An Organist’s Diary

By Andrew Cesana

As I write these lines during the course of December 2002, it gives me a chance to reflect upon the events of the past year, not only nationally and internationally, but also within the Kent County Organists’ Association as a whole. I have also had some interesting moments, going over to France and Belgium as well as participating in two visits to Salisbury.

    The two events in Salisbury were most enjoyable. The first I attended was the Improvisation for All course in July (16th-19th), organised in conjunction with the Sarum College. They organize courses for volunteer and experienced organists throughout the year. The course tutors were Michal Novenko from Prague, Andrew Smith (St. Peter’s, Eaton Square) and Martin Baker (Master of Music, Westminster Cathedral). On the first evening, I improvised in the style of Tournemire on the plainsong sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes. Certainly, it was a privilege to have improvised on the Salisbury Cathedral organ.

    During the course of the three days, the instruments used were those at the Cathedral, St. Martin’s Church and the Sarum Collegewhere, each morning and evening, the new Kenneth Jones instrument in the College Chapel, and the new Vincent Woodstock organ in the practice room — which has two balanced 8ft stops — were used. However, on the Thursday evening of the course Michal Novenko gave a recital at the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Swanage, which was an hours drive from Salisbury. Regular organ recitals take place during the summer months at Swanage Parish