Essex Organists’ Association
for Organists and Organ Enthusiasts

​Formerly the Chelmsford and District Organists' Association
Affiliated to The Incorporated Association of Organists

Forthcoming events

With the news of lessening Covid restrictions we hope that our events from August onwards will be live events where we can fully resume meeting in person.

As we begin to meet again together, there may be members who would like to join us but have transport difficulties. If this is the case for you, please do email the Association at so that we can try to put you in touch with members attending events who may be able to help you with this.

Sat 23rd October 2pm – “The Life & Music of Louis Vierne” - an illustrated talk by Peter Crompton at St Mary with St Leonard's Church, Church Green, Broomfield, near Chelmsford CM1 7BD

It is good to return once again to Broomfield Church as we welcome Peter Crompton for an afternoon's talk (illustrated with CD tracks) on the life and work of the great French organist Louis Vierne (1870-1937) starting at 2pm.

Peter is well-known to many of us from his many years spent as Director of Music at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook near Ipswich, with its magnificent 4 manual & pedal 1933 Hill Norman & Beard pipe organ in its very spacious chapel. Anyone who has ever heard Peter a recital on this or another organ, will have experienced his love of French organ music, and this event offers him a chance to share his expert knowledge of Vierne with us.

We will meet in the church hall (access through the church) and the event will include refreshments at half time. The cost of this event is £8 per person.

Sat 27th November 2.30pm – Organ Recital by Simon Hogan (formerly at Southwell Minster)

We’re very pleased that Simon Hogan, formerly Assistant Organist of Southwell Minster, and currently pursuing a busy freelance career, has agreed to give a recital on the organ of St Mary the Virgin, Shenfield, on Saturday 27th November 2021 at 2.30pm. Simon lives in Chelmsford and is married to Hilary Punnett (Assistant Director of Music at Chelmsford Cathedral) and many members will have been at Hilary’s excellent recital at Shenfield in February 2020.

We do look forward to returning to Shenfield where our EOA Webmaster, Suzanna Brooks is Director of Music, and to its fine 3 manual & pedal pipe organ once again. Further details for this event will be in the November & December newsletter. The cost will be £5 for adults with no charge for under 18s.

Other EOA events in the pipeline for the first half of 2022 include:

· A pub lunch with a guest speaker.
· A masterclass on English Romantic Organ music
· IAO London Organ Day
· A visit to play the newly installed Klais organ in St Mary’s Church, Maldon.
· An illustrated talk on the organ and its role in the orchestra.
· A visit to organs in Braintree & Bocking churches

Non-EOA Events

Events Promoted by Members

Saturday 25th September 3pm onwards, Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Ipswich
3pm Masterclass on Improvisation & 5pm Silent Film Accompaniment
David Briggs (Organ)
Book via

Friday 1st October, 12 noon, Chelmsford Cathedral
Matthew Kelley (Graham Rogers Organ Scholar, Chelmsford Cathedral)

Tuesday 12th October 1pm, Moot Hall, Colchester
Drew Cantrill-Fenwick (St George’s, Jesmond)

Sunday 7th November 4pm, St Nicolas Church, Chipping Hill, Witham
“Merrie England” – an organ recital of lively Tudor & Stuart song and dance tunes
Including music by Byrd, Gibbons, Tomkins, Barrett and Clarke.
Richard Overill (Billericay)

Tuesday 9th November 1pm, Moot Hall, Colchester
Ashley Grote (Norwich Cathedral)

As we are gradually beginning to return to more active lives, please do remember to send your contributions to the list of organ recitals and concerts that you or your church are going to perform. With restrictions on the uses of churches being gradually lifted, it would be good if we can offer albeit a small number of organ recitals and related events to members and beyond through our website. Please send these to the EOA email address which is: .

Recent Events

Sunday 27th June 2.30pm-5pm 70th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service & 71st AGM at The Parish Church of St James the Great, Colchester

As we were unable to hold this event at Chelmsford Cathedral, we were pleased to be invited to hold the 71st AGM and 70th Anniversary Service at St James the Great in Colchester. After the AGM and refreshments outside, we were able to give thanks together at the service of celebration and thanksgiving led by Fr James McCluskey, with music provided by a quartet of the St James' Singers and EOA Member Jonathan Lilley playing the church's fine pipe organ. Music included the anthem Sing Choirs of Heaven, by Dr Richard Shepherd, and a new setting of the words Holy is the True Light, by EOA President Mr Philip Prior. The service concluded with an excellent performance of the Prelude and Fugue in B Major by Marcel Dupre.

We look forward to being able to marking our 75th Anniversary Year in 2025/6 by celebrating together in the cathedral!

Saturday 10th July 4pm – “Desert Island Discs” with James Davy

It was a great privilege to have James Davy (Chelmsford Cathedral) as our castaway for an zoom Desert Island Discs, guided by EOA President Philip Prior. James’s choices charted his life from his Suffolk childhood, years as a chorister at Southwell Minster, studying for a Durham University music degree, organ scholarships at Portsmouth Cathedral, Winchester College and St Albans Cathedral, leading to his appointment as Assistant Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral and finally Master of the Music at Chelmsford Cathedral. Outside of music, we learnt that James is also a keen horse rider and eventer (with his horse Max!), a fine and creative cook, a student of Swedish and a lover of humour!!

James’s charismatic personality and his love of so many different types of music shone through the afternoon both in his introductions and in his eight musical choices. Our sincere thanks go to James for giving up his time to choose his tracks and prepare for this event, to our President for leading the event, and to the good number of members who joined us on zoom for this.

Sat 7th August 4pm - EOA Summer BBQ

It was lovely to see a good number of members and friends at the beautiful home of Fiona & Charlie Bodmer in Great Bentley, August for a Summer BBQ. The weather was very kind to us and we were able to eat outside in the garden, enjoying the fantastic food that Fiona and Charlie had worked tirelessly to prepare and cook for us.

There was much merriment and socialising during the afternoon and evening! Impromptu musical entertainment of variety of styles was provided from within those present, both on the grand piano and using Fiona’s 3 manual & pedal Viscount Chorum electronic organ.

Our thanks go to Fiona & Charlie for hosting and organising such a marvellous event, and one which we shall certainly repeat in the future!

Sat 18th September – An all-day visit to see, hear and play North Essex Organs

We were delighted to be able to return to our regular visits to see, hear and play organs throughout Essex and beyond. For this event we visited four village parish churches in North Essex - St Mary the Virgin in Radwinter, St Augustine of Canterbury in Birdbrook, St Lawrence in Ridgewell and St Peter & St Paul in Foxearth.