Southwark and South London Society of Organists Newsletter February 5th, 2022

Welcome to this edition of the newsletter of the Southwark and South London Society of Organists, from the John Webber, Chair of the Society.

Education Day:

Our long awaited event eventually happened on January 15th. This was a joint meeting with the Bromley and Croydon Association. Guest organist Anna Lapwood presented nine young people with certificates to recognise their receiving of a bursary for the cost of organ lessons and the buying of music. Anna gave a demonstration of the organ, the three manual Walker instrument of 1986 at St. John’s Church, East Dulwich. She played four pieces, including JS Bach’s Fantasia in G minor BWV 542 and two items which she had commissioned, Ghislaine Reece-Trapp’s In Paradisum and Star Fantasy by Christina Arakelyan. Our member Charlie Warren, who has known Anna since they were both organ scholars in Oxford, then interviewed her about her work as a choir trainer and broadcaster. Finally she gave a workshop for some of the bursary-award winners. We had a memorable afternoon and it was good to be encouraging young organists as they set out on their musical paths.

The Education Day drew an excellent attendance. Committee members are starting to consider how best we might follow up this occasion: whether we repeat it as the joint effort of the two Societies, how long before we have another such Day and the choice of guest musician.

Forthcoming Events of SSLSO (please make a note of the dates and times):

Saturday, February 19th. at 2.30p.m: composite recital at Penge Congregational Church, 172 High Street, SE20 7QG. Twelve players are champing at the bit to enthuse and delight you. All welcome, but we continue to “follow the science”, so please keep your distance!

Monday, March 14th. – 7.30p.m. Annual General Meeting at St. Stephen’s, Norbury and Thornton Heath. The Church’s address is 9 Warwick Road, Thornton Heath, CR7 7NH. Our member Andrew Chadney, former Chair of SSLSO is the organist at the Church and will play a couple of pieces. Barry Williams, our guest speaker, says: “I had it in mind to talk about the Revised Guidance from the Legal Office of General Synod concerning parish musicians, explaining its origin and status. We can then move on to some recent cases that have gone to hearings and the way in which the Employment Tribunal tends to view matters. I ought to make some reference to contracts and income tax.” There will be time for questions.

April 1st. to 5th: we have had to postpone the trip to the Netherlands. More on this in due course,

Saturday, May 7th. – 2.30p.m. Richard Pilliner will lead a session on repertoire at St. John’s Church, East Dulwich Road, SE22 9AT. There is a fine three manual tracker action Walker organ of 1985 installed. More to come on this; reserve the date.

Saturday, June 11th. – visit to St. Mary’s, Merton, St. Mary’s Wimbledon and Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, arranged by Peter Smith. Timing to be announced.

July or August – we aim to have a summer social.

Saturday, September 10th. – former Director of Music at Southwark Cathedral Peter Wright will lead a session on Flor Peeters; venue and starting time to come. Peter says: “One idea I have had was perhaps doing a session on Flor Peeters, with whom I studied in 1973. I suspect many of the SSLSO members play something by him and I could talk a bit about his teaching (which was rooted in the Lemmens tradition but much more open to modern scholarship than other followers, like Dupre) and his close association with the music of Franck (b.1822) via his friendship and study with Tournemire. Indeed he had Franck’s Cavaille-Coll console in his music room at home, bequeathed to him by Tournemire. I could also do a master-class on his music (and/or Franck’s) if there were an appetite for that.”

Saturday in October – annual dinner; venue, date and time to be announced.

Saturday, November 19th. – afternoon at two churches in Streatham: Christ Church & St. Peter’s.

Other news:

Sadly the Bloomsbury Organ Day had cancelled.

Also IAO’s London Organ Day has been postponed until June 18th. More information from this month on


We have recently had the deaths of Francis Jackson, for much of his long life associated with York Minster; also of Ernest Copeman Hart, founder of the organ firm. Thanks to Bridget West for these two links: Francis Jackson and Ernest Copeman Hart.

Norman Harper has provided this link to music of and with Francis Jackson. Norman says: “Here is a video presentation compiled by one of the Yorkshire associations for Francis’s 104th birthday”. There are clips of (mostly) younger organists playing FJ’s music on various organs, including York and Ripon, together with photos of FJ with friends and colleagues.”

The next newsletter will be on Wednesday, March 9th, shortly before the AGM.

With all good wishes,