Category Archives: Music

Lunchtime Concerts March

With three cancellations already since January I’m hoping we can get to the end of April without any more.   As you’ll probably appreciate trying to fill gaps at short notice isn’t always very easy.

March 2nd   Samantha Muir (guitar). Samantha has played for us several times before and has sometimes brought one of her pupils with her. She is an accomplished guitarist quite different from those who play for pop.

March 9th Beacon Piano Trio: Joyce Clarke (piano) Anna Cockroft (violin), Ruth Lass (cello)  The Beacons have a good following as you’ll know from having heard them before.

March 16th Rachel Curtis (mezzo-soprano), Melanie Mehta (soprano) Peter Wilson (piano). They also are not new to us.

March 23rd Pieces of Eight, conductor Mark Perry.  We’ve had them before.  They are a group of singers who sing in four part harmony.

March 30th Joyce Clarke (piano)   Joyce kindly stepped into the breach on 2nd February when the artists booked pulled out for family reasons.   As well as being a solo pianist she is the pianist in the Beacon Piano Trio.

The last concert of the current season will be on 27th April.

David Lee

Lunchtime Concerts February

2nd February: Joyce Clarke (piano) Joyce very kindly agreed to step into the breach when  the artists already booked pulled out for family reasons. Joyce has played for us several times and is also the pianist with the Beacon Piano Trio.

9th February: Bel Canto with conductor Alan Boxer. They are a small choral group who sing unaccompanied (a capella). They have performed for us before, though not for a couple of years. Alan is a member of Wood Farm Wind Quintet where he plays bassoon.

16th February: Annabel Rooney (cello) and Josephine Pickering (piano). Annabel has played for us before and is the daughter of Ian and Josephine McLaughlan from our
congregation. Josephine is well known to us as an accompanist.

23rd February: Alison Burnett (soprano) and David Davies (piano) It’s a while since Alison has sung for us. David Davies is now much involved with the music at Buckfast Abbey which means he is isn’t generally available at a lunchtime as Buckfast have seven services a day. He is also an organist and has the record with us for the largest audience we’ve ever had. His organ concert attracted an audience of 103 a few years back.

David Lee

Lunchtime Concerts – December/January


1st December: Le Jazz: Chris Gladwell (clarinet and saxophone) Andrew Barratt (guitar). This is a return visit. They play “gentle” jazz

8th December: Iain McDonald (baritone), Nick Brown (piano). Iain has sung for us before and takes an occasional Sunday service for us. Nick Brown however is new.

There will then be a break until the New Year.

January 5th The artists for this concert were to be Iryna Linytska (soprano) and Sam Baker (piano) but Sam is unable to perform as he has a commitment in London which has cropped up since I arranged our concert. As before when a concert is cancelled this concert will now be given by Josephine Pickering and David Lee (piano duets). We have stepped into the breach several times over the years when there has been a cancellation.

January 12th Mark Hansford (Baritone) with Josephine Pickering at the piano. Mark has sung for us several times over the years.

January 19th Andrew Millington (organ) Andrew was formerly Director of Music and Organist at Exeter Cathedral. He too has played for us before.

January 26th Ruth Pitts (piano). Although Ruth has played for us before that was some time ago so she is making a welcome return,

Numbers attending have not so far recovered to pre Covid levels but they are still sufficient (at about 45) to make it still very worthwhile to continue holding these concerts.

David Lee

Lunchtime Concerts – March


March 4th: Beacon Piano Trio – Anna Cockroft (violin) Ruth Lass (cello) and Joyce Clarke (piano). The Trio are making a welcome return having given us several concerts over the years which never fail to please.

March 11th: Rachael Curtis (soprano) Melanie Mehta (mezzo-soprano) and Peter Wilson (piano). They have been to us before so we know we can be assured of an enjoyable concert.

March 18th: Tim Othen (piano). Tim has also played for us several times and plays a variety of music from both the Classical and the Romantic again we’ll have a most enjoyable concert. He is also a good jazz pianist.

March 25th: Wood Farm Wind Quintet – Robert Stephenson (flute), Andrew Maries (oboe), Chris Gradwell (clarinet) Trevor Ives (horn) and Alan Boxer (bassoon) They also have played for us before and it’s always good to have a group which is rather different from piano, strings or singers. They are certain to perform quite a variety of music.

April 1st: Joyce Clarke (piano). Joyce usually gives us two concerts each season and is also the pianist for the Beacon Piano Trio. Again a variety of music is to be expected.

David Lee

Lunchtime Concerts – February


February 5th : “Pieces of Eight” This is a group of singers, nominally eight of them, from St. David’s Singers in Exeter. Their conductor is Mark Perry. They will probably sing a wide range of music all unaccompanied – what is properly called A Capella.

February 12th : Angela Ashwin (cello) with Audrey Williams (piano) Angela is part of String Theory string quartet who will have played for us on 29 th January, so both Angela and Audrey have been to us before. Until very recently Audrey was the Organist and Director of Music at Withycombe Parish Church.

February 19th : Peter King (organ) This is a first visit for us. Peter was Director of Music at Bath Abbey until retiring and coming to live in Exeter. He is currently President of Exeter
& District Organists’ Association and very high up in the English organ world. He now performs regularly at various venues in Devon and further afield. He is a brilliant organist and I think we are lucky to have someone coming of his calibre.

February 26th – Annabel Rooney (cello) and Josephine Pickering (piano) Both have been to us before and if you’ve heard Annabel you’ll know she is a brilliant cellist producing a big tone. Annabel is the daughter of our own Ian and Josephine McLaughlan and lives in Exeter.

David Lee

Lunchtime Concerts – Dec/Jan

December/January – details of upcoming lunchtime concerts – Wednesdays at 12.30pm

4th December: Melanie Mehta and friends: Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols” and other items with a Christmas flavour. Melanie has sung for us before.

After this concert there is a break until 8th January

8th January: Phil Bonser (clarinet) and Dorothy Raven (piano). They were going to play for us in November but Dorothy had a cataract operation the day before, so needed to postpone their visit. Nina Leonard-Savicevic, who was due to play for us on this date, has damaged a finger and needs to rest it, bur hopes to come at a later date. Phil and Dorothy have been to us before and we can look forward to a brilliant performance.

15th January: Samantha Muir (guitar) Samantha is a very accomplished classical guitarist, who also plays a very small guitar called a machete. I don’t know if she is bringing her pupil Lara Taylor with her, who also plays guitar. Sam and Lara have both played for us before.

22nd January: Josephine Pickering and David Lee (piano duets) I rather think they have played for us before so you should know what to expect.

29th January : String Theory (string quartet) I’m not sure at the moment who the actual artists will be but there will be two violinists, viola and cello. They played for us for the first time in our last season.

Concerts start at 12.30pm, with tea and coffee available in the hall from 12 noon.
David Lee

Bevington & Sons : Victorian Organ Builders

Probably the name of this firm will be unknown to everyone in the church, but everyone will have heard what it was they manufactured – our organ.
The firm was founded by Henry Bevington in Soho, London in about 1820 and continued until 1950. During this time they built just over 2100 organs. After Henry Bevington’s death in 1839 the firm was carried on by his four sons, Henry, Alfred, Martin and Charles and was continued by subsequent generations. They not only built organs in Great Britain but also exported them to Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, USA and other places. Just imagine exporting an organ to Australia when the only method of doing so was a sailing ship. Such a journey would take
about four months. Long before IKEA they sent their organs abroad in flat pack! Every part was carefully labelled and colour coded. On arrival the organ would be assembled by a local craftsman following the very detailed instructions. Most of their organs were comparatively small. I believe the largest organ they built was a three manual (keyboard) for St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, London.

Our organ was built in 1883 for Marylebone Presbyterian Church, London and was a two manual instrument of 19 speaking stops. That church then wanted a larger organ and had a new organ built by Hele’s of Plymouth in 1898. Glenorchy bought this organ the same year and part of the front wall of the church was removed to create the organ chamber to accommodate it. Subsequently more stops have been added and it now has 30 speaking stops. These are what the organist uses to control the sound coming from the individual pipes. Altogether, our organ has just under 1400 pipes.

I learnt some of this information from a book I recently bought about the Bevington family and their organs. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a discursive book! Every time a person or firm which the Bevingtons had contact with there’s an account of their life.
David Lee