Saturday 23rd June
A reunion of members of CHASSOC (the New College Oxford association for former choristers, lay clerks, choral scholars, organ scholars and organists) took place in sunny Oxford on 23rd June. It was a cheery gathering, the age range of attendees stretching from H K Andrews’ choristers of the 1950s right through to the final Edward Higginbottom years. A stirring Evensong was sung, old members joining in lustily, and then one of New College’s famed dinners ended the day in fine style, with tuneful entertainment by the Choral Scholars. How can it be nearly 47 years since I started there as an organ scholar? And what a privilege that was.
Thursday 14th June
After a gap of 49 years it was a treat once more to play the exciting Lewis organ in St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, for a recital on June 14th. I had last played the instrument in 1969 and was completely enthralled—as most are—by my first exposure to the Lewis sound world. I first experienced the Armley Schulze, with its similarly powerful Great Mixture, in much the same year and thus began my delight in really effective and well-developed Mixture-work. Congratulations to Adrian Adams who has been organist there for fifty years and is shortly to retire. Some innings!