Manchester Organists' Association
Manchester Organists' Association

We thank Marc Murray, Director of Music at Bury Parish Church, for his interesting and innovative programme of events during his term as President of the Association for the 2018-2019 Season.  We are pleased to announce that Marc has now agreed to take on the role of Secretary.

Derek Sharples, Organist at Albion URC, Ashton-under-Lyne, was installed as President at the Annual General Meeting in May.

Kevin Drury has agreed to be President-Elect (President for the 2020-2021 Season).

Ken Fayle remains Treasurer, with the additional role of Data Protection Officer, while George Housley remains as Membership Secretary.


The committee met on Tuesday 9th July to discuss the syllabus for 2019-2020.  Further details will be posted here when dates and venues are confirmed and finalised.  The Royal Bank of Scotland no longer caters for small charitable institutions such as ours.  We are therefore moving our account to the Clydesdale-Yorkshire group.  For those who pay their subscriptions by bankers order, George will be sending out full details with the membership renewal forms shortly.


Confirmation of the syllabus arrangements will be updated on this website regularly and also in the regular newsletters to members.

Syllabus 2019 - 2020:

Monday 19th August at 5.00 pm.   Manchester Town Hall

Following a meeting by the President, Secretary and myself with members of the Town Hall restoration group, members were invited to hear the present state of the organ before its removal during the total refurbishment of Alfred Waterhouse's magnificent building.  Tenders are currently being sought for the removal of the organ to safe storage, followed by the organ's complete restoration (to the state in which Cavaille-Coll left it in 1893).  A good number of our members, plus some from the Bolton Association, were welcomed by Richard Lowe, as organ curator, who gave a brief talk about the proposals, and demonstrated the instrument for us.  Several members then availed themselves of the opportunity to play the organ, which despite its current state, with many areas out of action, still makes an impressive and authentically French sound.  Thanks are due to Richard and the Town Hall authorities.


2019 -


Saturday, 21st September at 5.00 pm  Albion URC, Ashton-under Lyne  OL6 6QQ

Our usual start to the season with a composite recital.  Four members - Marc Murray, Simon Mercer, Ed McHale and Derek Sharples provided a varied programme of music on Albion's celebrated four-manual T C Lewis organ.


Saturday, 12th October at 2.30 pm  St Ann's Sale  M33 3GD  (Church Road West)

Built by the Manchester firm of Wadsworth Brothers in 1905 for Northwich P.M. Church, it was transferred here in 1980, the previous pipe organ by Harrison & Harrison (1889 - three manuals & 31 speaking stops) having been removed in 1954.  Ten members attended with three or four of them sampling the instruments capabilities.


Saturday, 23rd November at 2.00 pm  St Paul's Sale  M33 7YA 

"De-mystifying the Organ"  -  With helpful advice for those who are asked to play the organ (temporarily or permanently) for service accompaniment.

Four volunteers from a wide range of ages took part in this event, assisted by Ken Fayle, Ed McHale, Kevin Drury, Derek Sharples and others.   A meeting which could usefully be repeated next season, with wider publicity.


2020 -


Saturday, 18th January  2.30 pm

Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust, Alexandra Road, Peel Green, Eccles  M30 7HJ 

A visit to this contantly growing and working museum to sample the lighter side of the organ world.  Further details in the next newsletter


Saturday, 29th February  2.00 -4.00 pm

Halifax Minster (St John the Baptist)

A visit to hear about and play the two organs here:  a 1770 John Snetzler chamber organ

formerly at Horbury, and the four-manual Harrison & Harrison of 1929.

Halifax Minster is a short walk from the railway station, and if you are so inclined, do join us for a pub lunch at 12.30 pm in the "Ring o'Bells", Upper Kirkgate HX1 1QS, before the meeting. 


Saturday,  21st March:  a visit to two T C Lewis organs in Ashton-under-Lyne.

2.00 pm:  Holy Trinity (OL6 7HD):  a three-manual of 1878

3.30 pm:  Albion U.R.C. (OL6 6QQ):  a four-manual of 1894


Saturday,  4th April  2.00 - 4.00 pm   Manchester Cathedral

Christopher Stokes will demonstrate the scope and sounds of the Tickell instrument, and members will have an opportunity to play this important new instrument.


Saturday, 2nd May:  Alma lodge Hotel, Buxton Road, Stockport  SK2 6EL

12.30 pm:  Annual General Meeting

with reports, accounts and suggestions for next year's programme; (drinks in the bar from 12.00 Noon).   Followed by - 

1.30 pm:    Annual Lunch in the restaurant 

(Please note:  in 2020, the May bank holiday will be the following weekend)

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