I left school early this afternoon to head to Christ Church in Swindon for the opening night of their music festival. The organ has just been ‘returned’ to the church following some work (and roof repairs) so all rehearsals were timetabled for this afternoon. The Director of Music, Tim Eyles, very kindly helped me with the registrations.
The festival allows entries from all ages in the organ classes which are set by level (grade 4 and under, grade 5 and over). It’s quite nerve wracking because you automatically expect adults to be higher level than you and much better players. In my class there was one withdrawn entry, four others, two adults, one I’m not sure on age and me. The playing was really interesting to hear, including a grade 8 piano piece, Gigue from French Suite no 5 by Bach, written for the harpsichord played on the organ and sounded great! We were adjudicated by Gary Sieling.
I played Prelude in E Major by Bach and Postlude on an Old Irish church melody by Stanford. Whilst they’re ‘old’ pieces I am comfortable with them and on an unfamiliar organ I think that’s quite important. The Stanford sounded really varied and bold with the settings I had and I loved it! And, so did the adjudicator it seems! I was astounded to win the class with a distinction (grade also awarded to the others in my class) and 89 marks
I was awarded the Bill Ruck Church Organ Shield by his daughter. Everyone was so supportive and complimentary and Gary said I was doing all the right things to succeed in my ambitions.
I’ve come home thrilled and still stunned by the result and very, very happy!