Southwark and South London Society of Organists Newsletter June 2nd, 2022

From the Chair of the Society, John Webber:

Recent Event

The one event since the last newsletter was Richard Pilliner’s repertoire session at St. John’s Church, East Dulwich on May 7th. This was, as is usually the case, an event with a small group, being a specialist workshop aimed at individuals looking for support with a particular piece of music. Richard’s gentle and expert encouragement proved just right for the occasion. We heard an amazing variety of music from four players: Alan Saggerson (Mendelssohn’s Allegro in D minor), Robert Bowles (Kenneth Leighton’s Ode), Andrew Cadney (Sine Nomine, by Herbert Howells) and Bridget West (Litanies, by Jehan Alain).

Forthcoming Events

Saturday, June 11th. – Peter Smith has provided full details which we sent out earlier this week. He says: “This is a somewhat different itinerary from the one originally planned. It has the advantage that both churches and the pub are all within reasonable walking distance of each other. It will probably be best for people to come by public transport as parking could be difficult.” Please contact us is you’d like to come but haven’t told us yet. If you forget to make contact, you can still come! Full programme here.

Tuesday, June 14th. at 7.30p.m. and Saturday, June 25th. at 4.00p.m. – although not officially part of our programme for the year, the Penge Festival is celebrating its 50th. anniversary and a dozen or so of our members offered to play on one or both of these two dates. All welcome! Alan Langridge has put two exciting programmes together and more information can be found here. As usual, we are using Penge Congregational Church, with its large three manual organ. The address is 172 High Street, SE20 7QS.

Saturday, June 18th. – London Organ Day. This is organised by our parent group, the IAO. “Grand Vauxhall Extravaganza” at St Peter’s Church, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY Booking information can be found here. I may have passed the deadline, but it’s worth a try.

  • 9.30am Registration
  • 10.00 Opening recital
  • 10.20 Screening: Fugue State Films
  • 11.00 Coffee
  • 11.30 Jean Martyn on the Hammond Organ
  • 2.00pm Pipes and Frets
  • 3.00 Newsround: Choir Church
  • 3.30 Break
  • 3.45 Recital: John Kitchen
  • 5.00 Close

*Sunday, August 7th. from 2.30p.m. – Summer Social: Martin Callingham is the person to contact if you would like to attend. The Social will be in the Crypt of St. Giles’ Church, Camberwell, 81 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8RB on and there will be a staffed bar and an area set aside for SSLSO.

*Saturday, September 10th. from 3.00 to 6.00p.m. – our member Peter Wright, former Director of Music at Southwark (anglican) Cathedral will be giving a workshop on the organ music of Flor Peeters (and touching on Cesar Franck, significantly born in 1822). Peter studied with Flor Peeters at one stage. The workshop will be held at St. John’s Church, Upper Norwood. We currently have five people wishing to play, so please respond quickly if you are hoping to take part. Observers are welcome.

Saturday, October 15th. – annual dinner at The Prince Regent, Herne Hill (as in 2020). Our speaker will be Revd Canon Dr Gordon Giles, Canon Residentiary of Rochester.

Saturday, November 19th. – 2.30p.m. Christ Church, Streatham (the Italianate building on the South Circular Road) and 4.00/4.30p.m. St. Peter’s, Leigham Court Road.

2023 – plans are well under way for next year, including the deferred visit to the Netherlands – please note March 24th. to 28th. and there will be more on this.

*Please remember to book a place for these events.


Alan Saggerson invites you to three recitals on Thursdays in the Autumn at St. Paul’s Church, Clapham, celebrating the Victorian organ with interesting musical themes. Please see the attached poster.

From the RCO e-diary:

“A successor to Steve Smith’s much-appreciated has emerged in the shape of

The new site, developed and run by Roger Wilcox, and listing its first recitals just a month ago, has the same aims as its predecessor: ‘to encourage more people to attend recitals by increasing awareness of what’s on and where’.

The more comprehensive the listings, the more useful the site will be, so Members are encouraged to register all forthcoming recitals and concerts. You can currently add dates through to the end of December 2022.”

Recitals (to which members and their friends are welcome)

From Marilyn and Norman Harper: recitals this summer, to which you are welcome:

Thursday 9 June 1.00 pm – Duet recital at Ripon Cathedral
Thursday 23 June 7.30 pm – Norman at St John’s Upper Norwood
Thursday 30 June 1.00 pm – Norman at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol
Saturday 25 June at 11.00 am – Norman at St John’s East Dulwich
Saturday 16 July at 7.30 pm – Marilyn at St John’s Church, Sidcup

The latest monthly e-mail from the Society of Women Organists (or SWO, which, incidentally, welcomes men as well as women; do see the website) has brought mention of “Gregoriana”. This is described as “twelve chant-based organ pieces by contemporary women composers” and was the brainchild of Anna Lapwood. The pieces are “roughly of ABRSM Grades 5-8 in difficulty” and represent composers with much to say. The pieces cover chants linked to the seasons of the Church’s year. The book is published by Stainer and Bell: ISMN 979-0-2202-2785-1. For SWO, see Women Composers.

The next newsletter will be on July 2nd. and you are wellcome to offer items for me to include.