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Midlands Organ Day 2021

Saturday 25th September 2021 at St. Matthews Church, Kettering Road (A5123), Northampton NN1 4RY

Date and Venues

This event was held on Saturday 25th September 2021.

IAO Midlands Organ Day and NDOA Centenary Recital.

Saturday 25th September saw friends from across the IAO’s Midlands Region and beyond gathering at St Matthew’s, Northampton for the IAO’s Midlands Organ Day, and NDOA’s own Centenary Recital.

We enjoyed a delightful day of music, learning and friendship. The new edition of the NDOA Newsletter includes reports of both events, together with superb photography from Robin Palmer and Alan Cufuade.

Sincere thanks are due to everyone who made the day so special - Richard Pinel, Callum Alger and Jonathan Kingston who hosted the masterclasses, Anna Hallett who spoke eloquently on The Organ Manual and the new online magazine, and of course both Callum and Martin Baker (pictured above, with Matthew Foster and other participants) who gave the Centenary Recital. Particular thanks must go to Martin for stepping in so ably as our Honorary Member, Andrew Reid, was sadly unable to attend at very short notice. Colin Lapus, Samuel Kemp, Laurence Caldecote, Adrian Quarry and Anna Hallett played most ably for the Masterclasses, and delegates also enjoyed the ability to play open consoles at All Saints’, St Gregory the Great, St Michael and All Angels and, of course, St Matthew’s.

The events were the culmination of two years’ of work by a team led by Alan Cufaude, whose impeccable organisational skills ensured their success. Alan was joined by Helen Murphy, who led the administration (and brought to bear Don’s brilliant heritage transport contacts!), Glyn Hughes’ astute financial planning, Mark Gibson’s consummate event management expertise, Jonathan Kingston’s gifts as a musician and teacher, and Justin Miller’s outstanding contributions as artistic director and magician - pulling Martin Baker out of a hat when Andrew had to withdraw just a couple of days before the event.

We are so very grateful to them all, to Fr. Nicholas and the team at St Matthew’s for their support, and to Phylis, Sheila, Gabriela and Ann who looked after our guests so well in the Parish Centre. Last but certainly not least, the day was possible because of the support of our sponsors at Harrison & Harrison and Church Organ World, and you can read about their current work in the Newsletter too.

With every good wish

Richard

Richard Tapp

President, Northampton & District Organists’ Association

Timetable for the 2021 Events

The timetable for the Day looked like this:

TWO EVENTS – ONE DAY: PROGRAMME

St Matthew’s, Northampton

EVENT 1: IAO MIDLANDS ORGAN DAY

10.00 Registration and welcome in St. Matthew's Parish Centre. Tea and coffee available at £1 per person for the day.

10.30 The St. Matthew’s Walker Organ: an introduction by Justin Miller, and Richard Tapp, President of the Northampton & District organists' Association, and short recital by Callum Alger.

11.00 Masterclass 1: hymns, and liturgical improvisation.

12.30 Lunch break – bring your own picnic bags or enjoy lunch at one of the many food outlets in the Kettering Road.

Open Consoles will be available from 1.00pm to 2.00pm at St Matthew’s, St Gregory’s, All Saints’ and New Testament Church of God, Northampton.

2.30 Anna Hallett - The Organ Manual

2.50 Masterclass 2: Accompanying psalms and choral repertoire.

4.15 Finale: performance of music worked on in the Masterclasses.

4.30 Demonstration of Church Organ World organs in the Parish Centre, tea and coffee available.

5.00 Supper available at one of the many food outlets in the Kettering Road.

An Open Console will be available from 5.30pm to 6.30pm at St Michael and All Angels, Perry Street Northampton NN3 2HS.

There will be opportunities during the breaks throughout the day to try state-of-the-art digital organs, and to browse and buy organ music, DVDs and CDs from Church Organ World.

EVENT 2: THE N&DOA CENTENARY RECITAL on the iconic WALKER ORGAN AT ST. MATTHEWS

Martin Baker and Callum Alger showcase the Walker organ in a spectacular joint recital.

This timetable and the recital programme is provisional and may be subject to change

The Artists

Richard Pinel is a Fellow & Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, and Director of the Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy. He began his musical life as a chorister at All Saints’ Church, Northampton. Richard was awarded the prestigious organ scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford (2002). Before his current post, he was Assistant Director of Music of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Andrew Reid is Managing Director of Harrison & Harrison organ builders. Unfortunately, Andrew has had to withdraw from the programme, and NDOA and Andrew regret that he will not be taking part in the Midlands Organ Day in person. Harrison & Harrison continue to be joint sponsors of this event.

Fortunately, Martin Baker kindly agreed at short notice to give the NDOA Centenary Recital jointly with Callum Alger in Andrew’s place.

Martin Baker is a past President of the Royal College of Organists and was from 2000 until 2019 Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral. Martin was educated at the Royal Northern College of Music Junior School, Chetham’s School of Music, St. Ambrose College, and attended Downing College Cambridge as an Organ Scholar from 1985–88. He subsequently held appointments at Westminster Cathedral (Organ Scholar 1988–90), St. Paul’s Cathedral (Assistant Organist 1990–1991) and Westminster Abbey (Sub-Organist 1992–98 and Acting Organist 1998–99.)

Martin won first prize in the Improvisation Competition at the St. Albans International Organ Festival in 1997. He maintains an international profile as an organ recitalist, and is known particularly for his skill in organ improvisation.

In 2015 Martin was elected as an Honorary Fellow of Downing College. He is now enjoying life as a freelance organist and conductor, and comes to Northampton fresh from his masterly performance at the 2021 Proms.

We are delighted to welcome Martin to the programme, where he joins Callum in the Centenary Recital. Richard Pinel, Justin Miller, Jonathan Kingston and Anna Hallett will continue to join Callum for the Midlands Organ Day itself.

Jonathan Kingston is NDOA’s President-Elect. He was an organ student under Ian Tracey and Ian Wells, Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral, DoM at The King’s School, Ely, and a deputy organist and choral director at Ely Cathedral. Jonathan is currently a freelance musical director, performer, teacher, consultant, and International and UK Examiner and Trainer for the ABRSM. He is Choral Director at Stowe School, and is DoM at St. Mary & St. Giles, Stony Stratford.

Callum Alger is currently Director of Music at St. Peter’s Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton, as well as studying on the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma (Professional Performance) course at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, under the guidance of Daniel Moult. He is a former organ scholar of St. Matthew’s Church Northampton and Westminster Cathedral, and is an award-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. He won first-prize at the IAO/RCO Organ Playing Competition (2018).

Sponsorship

We have been fortunate in securing sponsorship from:

  • Church Organ World who will have a presence at the Event with demonstration instruments in the Parish Rooms, together with Organ Music CD and DVD sales, and

  • Harrison & Harrison, who are joint sponsors of the day’s events .