During a year in which Kingston upon Hull has been designated the City of Culture the annual OrganFest will be held at the Hull City Hall. The magnificent venue, which is one of the country’s finest concert halls, is a perfect place to host the OrganFest event with the presence of the 1911 Forster & Andrews—Compton instrument. The hall is just perfect for the performance of organ music on a grand scale.
The term OrganFest was the inspired invention of Andrew McCrea, Deputy Director of the Royal College of Organists, and refers to this annual celebration of the organ and its music presented under the joint auspices of the Incorporated Association of Organists, the British Institute of Organ Studies and the RCO itself.
OrganFest – Programme Highlights and Special Mentions
The OrganFest takes place on Friday 8-9th September and you can find a summary of the programme below. More information can be found on the OrganFest website and tickets can be booked on Hull New Theatre and Hull City Hall website. Have a look at the programme and I’m sure you will find something of interest. A few things particularly worth mentions are the recitals by Colin Walsh and Darius Battiwalla, the Young Organists’ Forum chaired by Alan Thurlow and Andrew McCrea’s talk on the organ music of Francis Jackson. But maybe the highlight is the appearance on Friday of Huw Edwards of BBC News in a “Desert Island Discs” presentation chaired by the Gordon Stewart. This is an event definitely not to be missed!
Finally but not least, two organisations must be mentioned, without whom this wonderful festival would not be taking place. Firstly, the Bramall Trust, operated by the visionary Terry and Liz Bramall, and secondly, Hull City Council who have made the facilities available for the event.
Friday 8 September (5.30pm – approx. 9.00pm)
5.30pm – Registration
Tea & Coffee available @ £1.50
6.30pm – Welcome to OrganFest
“Desert Island” organ music with Huw Edwards, interviewed by Gordon Stewart music played by John Scott Whiteley
7.45pm – Presentations by the promoters
Colin Wright: president, Hull & East Riding Organ Group
Alan Thurlow: president, British Institute of Organ Studies
David Saint: vice-president, Incorporated Association of Organists
Philip Meaden: director, Royal College of Organists
8.15pm – Recital by Colin Walsh
Guilmant (1837-1911): Grand choeur in D
Saint-Saëns (1835-1921): Fantaisie in D flat
Ropartz (1864-1955): Prélude funèbre
Tournemire (1870-1939) trans Duruflé: Petite rapsodie improvisée
Vierne (1870-1937): Symphony no.3 in F# minor Allegro maestoso—Cantilène—Intermezzo—Adagio—Final
Saturday 9 September (10.00am – approx. 4.30pm)
10.00am – Registration
Tea & Coffee available @ £1.50
10.30am – Recital by Darius Battiwalla
Music by Hull-born composer Alfred Hollins (1865 – 1942)
11.15am – A talk by John Pemberton
Talk about Hull organ-builders Forster & Andrews
12.00 noon – A talk by Andrew McCrea (Deputy Director, RCO)
Celebrating Dr Francis Jackson at 100. With organ music played by Colin Wright & John Scott Whiteley.
2.00 pm – A presentation by John Scott Whiteley and Robert Poyser (Beverley Minster)
The project to complete Bach’s Orgelbüchlein.
2.45pm – Young Organists’ Forum chaired by Alan Thurlow (president, BIOS)
Four talented organists of the younger generation in conversation with Dr Thurlow before playing a piece of their choice on the City Hall organ.
3.45pm – Grand Finale Recital by Kevin Bowyer
Bach (1685-1750): Prelude & Fugue in D, BWV 532
Harvey B Gaul (1881-1945): Daguerrotype of an Old Mother
William G Ross (1881-1928): A Song of Rejoicing
Ernest Bucalossi (1859-1933): The Grasshoppers’ Dance
William Wolstenholme (1865-1931): Bohemesque
“Fred Heatherton”: I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts
Anthony Whittaker (b 1968): Fête de Chambard: Rumpus Festival
Arthur Pryor (1869-1942): The Whistler and his Dog
Anthony Baldwin (b 1957): A Little Suite Sarabande – Cantilene – Gigue de Trompette
Ernest Tomlinson (1924-2015): Triumphal Overture
I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Viscount Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.
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