The latter part of April saw two very different organ recitals on two very different instruments. Both were first-class!

At St Mark's on St George's Day (when we celebrated the feast day of St Mark!) we were splendidly entertained by “The Welsh Wizard” aka Byron Jones. His fine portable Wersi organ was capable of an amazing array of sounds, and his skilful playing brought us a wide variety of musical styles from sound samples of Salisbury Cathedral's renowned “Willis” organ to what could only be described as a complete symphony orchestra. His introductions and banter added to our enjoyment, particularly when he borrowed
Rose Wareham's colourful hat!

Byron is the custodian of the twice rescued 1927 Compton Theatre Organ which is used for a monthly concert series at Eden Grove Methodist Church Hall where the pipes take up most of the stage, and the console comes up through the floor! Barbie and I regularly attend these concerts and can thoroughly recommend them. Details are to be found on the Welsh Wizard's web site.

At the opposite end of the organ entertainment world, we were delighted to welcome the return of David Davies (until recently the Assistant Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral) who gave the first in the 13th series of Coffee, Cake and Music. Despite the rather unpredictable nature of the organ's electronic transmission system, his immaculate playing highlighted many of the quieter sounds of St James' organ, but finished “full blast” with Bossi's “Etude Symphonique” with its tortuous pedal passages.

The June Coffee Cake and Music recital will be given by St James' regular organist at 11.00am on Saturday June 24th, and will include music by Handel, F H Wood and Boëllmann.

Next year's recital series is fully booked and will include an organist from Poland.


It is true to say that St James' has one of the largest church choirs in the area – that is, when everyone is present! However, recently, for all manner of good and understandable reasons, the soprano line has been severely depleted and is in danger of being overwhelmed by the vigorous singing of the altos, tenors and basses! We need to recruit sopranos in order to rebalance the choir, so if you know of anyone who would enjoy the challenge of singing a large repertoire of what is generally held to be the best main-stream church music, please talk to David Wood, Anne Shipton or Nigel Davies.

Nigel Davies

Music for June

4th    am Beati Quorum Via - Stanford     Nicholson in F

        pm  Sacerdotes Domini – Byrd         Smith Responses
Collegium Regale – Howells      
Evening Hymn – Balfour Gardiner

11th  am  All-age Service

18th  am  Ave Maria – Emil Cossetto         Wadeley in G

        pm  O Sing Joyfully – Batten           Ayleward Responses
Bairstow in D                          Save us O Lord – Bairstow

25th  am  Though I speak with the Tongues
of Men – Bairstow                    Bairstow in Eb


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