After the resounding success of our first two Organ Music competitions on the themes of 'Organ Music for Quiet Moments' and 'Organ Music for Joyful Moments' we can now announce the winners of our third competition based on the theme of 'Organ Music for Solemn Moments' and would like to thank each and every person from around the globe who entered for your support and interest - the standard, as ever, was very high and we are buoyed by the diversity of music we received. We did say that 'solemn moments' can be both joyful and sombre, personal and public, and our anthology of winning pieces will certainly cover all of these bases!
We are greatly indebted to Viscount Organ Wales (https://www.viscountorgans.wales/) once again for sponsoring the prize money for this competition and our outright winner claiming the cash prize is:
'Chaconne Mélancolique', by Stephen Barber
Stephen was born in Belfast and has been playing the organ for over 50 years. He read music at Cambridge University and continued his organ studies with Nicholas Danby at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, going on to teach both privately and in schools. He has been the organist at various churches in London and Peterborough and has given recitals in cathedrals and churches in many parts of England and Ireland and has broadcast on both radio and television. He has now retired from teaching and plays the organ in his home village of King’s Cliffe where he lives.
Stephen's piece was adjudged as follows...."The composer acknowledges some influence of Pachelbel's Ciacona in F minor. The result is a very lovely, expressive piece which is suitable for all abilities and organs"
A few words from the winning composer
"I am delighted to have won this competition. I have composed very little music during my working life but have started to dabble more in retirement. This competition prompted me to write something more gentle than I’d written before.
I wanted to write a piece that was reflective rather than being mournful. Pachelbel’s Ciacona in F minor came to mind and I set out to write something in the same vein. It is easy to play and, I hope, to listen to."
We are once again indebted to Jerry Martin for providing us with this wonderful recording of the winning piece ...
The four other winning entries which will be published with 'Chaconne Mélancolique' in the anthology booklet (see below for our special pre-release offer price) are as follows:
'Solemn Procession' by John Rossiter
John was born in Bristol, was Assistant Organist at St Cuthbert’s Brislington 1968-70, graduated as a Chemist in 1974 and recently retired after a varied career. Now resident in Weston-super-Mare, he plays the organ at home purely for his own amusement! John says he is surprised and delighted to become a “published composer”! 'Solemn Procession' evolved from two separate ideas, being an Elegy and a March, that seemed to complement each other.
'The Journey' by Annette Butters
Following a career as a military musician, Annette gained a music degree as a mature student. The organ has been a more recent discovery and she is currently Director of Music at St Mary’s Parish Church, Barnard Castle. You may remember Annette as one of our winners in our first competition 'Organ Music for Quiet Moments'. With 'The Journey', Annette has tried to capture the onward steps we must take once we start on a particular journey. In this case the journey does have an arrival - and it's not an unhappy one!
'Processional Fanfare' by Derry Bertenshaw
Derry Bertenshaw is a native of Shrewsbury, Shropshire. He holds a First Class Honours Degree and a Ph.D in music. After a number of years involved in musicology, he returned to his first love, composition. In 2019 he won the New Music for St. Paul’s Composing Competition and is Organist and Choirmaster of St. Giles’ Church, Shrewsbury. Derry composed the 'Processional Fanfare' for himself to play at the Legal Service for the High Sheriff of Shropshire. He wanted to write a suitably majestic piece to accompany the Ceremonial Procession which opened the service of this Royal appointment. He has revised the piece for this anthology.
'Sojourn' by Ryan Giraldi
Ryan Giraldi is a rising freshman planning to attend the College of Music at the University of North Texas to study under Dr. Jesse Eschbach and Dr. Joseph Klein as an Organ Performance and Composition Major. In his free time, Ryan enjoys learning about audio engineering and voice over. 'Sojourn' is a particularly intense piece prompted by a very difficult time in the Composer's life. It doesn't give up all its secrets easily and is written in a very American style, with the sound and organs of the early twentieth century in mind.
The Anthology printed booklet (TKM860) will be released on 15th August 2021 priced at £12.95, but it will be available only via Tim Knight Music website at the PRE-ORDER PRICE of just £10.95 until the release date (a PDF downloadable version will follow thereafter) ... Click on the cover page below to take you to the order page ....
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