RCO Presidents Evening – 2015
St Lawrence Jury (SLJ) in the heart of the City of London is a most beautiful Wren style church largely rebuilt in the 1950’s after huge war damage. I have enjoyed many lessons there in the past with Catherine Ennis on the magnificent 3 manual Klais organ.
On May 27th a group of guests attended a private concert given by Catherine and soprano Susan Bullock CBE. This special fundraising event, presented by The City of London Corporation and the Vicar and Churchwardens of St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall, marked the end of Catherine Ennis’ two-year term of office as President of the Royal College of Organists, as well as her 30 years as organist of St Lawrence Jewry. What a delight. One does not think of the organ as a natural accompaniment to romantic lieder but Catherine working from a piano score provided the most colourful and brilliantly registered accompaniment to works by Strauss and Wagner.
Such was the quality and power of Susan’s voice that even at the rare times when the organ provided great dramatic crescendo’s the balance between the two performers remained in perfect place. A quite exceptional demonstration of skill and musicianship.
Catherine also gave a solo performance of JS Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in G major BWV 542 and I have to admit to a tingle running through me as the fugue came to its powerful climax with the pedal reed thundering in for the final restatement of the fugue motif.
Then off the Guildhall Art Gallery which is open to the public in normal hours but for us a private reception with canapés and chatter into the early evening (see pictured below).
More about the Royal College of Organists
I have played the organ now for 50 years but not until 3 years ago did I realise that anybody is open to join the RCO and benefit from the wide range of facilities they offer. There are about 2000 members in total who enjoy the friendship and support of this great institution that now enters its 151st year. Find out about it at https://www.rco.org.uk/. The annual fee is £99.00 and even if you do not take up many of the facilities offered to members you can help contribute to the teaching and general education of students of the organ.
If you buy a Viscount home practice organ you of course get a complementary one year membership from us and we hope you will want to continue your membership thereafter.