OUR inaugural Young Organists’ Day was a resounding success!
We welcomed 11 young musicians along to the event on February 29th. The day was led by Glen Dempsey, Assistant Director of Music at Ely Cathedral, Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir’s Organist, Aaron Shilson, and King’s Ely’s Sixth Form Organ Scholar, Miriam Reveley.
Pupils from King’s Ely, St Faith’s School and St John’s College School took part.
Neil Porter-Thaw, Director of Music Performance at King’s Ely, said: “During the first workshop on King’s Ely’s Viscount electronic organ in the school’s Old Palace Chapel, students were guided through prepared pieces and explored possible changes to improve their performances.
“After lunch in the Monastic Barn, students split their time between performances on the world renowned Harrison Harrison organ in the Cathedral and the art of accompaniment in another Chapel with a Viscount – Prior Crauden’s Chapel.
“Mr Dempsey enjoyed working with the students on the main organ from creating colourful sounds to huge dramatic chords! Meanwhile in the Chapel, Miriam was the guinea pig, showing us all how important it is to accompany well.
“Mr Shilson showed us how not to play a hymn (through Miriam!) before she showed us all exactly how one should sound! All students then sight read through various hymns, culminating in a 9 hand version of Tallis’ Canon.
“The day finished with Mr Dempsey expertly performing a Bach Fugue written when the composer was just 23, before he took a quick Q&A session.
“Students certainly seemed to leave wanting more and a good day was had by all. There is no doubt that this event will remain an annual fixture in the school’s calendar.”