We’re celebrating the easing of Coronavirus lockdown measures in many ways and not least with a gala organ recital by one of Britain’s finest young classical musicians.
Laurence John, 22 and a Ross resident, will perform an hour-long internet programme of requests from St Mary’s on Saturday 25 July at 7.30.
This will be Laurence’s third summer recital at the church. His two previous concerts were near sell outs and attracted 300 music lovers from all over Herefordshire and surrounding counties.
Laurence said: “Though churches are now open for public worship, social distancing restrictions are still quite severe and effectively mean that holding a recital in the church itself is not a realistic possibility. So the concert will be streamed live on the internet and will still be available for viewing at home for some time afterwards.”
Laurence is also breaking with tradition in another way. “Organists generally tend to compile their own recital programmes. But this time I want to give audience members a relatively rare opportunity to select their own favourite pieces of music. I can’t guarantee to play them all. It all depends on the response. But I shall do my best and think I can promise a varied, interesting, and enjoyable evening.”
Five years ago, Laurence, who was then a sixth form pupil at Hereford Cathedral School, became possibly St Mary’s youngest ever organist in the church’s 700-year history.
He subsequently went on to become organ scholar at Hereford Cathedral where, on occasions, he also conducted the cathedral choir and once played a fanfare for the arrival of the Duke of Kent.
For the past three years he has been an organ scholar and music student at The Queen’s College Oxford. During this time he has accompanied the college’s world famous choir on BBC Radio Three’s Choral Evensong, played at a Westminster Abbey Eucharist, with a congregation from all over the world, and toured with the choir in the United States, Spain and Portugal.
Requests for virtual seats (and pieces) can be made at https://fosmross.org.uk/laurence.
Voluntary donations to the Friends of St Mary’s can also be made on the website. They will go directly to St Mary’s on this occasion and be used in accordance with the Friends aims and objectives.