Organ Event 2013
The Taunton & Somerset Music, Drama & Dance Festival continued their year-long celebrations of its centenary with an ORGAN EVENT held on Saturday 23 February at St Mary Magdalene, Taunton, and directed by William Whitehead, a past student of Taunton School and now leading a hectic professional life as an organist in demand in the UK, USA and Europe.
The event commenced with five young composers who had written pieces for the organ with an accompanying instrument. Works ranged from Christopher Hedges “Bright Night” for cello and organ, “Nocturne” for Piano and Organ by Weng Soon Tee, “Tintinnabulation” a most arresting piece by Raymond Heung and composed for the unusual combination of Glockenspiel and organ”, a “Fantasy” for Organ and trumpet from Alex Leung” and a piece for solo organ, “Toccata in G Minor” by William Osborne.
Awards were made to Christopher Hedges and Raymond Heung. After Tea, William led a session in which he encouraged composers and performers to improvise more and to feel less inhibited by safe chordal progressions. The composers were then joined by other young players, Sascha and Charlotte Hamilton – Meikle, Alex and Daniel Seow and Ranulf Mason for a session devoted to their playing of keyboard pieces and how they might sound on the mighty organ.
In the concluding session, William gave a quite outstanding recital of music which reflected English music of the last century with pieces by Stanford and Parry, chorale preludes from the Orgelbuchlein Project, chorale preludes by J S Bach and other examples composed in the last 40 years.
The celebrations continue on 20 April with a Day of Church Music led by Lindsay Gray, returning to Taunton, and Lisa Tustian.