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Midlands Organ Day 2021

Saturday 25th September 2021 at St. Matthews Church, Kettering Road (A5123), Northampton NN1 4RY - Further information to follow

Date and Venues

The event will now be held on Saturday 25th September 2021.

Welcome to the Midlands Organ Day 2020, based at St. Matthew’s, Northampton. We invite you to a unique day focused on a skill central to our role as organists – playing for the liturgy. The day will be structured around insightful masterclasses facilitated by Simon Johnson, Organist and Assistant Director of Music, St. Paul’s Cathedral; Richard Pinel, Fellow and Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, and Andrew Reid, Managing Director of Harrison & Harrison. Callum Alger, Organ Scholar at Westminster Cathedral and winner of the inaugural IAO/RCO Organ Playing Competition will also demonstrate the organ.

Later in the day, we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the iconic J.W.Walker organ at St. Matthew’s, Northampton – once described as ‘the finest parish church organ in England’ and we would love you to stay and hear a celebrity recital where all four of our presenters – Simon, Richard, Andrew and Callum will showcase the organ.

The day will also include the chance to try a number of fine organs in the town. We promise you an outstanding and enjoyable day, and do hope you will join us.

Justin Miller

Director of Music, St Matthew’s Northampton

Anyone under the age of 16 is welcome but should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. However, unaccompanied 14-15 year olds may attend at the absolute discretion of NDOA, in which case a parental consent form must be completed. Please note neither the IAO nor NDOA can be responsible for children when unaccompanied

Timetable for the postponed 2020. We expect that the 2021 Event will look similar

The latest draft timetable for the Day is still fluid but looks like this:


St Matthew’s, Northampton


10.00 Registration and welcome. Tea and coffee available at £1 per cup.

10.30 The St. Matthew’s Walker Organ: an introduction by Justin Miller, and Andrew Reid, and short recital by Callum Alger.

11.00 Masterclass 1: hymns, psalms (plainsong and/or Anglican chant) and liturgical improvisation.

12.30 Lunch break – lunch or picnic bags available at St Matthew’s Parish Rooms – pre-booking required.

Open Consoles will be available throughout the lunch break at St Matthew’s, St Gregory’s, All Saints’ and New Testament Church of God, Northampton.

2.30 Masterclass 2, with the choristers of St. Matthew’s church: accompanying choral repertoire.

4.00 Refreshment break. Tea and coffee available at £1 per cup.

4.30 Finale: performance of music worked on in the Masterclasses

5.00 Supper available at St. Matthew’s – booking required

Open Console at St Michael and All Angels.

There will be opportunities during the breaks throughout the day to try state-of-the-art digital organs, and to browse and buy organ music, DVDs and CDs from Church Organ World.


Simon Johnson, Richard Pinel, Andrew Reid and Callum Alger showcase the Walker organ in a spectacular joint recital featuring Duruflé’s Trois Danses, and Neptune from Holst’s The Planets.

This timetable and the recital programme is provisional and may be subject to change

The Artists

Simon Johnson has been the Organist & Assistant Director of Music of St. Paul’s Cathedral for 12 years. During this time he has played for Her Majesty the Queen, the Dalai Lama, numerous Prime Ministers, Archbishops, and at all state occasions that have taken place during his tenure. He is a former Director of Music of All Saints’ Church Northampton and took his Grade VIII ABRSM on the St. Matthew’s Walker organ!

Richard Pinel is a Fellow & Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, and Director of the Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy. He began his musical life as a chorister at All Saints’ Church, Northampton. Richard was awarded the prestigious organ scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford (2002). Before his current post, he was Assistant Director of Music of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Andrew Reid is Managing Director of Harrison & Harrison, organ builders. He spent a year as Organ Scholar at St. Matthew’s; later becoming Sub Organist at Westminster Abbey (2000), and played the organ for the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. He was Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral (2004-2012) and was then appointed Director of the Royal School of Church Music. He joined Harrison & Harrison in October 2017.

Callum Alger is currently the Organ Scholar at Westminster Cathedral. He is a former organ scholar of St. Matthew’s Church Northampton. Callum recently graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with first-class honours in Music Performance. He is also the recent winner of both the inaugural IAO/RCO Organ Competition in Peterborough, and inaugural Dame Gillian Weir Messiaen Competition in Birmingham.


We have been fortunate in securing sponsorship from:

  • Church Organ World who will have a presence at the Event with demonstration instruments in the Parish Rooms, together with Organ Music CD and DVD sales, and

  • Harrison & Harrison, whose managing director Andrew Reid will be present and participating in the delivery of the day’s events .


Nearer the Event Date we will send electronic and printed Posters and Flyers to all Associations within the Midlands Region to distribute to their members.

We will aim to have printed Posters and Flyers available for distribution at the London Organ Day on 29th February 2020.

During the summer months leading up to the Day we want to have a poster and flyers in every church in Northamptonshire with which each of our members has a connection and beyond.


Café Guides will provide tea and coffee during the day, lunch and supper in St. Matthew’s Parish Rooms.


On the day and probably beforehand we will require assistance from members who are not on the Committee or Sub-committee.

Can anyone who is willing to provide assistance on the day please contact me.

Alan Cufaude

Past-President & MOD Sub-committee Chairman

4th February 2020

You will soon be able to book your place on the Midlands Organ Day 2021 from the Tito event site. Check back for further details.

The following link to the 2020 Postal Booking Form may be downloaded HERE and gives some guidance to the exciting day you may expect on Saturday 25th September 2021.