Vernon Hendy - 2009

2009 Vernon HendyIt is a great honour, as a non-professional organist, to have been elected as President of the Association for 2009-2010.  I would like to thank Jean Routley for her splendid year as President. The programme she planned was very informative and interesting, with recitals and visits to various organs including a superb few days in Surrey and Berkshire.

My own interest in the organ started in 1961 when I was asked to deputise at Morley Memorial Congregational Church in Fishponds.  My appointment as organist in 1964 gave me 16 happy years playing a 2-manual Vowles. In 1980 the church was forced to close owing to a dwindling congregation.

My wife and I then started to attend Christchurch Anglican Church in Downend, Bristol where I deputised for Iris Ford who was the organist at the church. I also deputised at numerous other churches in Bristol at that time.  At the end of 1994 Iris Ford retired and I was appointed organist and continued until 2001. We then moved to Nailsea in 2002 and since then I have been deputising in the Nailsea area plus several churches in Bristol.

The most important part of any association is its members and I look forward to meeting and getting to know as many of you as possible during my President’s year. The most daunting part before the year commences is planning events which will appeal to our members. Fortunately this task is made considerably easier by the able assistance received from our Secretary, Chris Mansfield.

The programme for 2009-20010 can be seen elsewhere on this website, but I would like to draw your attention to the evening of Tuesday, 17 November 2009 when the Rev Dr Berj Topalin, ex-director of music at Christ Church, Clifton will give a short talk and advice about playing contemporary worship style music on a pipe organ.  This will be held at St Augustine’s Chapel, St Monica Trust, Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym. This is an opportunity to bring along any worship songs from any of the contemporary hymn or worship books which cause you problems and play them on the 2-manual Digital organ under the watchful eye of Berj who will offer you some helpful advice on your interpretation.

Another highlight will be our Annual Dinner on Saturday 23 January 2010 when the guest speaker will be David Ogden, ex-director of music at Clifton Cathedral and RSCM Regional Director and also conductor of various choirs in the Bristol area.  This will be held at Lincombe Barn, Downend.

Our Annual away trip will be a coach tour of organs in the Swansea area. This will take place from April 9  - 11.  We are hoping to visit Brangwyn Hall and other interesting organs in the area.  We may even get to see and play the new Nicholson Organ in Llandaff Cathedral, which is due to be completed by Easter 2010.

Please remember to put all these events in your diary and attend as many as you can. Let’s continue to make the B&DOA the really lively group of people that is it, who are enthusiastic and keen to learn more about organs and its music.  I look forward to seeing you at our first event - the free organ concert at the Colston Hall on Tuesday, 29 September 2009.

With best wishes to you all,

Vernon Hendy

President, BDOA

Bristol and District Organists' Association

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