWORKS competition)
Peter Thorne (b. 1955)

Henri Mulet (1878-1967)

Tuesday 11th August 2015 at 1pm

Andrew Cantrill

Imperial March
Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves’
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Sarabande for the Morning of Easter
Herbert Howells (1892-1983)

Variations on ‘Kling no Klokka’
Sverre Eftestol (b.1952)

Evening Song
Edward Bairstow (1874-1946)

Coronation March ‘Orb & Sceptre’
William Walton (1902-1983)

Organists’ biographies

Dr Gillian Ward Russell is a respected organ recitalist, choral conductor and accompanist (organ and piano). Performances have taken her all over the UK, the USA and Europe. Wherever she has played the audiences comment on two aspects in particular: her communicative skills (both through the music itself and with verbal introductions) and her colourful and imaginative registrations. Many of her recitals are themed and are given snappy or intriguing titles, and each one is tailor-made to the organ and location.

Gillian has always believed in the importance of musical research and applies this to her performance preparations. She has two research degrees, both on the subject of her ancestor, William Russell (1777-1813). She self-published Russell’s Complete Organ Voluntaries in facsimile, which includes historical notes and valuable advice on performance; Gillian has also written articles on Russell and his music, notably in 2013, the bi-centenary of his death. Some years ago she gave a recital of Russell’s Voluntaries on BBC Radio 3; she has also appeared on Channel 4 TV, and she gives a number of interviews on BBC Essex.

Gillian’s advanced music studies began in Colchester, a place for which she retains much affection. The excellent tuition she received has inspired her own didactic work: teaching organ, piano and theory are also important parts of Gillian’s life as she believes in the need to pass on these special skills to others. As well as having a select number of students she also works with larger groups in particular the Essex Organists’ Association (of which she is President) and Maldon Choral Society (where she is Musical Director).

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. 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 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 of this year he is to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Essex in recognition of his services to music in Colchester and the surrounding area. In November he will be the soloist in Beethoven’s 2nd Piano Concerto directing the performance from the keyboard. Future plans include regular work as an accompanist and ensemble pianist and a recording of popular organ music on the Moot Hall Organ.

James Bowstead began his musical education with piano lessons when he was five years old and transferred to the organ when he was sixteen. In August 2014 he passed the examinations for Associateship of the Royal College of Organists in which he was awarded the Limpus Prize, the Frederick Shinn Prize and the Durrant Prize for the highest mark in the practical examination. James grew up in Colchester where he attended Colchester Royal Grammar School and was heavily involved in the music department, participating in a number of ensembles, including the choir, orchestra and big band. Latterly he also took on a substantial leadership role, taking regular sectional rehearsals with, and accompanying the choir and acting as répétiteur in the school’s production of Bernstein’s On the Town. He also conducted the school choir and orchestra on a number of occasions, including a performance of the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus from Handel’s Messiah at a high profile event including a performance involving several local secondary schools. During his gap year he was the organ scholar at St Nicholas Church in Witham and also composed and staged a musical Pandora at his former school. He has sung in a number of choirs including Coggeshall Camerata and Essex Young Singers, and has played clarinet in Essex Symphonic Wind Orchestra and Essex Youth Orchestra in which he was principal clarinettist until summer 2014.

He has recently finished reading music at Jesus College, Oxford, where he was also the senior organ scholar, responsible for directing the choir. With the choir he has toured to Cologne, Bratislava, Vienna and most recently to Hong Kong and Shanghai. In February 2014 he conducted a performance of Bach’s Magnificat as part of the Turi Street Arts Festival, also performing the harpsichord solo in the fifth Brandenburg Concerto and in March 2015 he conducted a performance of Fauré’s Requiem. In addition to his duties at the college, he conducted the choir at Wesley Memorial Methodist Church. From September 2015 he will be taking up a position as Resident Organist at Pangbourne College in Berkshire.

Andrew Cantrill is the Organist of the Royal Hospital School. Holbrook, where he is responsible for the historic 4-manual Hill, Norman & Beard chapel organ of 1933. He studied organ with Lady Susi Jeans, Peter Wright and Gere Hancock, and is a Fellow, prize-winner and former councillor of the Royal College of Organists. His church posts have included the cathedrals of Wellington (New Zealand) and Buffalo (USA), and Croydon and Grimsby Minsters. He teaches organ across Essex and Suffolk for the RCO Academy Organ School, and is an examiner for the ABRSM.

Andrew has made several critically acclaimed commercial recordings, broadcast extensively on radio and television (as soloist, orchestral musician and accompanist), and enjoys a busy international career. Recent concerts have included Coventry Cathedral, St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, and Bath Abbey, as well as appearances in the Cheltenham and Edinburgh Festivals, and BBC Radio 3 Britten centenary celebrations. Future plans include recitals in New York, Reggio Emilia, Italy and Wiesbaden, Germany.
Andrew is increasingly in demand as a writer on the organ, and has written articles for Organists’ Review and lectured for the RCO and IAO. His choral activities include directing the Phoenix Singers, Framlingham.