Music at GMC
2012 Summer Organ Recitals
During August, September and October 2012 we held our ninth series of Sunday afternoon Organ Recitals by Local Organists.
This year, some of these recitals were a little bit different!
Jeffrey Williams was born and grew up in Cornwall and read music at Bath, where he studied organ and choir training with Dudley Holroyd at Bath Abbey and choral conducting with John (WJ) Richards. From university he moved to Hampshire to take up his first teaching position and has taught at schools both in the state and independent sectors. Jeffrey is on the panel of Music Examiners for Trinity College, London and has examined in Australia, New Zealand, India, Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as extensively in the UK. He is an examiner for the Royal School of Church Music, and has been Organ Advisor for the Diocese of Winchester since 1999.
During a long association with the music at Romsey Abbey, Jeffrey established the choir as one of the most successful all-male church choirs in the South of England. Under his direction, the Abbey Choir sang at most of the major Cathedrals in the country, including three visits to Westminster Abbey and two concert tours to Holland, as well as performing on local television and national BBC Radio Three. For a number of years Jeffrey was conductor of the Romsey Choral Society, directing many large-scale works and working with professional soloists and instrumentalists. In December 2003 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for his work in music.
Jeffrey is currently Organist at St Mary’s Church, Southampton and Musical Director of the Romsey Counterpoint Singers, a small male voice group that specialises in a cappella repertoire. As an organ recitalist he has given numerous recitals in the UK, having played at many of the English Cathedrals and major Parish Churches, as well as performances in France, Holland and the USA. More recent recitals have included Portsmouth Cathedral, Sherborne Abbey and Fabrezan in France. In September 2012 Jeffrey will be playing at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. His CD recording of the restored 1858 Walker Organ at Romsey Abbey has had extracts featured on the BBC Radio 2 programme The Organist Entertains. He is also in increasing demand as an adjudicator.
Neil Sissons studied piano, organ and electronic composition at The Royal College of Music in London, subsequently gaining an organ scholarship to Oxford University, where he read Music.
Paul was born in London and studied piano, organ and trombone at the Royal Academy of Music and at Liverpool University where he was organ scholar at the Anglican Cathedral from 1993-1994. His illustrious teachers have included Roger Sayer, Christopher Bowers Broadbent and Noel Rawsthorne. Paul continues to give successful recitals throughout the United Kingdom, together with his wife. He has worked with many choirs including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, and has sung as a layclerk with both Liverpool Anglican and Liverpool Metropolitan Choirs. More recently Paul has accompanied local choirs the Linsdale singers and the Danesborough Chorus. He regularly visits Cathedrals to accompany the Linsdale singers which have included Salisbury Cathedral, Southwell Minster, Worcester Cathedral and Bury St Edmunds. Paul is currently Lead Teacher for Performing Arts at Walton High School in Milton Keynes, and organist at Hockliffe Street Baptist Church in Leighton Buzzard.
At the age of seventeen Lorna played the part of Eve in Raymond Warren’s young people’s opera ‘In the Beginning’, staged in Norwich Cathedral. She studied a BEd Honours in Expressive Arts at Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, where her solo performances included Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and Gounod’s ‘Faust’.
Lorna has studied singing with Claudio Barr (London) and Sarah Castle (Manchester). She sang with Manchester Opera Workshop playing various roles including Gounod’s Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Mozart’s Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro) and Britten’s Miss. Jessel (The Turn of the Screw).
Concert performances have included Charpentier’s ‘Te Deum’, Mozart’s ‘Vespers’ and ‘Requiem’, Schubert’s ‘Mass in G’ and Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’, and in December 2000 the first ever public performance of ‘The Nativity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ by Simon McEnery with Berkhamstead Choral Society.
The organ is not often considered to be of interest to younger people but we still need to encourage a new generation of organists. In an attempt to address this, we are holding an organ recital which is designed to appeal to children of all ages! Apart from music which it is hoped will appeal to the younger generation, there will be demonstrations of how the organ works and a chance to try out our Sweetland organ. Be there or be square!
Louise Salmond Smith took up the recorder at the age of seventeen whilst a scholar at Clayesmore School, Dorset. Studying as an undergraduate at UEA and subsequently as a postgraduate at the Universities of Hull, Gloucestershire and Keele, she was the holder of the Britten-Pears (96-97) and the Hansell Stevenson (97-98) Scholarships, and has been a pupil of Ross Winters and Pamela Thorby.
David Butler lives in Cardiff, South Wales. He was educated at Christ College, Brecon, before winning an Organ Scholarship to Peterhouse in Cambridge in 1995. He studied at Cambridge for four years, gaining a degree in Music and directing Peterhouse Chapel Choir as well as studying the organ under Peter Hurford and Anne Page. It was whilst at Cambridge that David met Louise and they began performing together, debuting at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in North Wales in 1996.
Baroquenroll have performed in some of the most beautiful venues in the world including several Cathedrals, Boston's King's Chapel, many college chapels in Oxford and Cambridge, and numerous Parish Churches. Baroquenroll recently competed in Cardiff 's Photomarathon, but didn't do very well (although it should be noted that Louise did marginally better than David).