Vicky’s Travels
by Vicky Shepherd

The IOA Organ Congress 2002 in Paris was my first Congress. I have always looked at the Congresses and thought I would like to go. I was able to persuade Gilbert, my husband, to come with me, even though he said he was coming to keep an eye on me! We travelled early in the day from Ashford and we had time to look round Gentilly, the area where we were staying which was in the south of Paris. We were staying in a different hotel from Brian Moore and we had the advantage of having a very early unrushed breakfast, so we could explore Paris before the first of the Church visits. It was very hot for our five days there but our Metro tickets could also be used on Paris’s excellent buses so we could see more of Paris and miss all those flights of stairs!

   

We arrived late for the first visit having wandered too far on our sightseeing so we made sure we were well on time for the rest! The churches were vast and it was wonderful to hear the masterpieces (which Brian has written about so eloquently in this journal). My favourite was Frédéric Blanc’s church, Notre Dame d’Auteil. It was near Paris’s Statue of Liberty just beyond The Eiffel Tower. The journey by bus was fabulous all along The Seine on bus 62! The church had a warm feel to it and I felt God was really there! Frédéric’s playing was superb, I thought it the best because his playing was clear and full of vitality. He started with my favourite organ piece, Carillon de Westminster, Vierne, Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 Elgar and finished with a marvellous improvisation which included Our National Anthem. Frédéric had a warm personality and made us all feel very welcome in Paris. It was an excellent tour and we visited areas where we had not been on previous visits and of course heard fabulous music.

Thank you to KCOA. members who played it and Ospringe’s organ for Faversham’s “Open House Scheme” and Ospringe’s Flower Festival. It was all greatly appreciated and I am being asked when it is going to be played again by those fine people.

 

 

The Faversham Almshouse’s Chapel Willis Organ.

It now has a second manual with delightful stops and is playable, but as I write is not quite finished, but I am sure will be by the time this is in print. If anyone would like to see and play it do let me know. In the spring the trustees, of whom I am one, are planning a big dedication and I hope to organise a few concerts for the locals and residents during the summer.

 

St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church, Ospringe, welcomed Dr. David Flood, organist of Canterbury Cathedral and our own lovely Soprano, Mrs. Gill Wilson on Friday, 27th September 2002. David opened his recital with Vierne’s Carillon de Westminster and we listened to the Big Ben chimes ringing out from the pedal board! David gave us things to listen for in the pieces he played, Bach’s Fantasia in G, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Gigout’s Toccata in B Minor, Cesar Franck’s Prelude, Fugue and Variation. Then from these sublime pieces to quite the opposite and by special request from Michael Croucher, Lefebure-Wely’s Sortie in E Flat, followed by the grand Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March in No. 4 (not the Land of Hope and Glory one!) and finishing with the sparkling Widor’s Toccata, Symphony No.5. Gill Wilson sparkled too as she sang with verdure clad from Creation by Haydn and Exultate Jubilate by Mozart. The concert lasted some seventy-five minutes played on our lovely 1870 organ. David was presented with samples of our local farmer’s produce and we raised £310.00 for the organ fund. It was good to welcome friends from the KCOA who were not only impressed with David’s playing but also his programme.

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