Tim Forder 2011

2011 Tim ForderWelcome to our website!  It is a very great honour to have been asked to serve as President of the Bristol and District Organists’ Association for the present year (2011/12).   Indeed when I was approached about this matter I was very hesitant at first to accept.  My main concern being the distinguished list of Past-Presidents in whose footsteps I am following and whether I am worthy of such a position.  Secondly having never chaired a meeting in my life I was a little apprehensive about that aspect of the position.  However after some persuasion from our industrious and ever supportive Secretary - here I am!

My interest in the organ began at the age of 11, when the Vicar of St Peter’s Church, Lawrence Weston at that time (Rev Norman Taylor) overheard me tinkling the ivories of the piano in the church hall.  He was obviously impressed because he asked (through my father) if I would be interested in trying the organ.  As a result I began having lessons with his son (Stephen Taylor) who, at the age of 16, was organist of St Peter’s.  Stephen was a pupil at Bristol Cathedral School and also a pupil of the then organist at the Cathedral, Clifford Harker.  When Stephen went off to University I became a pupil of Graham Harris at Christ Church, Clifton, and later Reg Parker at St Peter’s, Henleaze.

At the age of 18 St Peter’s invited me to be their ‘resident’ organist. I had already spent quite a lot of time ‘filling in’ for a student from Bristol University who was the recognised organist, but for various reasons was often absent for services!  I held the post there for 12 years before moving along the road to St Mary’s Church,  Shirehampton.  At this time I also decided to embark on gaining a music diploma and so undertook more tuition with Colin Andrews.  However this only lasted a year before he emigrated to the USA, (nothing to do with my playing I hope!), so my studies continued, but with Ivan Fowler and in 1990 I gained the ALCM.

2011 sees me celebrating 25 very enjoyable (but busy) years as organist of St Mary’s, Shirehampton where as well as the church choir, I also direct a Community Choir who perform three concerts a year.

It is going to be hard work to follow Paul Walton’s year as President.  We have had some excellent events during his year in the chair, which included a wonderful 4 day organ tour in the Manchester area, and two memorable recitals by him at the Cathedral – one being a lunchtime concert of the complete Widor’s 7th Organ Symphony, and the other (shared with David Bednall) was a Christmastide performance of Messian’s La Nativité du Seigneur.

Well, we will do our best, and we have some interesting events lined up for the year.  Already we have had a very successful trip to Usk and Brecon which included a steam train excursion, which proved to be a great hit, filling a 50 seater coach of members and friends on that occasion.  The annual Colston Hall organ concert was again very well attended with over 700 people present, and much appreciated by those attending.

I hope you will make every effort to support the future events which include an afternoon visit on November 19 to the newly restored organ at Westbury-on-Trym Church by organ builders Skrabl of Slovenia.  On Wednesday December 7 David Chandler is to give us an illustrated talk on his recent tour of the churches and organs where J S Bach applied his trade, and on January 21 we have our Annual Dinner when the guest speaker will be Oliver Condy, the Editor of BBC Music magazine.  We are also planning an ‘away’ trip again for 2012, possibly in France, so watch this space!

Do look out for details of all our monthly events, and if you would like to have emails sent to you directly of our, and many other, musical events taking place in our area, do drop us an email and we will add you to our regular e-mailing listings.

If this is your first visit then let me encourage you to browse, explore and enjoy our site.  You will see that the B&DOA is a very active association which arranges a variety of events for its Members and those interested in playing or listening to the organ.  If you would like to have more information about us and a Membership Application Form, please let us know.  We have about 160 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.  We are a friendly bunch;  our yearly programme always includes many interesting events;  and, you will also receive the full colour, 100 page quarterly magazine Organists’ Review, which is full of interesting articles and news.

I look forward to meeting you soon at one of our events.

With best wishes to you all.

Tim Forder

Bristol and District Organists' Association

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