Review of association events


Andrew Fletcher receives his BOA Life Membership certificate from our president, Paul Carr

BOA assistant secretary Nick Fanthom in action on the Willis organ at Emmanuel during the May organ crawl

BOA members on the stage at Symphony Hall for a Saturday morning opportunity to play the Klais


31 Jan 11
KE Five Ways School
BOA Council Member, and recently retired Director of Music of the school, gave an illustrated talk on "The Organ as an Orchestral Instrument", and this was followed by cheese & wine
15 Nov 10
Broadway URC, Walsall
Mike Irvine (of Gloucester Organists Association) gave an account, illustrated in sound and images, of his visit to the American Guild of Organists Convention.

11 Oct 10
Edgbaston Old Church

A very French evening centred around Louis Vierne: BOA Council member Michael Jones played some of his (rarely heard) piano music while BOA President Paul Carr provided some of his organ works.  The evening concluded with French wines, quiche, vol-au-vent and tarte tatin, arranged by Nick Fanthom & Eddie Guard.

27 Sep 10
All Saints,
West Bromwich

Our annual service took the form of a Mass in the Anglo-Catholic tradition at West Bromwich, where BOA council member Aled Liddington is organist.

07 Aug 10
Symphony Hall, Birmingham

For the first time in eight years, BOA was able to arrange (via John Stormont - many thanks to him) a Saturday morning "lock-in" for members at Symphony Hall  to hear & play the Klais organ - and be given a guided tour of the backstage facilities.  We were particularly grateful to SH staff for allowing this to continue in spite of the strict security in operation for a hastily-arranged visit to the ICC by the President of Pakistan.

23 Jun 10
St Chad's Cathedral
Final stage of the competition for deciding the 2010/11 Leonard Gibbons sponsored Conservatoire student Award.  After congratulating all three finalists on their high standard of performance, Professor David Saint and James Parsons announced that the winner was Hannah Gibson: congratulations to her!
8 May 10
Wylde Green
This year's "organ crawl" was to the Erdington/Wylde Green area, and attracted slightly fewer members than usual, but all enjoyed playing and listening to the mighty Willis at Emmanuel, the Conacher at Chester Road Baptist and the Nicholson at St Michael's.
20 Mar 10
St Alphege, Solihull
After the association's AGM (at which Andrew Fletcher was elected a Life Member) and buffet lunch, resident organist Nigel Stark concluded the day with a recital including music by Buxtehude, du Mage and Hollins.
22 Feb 10
St Francis, Bournville
A very varied evening's entertainment was organised by Leonard Gibbons sponsored student Joe Waggot, featuring local young musicians on recorder, violin, 'cello, piano and organ.
25 Jan 10
KE Five Ways School
Michael Jones again entertained us with a series of historic recordings of local organs that are no longer playable or have been significantly changed tonally.
23 Nov 09
All Saints, West Bromwich
A social evening "Skittles and Chips" at which bowling (down the central aisle) was punctuated by an interval Fish & Chip supper.  The team of Nick's Nazards narrowly lost to Paul's Principals!
19 Oct 09
St Chad's Cathedral
Professor David Saint, Vice Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire, presented a session on organ voluntaries for the church's year with many examples of varying difficulty to suit all tastes
28 Sep 09
Solihull School
Solihull School Choir provided an excellent Choral Evensong in their school chapel, and the event was further enhanced by the playing of Peter Irving on the recently rebuilt Nicholson organ
11 Jul 09
St Paul's, Blackheath
Leonard Gibbons Fund Recital given this year by our President, Paul Carr, with a programme that included Widor's Seventh Symphony.  Excellent refreshments and the notorious Tuba en chamade made for a memorable evening.
15 Jun 09
St Hilda's, Warley Woods
"It's all about Plainsong" was an opportunity to learn how to read plainsong notation, join in some plainsong singing, and hear music (performed by BOA council members) inspired by plainsong.
25 Apr 09
An ecumenical organ crawl:  four different organs for BOA members to hear and play in Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches in Stourbridge
07 Mar 09
Broadway URC, Walsall
Following the association's AGM and a buffet lunch, former BOA President Andrew Fletcher gave an entertaining and wide-ranging recital on the church's four-manual instrument, including one of his own compositions.
19 Jan 09
Jury's Inn, City Centre
Over forty members & partners gathered for an enjoyable dinner in a private room at this central location.  The meal was followed by an entertaining speech from Rt Rev Gordon Mursell, Bishop of Stafford, and formerly Dean of Birmingham Cathedral.
17 Nov 08
Birmingham Conservatoire
A talk by James Luxton (BOA's Leonard Gibbons sponsored student for 2008/9) about the recently-installed "Lady Susi Jeans" organ in the Conservatoire's Recital Hall.
20 Oct 08
St Chad's Cathedral
International recitalist Nigel Allcoat led an educational event (supported by the IAO) exploring the Art of Improvisation
22 Sep 08
St Paul's, Hockley
Fresh from his triumphant recital in Paris, BOA President Paul Carr hosted this year's Annual Service.
17 Aug 08
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Members & friends of BOA met in Paris for a recital on the mighty Cavaillé-Coll of Notre-Dame de Paris given by our President, Paul Car.  An unforgettable experience that brought members of the very large audience to their feet after the final piece, Louis Vierne's Final from Symphonie 1, had filled this vast cathedral with sound.
here for photos of BOA's weekend in Paris.
7 Jul 08
Solihull School Chapel
Paul Hale (Southwell Minster) gave an illustrated talk about the recently rebuilt Nicholson organ for which he was consultant, after which members had a chance to try out the instrument for themselves.
16 Jun 08
Emmanuel, Wylde Green
John Pryer (Alexandra Palace) gave this year's fund-raising recital on the Willis organ, including works by Bach & Whitlock, and culminating in a stunning improvisation on La Marsellaise.
28 Apr 08
St Anne's RC, Digbeth
Council members used this four-rank extension organ by Compton to demonstrate a selection of music that works well on such a small organ.  The pieces played ranged from William Byrd, Buxtehude, a Trumpet Voluntary by John Stanley and a new piece by Malcolm Archer recently published by the IAO.
1 Mar 08
St Mary's, Selly Oak
The AGM saw the election of Paul Carr as President following the end of Chris Stormont's three-year term.  The buffet lunch was followed by a recital given by Henry Fairs of Birmingham Conservatoire.
11 Feb 08
Town Hall, Birmingham
Following one of his regular Monday lunch-time recitals, City Organist Thomas Trotter introduced BOA members to the new sound of the refurbished Town Hall organ, and had arranged a two-hour session during which members were able to play this mighty instrument, for which they expressed their thanks and delight.
28 Jan 08
Broadway URC, Walsall
Educational event (supported by the IAO) on Baroque Articulation, with Henry Fairs (Birmingham Conservatoire) assisted by one of his pupils, BOA member Tim Batty.
7 Nov 07
St Mary's,
Hobs Moat
A change from our normal Monday meetings, this Wednesday meeting was not so well attended.  It featured a buffet and bring-and-buy second-hand music stall with quizzical entertainment provided by Jim Berrow.
8 Oct 07
St James's, Shirley
Organ recital by BOA member Kevin Gill on the Nicholson organ (rebuilt in 1996) in aid of the Leonard Gibbons Fund, which included Liszt's Fantasia & Fugue on BACH.
24 Sep 07
St Margaret's, Olton
Another new venue for the Association's annual service, where BOA council member Eddie Guard is the Director of Music.
9 Jul 07
St Agatha's, Sparkbrook
"Fed up with the Wedding March...?": a chance to share alternative music for use at weddings, when various members of Council brought along and performed pieces both familiar and unfamiliar, and of varying difficulty.
15 May 07
St Saviour's, Hagley
A demonstration and talk by Worcester-based organ builder Trevor Tipple on reed-voicing that was both informative & entertaining, and included brief solo performances by Trevor on the St Saviour's organ, which his firm maintains.
21 Apr 07
B'ham city centre
This year's "organ crawl" visited St Anne's Moseley, St Michael's RC Moor Street and St Martin's-in-the-Bull Ring.  In the latter location, we were pleased join with colleagues for the Worcestershire association.  All will appear in the Organ of the Month feature.
24 Mar 07
St Alban's, Highgate
Having disposed of the formal business of the AGM, there was a welcome buffet lunch followed by a most enjoyable recital by Keith Hearnshaw, enhanced by his excellent video projection equipment that enabled the whole audience to see close-ups of performer and console.
19 Feb 07
Emmanuel, Wylde Green
BOA past president Andrew Fletcher gave an often amusing but always enlightening illustrated talk on coping with the wide range of musical styles many of us are now faced with in worship.
22 Jan 07
KE Five Ways School Music Dept
Michael Jones shared with us a wealth of interesting recordings of local organs made over many years. Many of the instruments heard are either no longer playable or have ceased to exist in their original form.  The evening concluded with wine, bread & cheese.
7 Nov 06
Another chance to browse through and purchase from the BOA second-hand music stall, preceded by an entertaining musical quiz devised by our President and followed by light refreshments
21 Oct 06
A chance to play and hear the organs in the town centre churches of St Mary and St Nicholas, followed by an invitation tot he nearby home of Geoffrey Holdroyde, the basement of which contains a most interesting instrument (see Organ of the Month 55).  Geoffrey and his wife also provided grateful members with an excellent tea.
25 Sep 06
St Peter's Wolverhampton
A new venue for the Association annual service, where Peter Morris is the Director of Music and presides over an impressive choral tradition, ably demonstrated during this Choral Evensong.
3 Jul 06
All Saints',
West Bromwich
A large audience, drawn not only from BOA members but also local parishioners, enjoyed an excellent recital from BOA President Chris Stormont on his "home" organ.  The main work was Widor's Sixth Symphony.  This was followed by wine and light refreshments provided by members of the church.  A recording was made, which we hope can be made available later to BOA members in order to further swell the Leonard Gibbons Fund.
22 May 06
St George's, Edgbaston
A small, but very appreciative, audience gathered in the Whitmore Room to witness an extensively illustrated & detailed talk on the development of the English organ case by BOA council member Dr Jim Berrow.
24 Apr 06
St Paul's, Blackheath
Over twenty BOA members enjoyed a substantial buffet organised by council member Kevin Blakey, who also gave a spirited rendition of the Trumpet Voluntary using the organ's notorious Tuba en chamade.
18 Mar 06
St Augustine's, Edgbaston

The AGM was followed by a buffet lunch and recital on the Hill organ in St Augustine's by BOA member David Saint of Birmingham Conservatoire and St Chad's Cathedral.  The programme concluded with Mozart's F minor Fantasia, in his 250th anniversary year.

26 Feb 06
Wolverhampton city centre

Many thanks to Council member Ron Close for organising the "organ crawl" to hear & play three substantial instruments in Wolverhampton city centre: Darlington Street Methodist (Nicholson), St Peter's (Father Willis) and St John's in the Square (Renatus Harris).  It was a particular pleasure to be able to chat to Trevor Tipple, whose firm has recently completed a fine restoration of the 1682 Renatus Harris instrument.

23 Jan 06
KE Five Ways School Music Dept

An entertaining evening listening to organ CDs, provided again by Richard Priest of Allegro Music, on the school's hi-fi system.  This was followed by cheese, wine & good conversation.  BOA member Nick Fanthom came first in the quiz and received a free CD!

14 Nov 05
All Saints, West Bromwich

Our President, Chris Stormont, demonstrated 21st century organ music in this "New Music" event.  All the pieces had been written in the last five years by composers such as Andrew Carter, Graham Morrison, Alan Spedding, and BOA Past President Andrew Fletcher.

17 Oct 05
St Chad's Cathedral

This year's major educational event was the visit of Colin Walsh, Organist Laureate of Lincoln Cathedral, to give a lecture-recital on the organ music of Olivier Messiaen.  Colin concentrated on some of the more accessible (and less difficult to play) pieces, but ended with a virtuoso performance of Transports de Joie on the Walker organ in the RC cathedral.

26 Sep 05
St James's, Shirley

For the third year in succession, the venue for our Annual Service was new to the Association.  BOA Council Member Kevin Gill is Director of Music here, and the organ was stylishly played by Past President Andrew Fletcher.

14 Jun 05
St Paul's,

The annual buffet once again presented the opportunity for bargain-hunters to purchase organ music from the association's second-hand collection, managed by Council member John Tesh.

16 May 05
Emmanuel, Wylde Green

Organ recital by BOA council member Paul Carr on the Willis organs (both of them!) at Emmanuel Church, in aid of the Leonard Gibbons Fund.

7 May 05

Outing to Nicholson's organ works in Malvern, where members were made very welcome by Directors Guy Russell and Andrew Moyes: a fascinating morning in their workshops followed by a demonstration of the organ at Malvern Priory, which Nicholson & Co has recently restored.

18 Mar 05
St Chad's Cathedral

This year's AGM was followed by a buffet lunch and recital on the Walker organ in Birmingham's RC cathedral (a favourite venue for the association) by Christopher Allsop

12 Feb 05

The "organ crawl" to Kidderminster allowed members to hear and play three large organs, including the historic William Hill organ of 1855 in the Town Hall.  We were made very welcome at all three venues.  Special thanks to Borough Organist Tim Morris for all the background information.  Look out for details of all three instruments in our "organ of the month" feature.

17 Jan 05
St Mary's
Selly Oak

Social Evening, with mulled wine and mince-pies, hosted by IAO Hon Gen Sec John Stormont.  Games included one to test our ability to locate on a map of the UK various places with famous hymn-tunes named after them!

15 Nov 04
St Mary's Moseley

Mick Perrier rose from his sick bed to host an evening entitled "Now Get Out of That!".  A succession of questions, amusing anecdotes and much helpful advice (from President Andrew Fletcher and several other experienced organists) about how to survive the funny, bizarre and downright frustrating problems that organs - and clergy - can create.

11 Oct 04
Our Lady
& All Saints, Stourbridge

A new venue for the Association, where our annual service comprised Vespers sung by the choir of this Roman Catholic church.

11 Sep 04
Grantham and Lincoln

The association's trip to the Lincoln area was a wonderful day out.  Many thanks to Nick Fanthom, who organised it.  The event culminated in the party crowding into the organ loft on the Screen of Lincoln Cathedral with Organist Laureate Colin Walsh to hear and play the magnificent Father Willis.

15 Jun 04
St John's

The association's annual buffet included an opportunity to buy second-hand (and some new) organ music at bargain prices, plus the opportunity to hear the Nicholson organ (featured as July's "Organ of the Month") put through its paces by BOA council members Kevin Gill and Paul Carr.

10 May 04
St Chad's

Organ recital by BOA President Andrew Fletcher on the wonderful Walker organ in the city's RC cathedral, in aid of the Leonard Gibbons Fund.  Music by Bach, Dupré, Reger and Healey Willan.  This event raised over £400 for the fund.

3 Apr 04
St Mary's

Young Person's Guide to the Organ - the annual event organised by Mick Perrier, Anglican Diocese of Birmingham Music Adviser, which is designed to introduce young people to the organ.  It included visits to a number of instruments around the city.

20 Mar 04
Birmingham University

This year's AGM was followed by a buffet lunch and a recital on the large HN&B in the Great Hall of the University by Alexander Mason of Lichfield Cathedral 

28 Feb 04

A fair number of hardy BOA members braved a bitterly cold day to visit four churches in Leamington Spa.  Organs by Compton, Hill, and Rushworth & Draper were heard and played - not to mention a brand new three-rank chamber organ by Richard Moore.  Some of us even noticed on our travels a harpsichord by Robert Goble & Son and a harmonium by "Alexandre et Fils, Paris".  A number of these instruments will feature as future "Organs of the Month".

19 Jan 04
St Paul's Hockley

The "Workshop for Beginners" was an opportunity to develop skills, solve problems and meet each other.

10 Nov 03
Coventry Cathedral

A most worthwhile journey to Coventry to hear Plymouth Organ Competition winner John Robinson put the very fine Harrison & Harrison through its paces, including music by Bach, Buxtehude, Dupré, Mozart and Vaughan Williams.

13 Oct 03
KE Five Ways School Music Dept

An entertaining evening listening to organ CDs, provided by Richard Priest of Allegro Music, on the school's hi-fi system.  This was followed by cheese, wine & good conversation.  BOA member Paul Carr came first in the quiz and received a free CD!

23 Sept 03
Broadway URC,

A change of day (to Tuesday) and a change from Choral Evensong!  The association's Annual Service at this United Reformed Church began with Tye's "O Come, ye servants of the Lord" and included Elgar's "Fear Not, O Land"

16 Jun 03
Smethwick Baptist

"Working relationships between organists & clergy".  Chaired by The President, with Rev Dr Martin Roberts (St Mary's Selly Oak) and Rev John Hellier (Shirley Methodist), members exchanged experiences on this most important topic.  Good communication, a responsibility of both organists and clergy, is the key to success!

19 May 03
St Mary's

The association's Annual Buffet was preceded by entertainment at the grand piano from "Pipeline" students, and by organ solos from MARK BATTEN (Birmingham Conservatoire).  The St Mary's organ is featured as June's "Organ of the Month".

10 Mar 03
St George's Edgbaston

AGM and President's Evening.  With the business soon over, we were entertained for the rest of the evening by Andrew Fletcher who had devised an organ music quiz, the answers to which spelt out "Goodbye David and thanks" - a reference to the imminent departure from St George's of organist (and BOA past president) David Bruce-Payne.
Click here for a Message to all members of the Association from David Bruce-Payne

8 Feb 03
St George's Edgbaston

Many thanks to Association President ANDREW FLETCHER for an impressive recital that raised over £300 for the Leonard Gibbons Fund.

11 Nov 02
Birmingham Cathedral

This year's annual recital was given at St Philip's by JEFFREY MAKINSON, Assistant Organist, Manchester Cathedral, and included Bach's monumental Prelude & "St Anne" Fugue in E flat

19 Oct 02
Annual Dinner

An enjoyable social evening for over 30 members & partners, with good food followed by a most entertaining speech by Canon Michael Blood, who revealed some of the secrets of the BBC's religious programmes.

16 Sept 02
St Mary's

Association Annual Service: a feast of choral music for Evensong from Mick Perrier and his choir, which began with Parry's "My soul, there is a country"

29 June 02
Symphony Hall, Birmingham

A large number of members gathered early on this Saturday morning to hear, play, and be given a guided tour (by organ scholar Shaun Turnbull) of the huge Klais organ.  Both the Association, and its individual members, made substantial voluntary donations to the Symphony Hall Organ Appeal.

22 June 02

A most interesting day out in the Rugby area, visiting
· Princethorpe College (3-manual by Binns, 1900)
· St Peter's, Dunchurch (2-manual by Grant, Degens & Bradbeer, 1972)
· St Andrew's, Rugby (3-manual by Hill, Norman & Beard)
· Rugby School Chapel (4-manual by Kenneth Jones, 2001)

20 May 02
Friends' Meeting House, Bournville

The Quaker Meeting House houses a small 2-manual Harrison & Harrison that was a gift from the Cadbury family.  Following musical entertainment by members of the Council, association members enjoyed an excellent buffet.

13 April 02
Two Nicholson rebuilds

A visit to see, hear and play St Matthew's, Walsall (4-manual, rebuilt 2001) and All Saints', West Bromwich (3-manual, rebuilt 2002), both fine examples of the current work of Nicholson & Co of Worcester.


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Last modified: May 31, 2011