Mansfield - 2005/2006


Welcome to the BDOA Website.

2005 Chris MansfieldIf this is your first visit then let me encourage you to browse, explore and enjoy our site.  You will see that the BDOA is a very active association which arranges a variety of events for its Members and those interested in playing or listening to ‘the King of Instruments’.

If you live in the Bristol area and would like to have more information about us and a Membership Application Form, please let us know.  We have about 150 Members of all ages, backgrounds and abilities and some who do not play the organ but enjoy its music, so whatever your interest, we would be delighted to have you join us in the Association.

Each year the Association elects a President who suggests a programme for ‘their year’ and chairs the various meetings and events.   It is an immense privilege for me to have been promoted to this position of honour and as I look through the role of Past Presidents (over 70 of them), I really can’t believe that my name is to be added to that list.  It is a mystery known only to those who appointed me why we have jumped down from the heights of having Malcolm Archer, now Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral as our President for 2004/5, to Chris Mansfield, local organ busker and enthusiast for 2005/6!  This of course to be juggled with having recently been coerced into taking on the task of Hon Sec in May 2004!

So, although I am not much of a player, my friends and family will testify I am a real ‘organ nut’ and it doesn’t really matter what sort of music or noise the organ is making (and I have some very weird and controversial organ CDs to prove that) I can get a fix from it to satisfy my long term organ addiction!  This all began as a child, but was greatly enhanced through my time as an apprentice and organ tuner, firstly with Hill Norman & Beard and then Osmonds of Taunton.  Although I changed course and have ventured into other careers since then, this interest and addiction continues with me - stronger now than ever!

I don’t have a problem with being a ‘pusher’ either!  I love getting people interested in the organ.  It’s something we must all do, and I hope that in my year as your President I can encourage you in your own sphere to do just that, and also as an Association.  We do need to promote our beloved instrument and its music.

Each year the BDOA has a varied programme of events, and it is at these events that one becomes aware that there is a huge amount of talent in this Association, something which I greatly respect.  Some of the playing at our Members recitals, day trips and other tours this past year has been excellent, and of course this talent is heard on a regular basis in the churches and chapels some of them serve week by week.

There is also a huge amount of knowledge and expertise about the organ in this Association.  Some of our Members are loaded with facts, figures, histories, advice, experiences, skills, and much more – so there is plenty to learn from one another.

I would also like to mention the excellent commitment to the promotion of organ music in and around this area.  This is expressed in the way some of you are involved in putting on recitals in your churches and chapels.  Perhaps you organise an occasional concert, or in the case of some members, a regular lunchtime series, and perhaps you don’t see huge numbers attend, yet you press on and provide good music for those who do come along.   Well, this is a testimony to the commitment of the Members of the BDOA and we acknowledge that commitment and thank you all for it.

Some events for our programme for the next 12 months are still to be finalised, but plans to date are already listed elsewhere on this website.  These will be added to from time to time, but please go to it now, print it out, put the dates in  your diary and join us for as much as you can over the next 12 months. In 2006 we have some very special events taking place to celebrate the 50th birthday of the famous Harrison and Harrison concert organ in the Colston Hall, so don’t miss out on any of those.  Our Webmaster, Arthur Gregory is always updating and expanding the site, so do visit it from time to time to keep yourself up-to-date.

I wish you well and look forward to meeting you during the course of the year.

With best wishes to you all.

Chris. Mansfield

Bristol and District Organists' Association

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