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 periods.so 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.
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.
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.
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.