Hilary Term ended with two events to mark the dedication of the new Chamber Organ, generously donated by former Chaplain Christopher Jones and given in honour of Caroline and John Barron (Master of St Peter’s, 1991 -2003).
On Sunday 4 March the Choir gave liturgical performances of Bach’s motet ‘Jesu, meine Freude’ (BWV 227), Cantatas ‘Vergnügte Ruh’ (BWV 170) and ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’ (BWV 12) with soloists Nicholas Clapton (Counter Tenor) and choir members Matthew Thomson (Tenor) and Neil McCleery (Bass). The obbligato and continuo organ parts were played by former Organ Scholar Lewis Brito-Babapulle (Organist elect of Stowe School) and the present Senior Organ Scholar, Theo Lester. The present Junior Organ
Scholar, David Quinn, conducted the Motet; former choir member Marissa Pueschel played the oboe obbligato in Cantata 12.
The Chamber Organ was designed and built by Nicholson’s to complement the chapel’s renowned Father Henry Willis instrument (1875). It was first used in a service at the final evensong of term to accompany Gibbons’ Second Service; it is also an ideal instrument for continuo work and the performance of a wide variety of early organ music.
The organ will feature prominently in the next biennial performance of J.S.Bach’s Matthäus Passion on 3 March 2013. Plans are presently well advanced for the forthcoming summer tour of Northern Cathedrals (Newcastle, Edinburgh and Durham) and thence to southern France