Music at GMC
2007 Summer Recitals
During August and September 2007 we held our fourth series of Sunday afternoon Organ Recitals by Local Organists. Details follow:-
HAROLD JACKSON was born in Scotland and was reared and educated in Preston, Lancashire. He studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire under Dr John Bishop and George Miles (organ), Joseph Weingarten (piano), and graduated in 1980 with academic honours having researched Baroque and French Classical performance practice and interpretation. Having spent a number of years as Assistant Organist at Preston Minster and later as Organist and Director of Music at St Oswald's PC, Oswestry, Shropshire, he was appointed Director of Music at a private school in Somerset and works as a freelance concert organist, teacher and as Organist at Wincanton Parish Church.
His recital career has included appearances at Birmingham, Chester and Liverpool Metropolitan and Anglican Cathedrals (on the country's largest organ) as well as a number of highly successful appearances in France. He has also appeared as soloist in Saint-Saëns' 'Symphony No.3', and accompanist for a number of choirs and musicians.
Aside from a busy performing and teaching schedule, he is working on a number of compositions and organ transcriptions and has completed a full transcription of Felix Mendelssohn's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'Hebrides Overture', together with Henry Wood's 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs', which has enormous appeal amongst recital audiences.
NEIL SISSONS studied organ at The Royal College of Music (with Richard Popplewell) subsequently gaining an organ scholarship to Oxford University, where he read music. Since graduating he has had an extremely diverse musical career including....
BILL TOMKINS was born in the North of England but moved to the South West when he was still a babe in arms and he has lived there or thereabouts for most of his life. His early music experiences were as a church chorister singing two fully choral services each Sunday with occasional weekday services as well. He also studied piano and later organ, the latter now being his first instrument.
On leaving school he went to London as a trainee in a merchant overseas bank. After a few months he found the lure of music proved irresistible! He took the 'double special' course for secondary music teachers at Newton Park College, Bath, and was awarded a distinction. He also gained the Trinity diploma in musicianship at that time. He has since undertaken two further periods of extended study, gaining degrees from Southampton and the Open University.
Bill's teaching career took him first to Kent then to Hampshire and Oxfordshire before he moved to Dorset in 1972. He was an examiner for CSE and 'O' and 'A' levels as a result of which he was invited into the setting up of GCSE. This work took him to schools all over Southern England and abroad. He then became Principal Academic Professor of Music at the Army Junior School of Music at Bovington from which he retired when the school closed. Shortly after this Bill was appointed to Trinity's Panel of Examiners. Bill was also an Associate Lecturer for the Open University for over 20 years until quite recently when life took a new turn through moving to live in the midlands. Among the many benefits of this, Bill can now see his two young grandchildren whenever he wants as they live only a few minutes' walk from his house.
In the small amount of free time that he has, Bill enjoys trying to teach his new dog old tricks and keeping an eye on what is happening in the natural world, especially the birds. Now that she has retired from full time work Bill hopes to share this interest more fully with his wife. He is a local preacher in the Methodist Church.
Unfortunately, DAVID SLATER could not be with us for the concert (as originally planned) since he was recovering from a serious eye operation. We are very grateful to the three organists below who kindly stepped into the breach at short notice...
PETER LATTIMER was born and educated in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire and he began his organ-playing activities in a small Methodist Church which happily had a new pipe organ. After National Service, he read music at Oxford and became an Assistant Organist in the Cathedral. His teaching career began at Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex and then for thirty years he was Director of Music at Bryanston School in Blandford. Since his retirement, he has been Organist of St Mary's, Sturminster Newton and conductor of the Mill Singers Male Voice Choir. Peter is no stranger to our appeal efforts and we thank him for his continued help.
NEIL SISSONS studied organ at The Royal College of Music (with Richard Popplewell) subsequently gaining an organ scholarship to Oxford University, where he read music. Since graduating he has had an extremely diverse musical career. Neil gave us a fantastic recital just a few weeks earlier and we were delighted that he volunteered to play for us again.
GORDON AMERY has been fascinated by the organ since he was very young and following professional lessons became the organist at his parent's church on the Wirral (Irby Methodist Church) when he was 13. He became the organist at Gillingham Methodist Church in 2002, after a long break from playing and since 2004 much of his spare time has been taken up in organising concerts such as this to raise funds for GMC's Organ Restoration Project.