Paul Walton - 2010

2010 Paul WaltonIt is a great honour for me to be President of the B&DOA - a thriving Association with a large and active membership.

My own love for the organ dates from my days as a chorister of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, where I had my first organ lesson.  Immediately after this, the instrument was completely dismantled for major repair work - but no connection between the two events has ever been proved!

After study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, I moved to Bristol in 2001 to take up the post of Assistant Organist at the Cathedral.  As well as playing the organ for most of the services, I also direct 2 choirs (the Cathedral Consort and the Cathedral Chamber Choir) - a good mix for someone who can't make up their mind between playing and conducting!

I hope you have enjoyed the busy programme of events we put together for our 2010/11 session, which included the chance to play the finest organs in the city and elsewhere, including Cirencester and Manchester.

With the work on the organs of Cirencester and St Mary Redcliffe recently finished, it was very fitting, and we were very lucky to have, Mark Venning (former Managing Director of Harrison & Harrison) as the speaker for our Annual Dinner in January.

It was a pleasure to welcome Members to the Cathedral to listen to the organ at my President’s recital in November, Messiaen’s La Nativite (with David Bednall) in December and also at my Presidents' Afternoon in May.

In April, we greatly appreciated the excellent practical workshop on liturgical improvisation with Nigel Allcoat - it was good that some Members were brave enough to come forward and have their improvisation skills honed and refined.

As I write this, 23 Members are preparing for the weekend coach tour of organs in the Manchester area, which promises to be a very good trip.

We now look forward to our 2011 AGM and the Edgar Joyce Memorial Fund organ concert to be held at St Paul’s Church, Southville on 4 June, when Tim Forder will taking over as President.  I look forward to Tim’s year and his programme of events and wish him every success for the coming session.

On a personal note, I would like to thank the committee, especially our Secretary, Chris Mansfield, for the hard work put into maintaining the active life of the Association.

By the way, I also have my own website which you might like to browse – it’s www.paul-walton.com

With best wishes,

Paul Walton

Bristol and District Organists' Association

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