Essex Organists’ Association
for Organists and Organ Enthusiasts


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

Forthcoming events


The Box of Whistles!

Saturday 20th January 2018 (2-5pm). The Pelly Room, Boreham. Essex organ builder Peter Wood offers an illustrated talk on organ cases and organ building, featuring projects with which he has been involved. After tea there will be an opportunity to play the 2 manual Hill, Norman and Beard organ in St Andrews Church, which is located in front of the Pelly Room.

There is ample parking near the Pelly Room, and on-road.

£5 entry


Visit to organs in Chadwell Heath and Harold Hill

Saturday 17th February 2018 (10am-4.30pm). You are warmly invited to join us for a visit to instruments in two of the Catholic churches in the Diocese of Brentwood. In the morning we will meet at 10am at St. Bede church, Bishops Avenue, Chadwell Heath, where Richard Nott will introduce the church’s hybrid pipe/digital organ. There will be plenty of time for members to play the instrument and have fun with some of its more unusual features.

We will then go for lunch at the Moby Dick restaurant, which is five minutes from the church.

After lunch we will head to Harold Hill to play the Tamburini organ in the church of The Most Holy Redeemer, Petersfield Avenue. Again, there will be ample opportunity to play this lovely instrument. The day will end by 4.30pm.

£8 Active participation
£5 Observers


The Essex Organists' Association Organ Competition

Saturday 17th March 2018 (2-5pm). St. Thomas of Canterbury Church, Brentwood. Join us for our annual organ competition, which will this year be held at St. Thomas of Canterbury Church in Brentwood. Participants are invited to perform two contrasting pieces, and cash prizes will be available across three categories (beginner, intermediate and advanced). The winner of the advanced category will receive the EOA trophy, and a pre-Evensong recital opportunity at Chelmsford Cathedral. The competition will be adjudicated by Jonathan Lilley, a former assistant organist of Ely Cathedral, and the current Director of Music at Waltham Abbey.

If you would like to enter the competition, you can download the covering letter here, the application form here, and a specification of the St. Thomas organ here.

There is limited parking at the church, and ample parking in other local car parks.

The Legacy of World War 1 on English Music

Saturday 21st April 2018 (2-5pm). St. Peter ad Vincular, Coggeshall. EOA Vice-President, Philip Prior, offers an illustrated insight into the effects and legacy of World War 1 on English music.

There is on-road parking near the church.

£8 entry
£5 student entry


Visit to organs in Soham and Ely

Saturday 5th May 2018 (11am-8pm). This visit to Cambridgeshire will include visits to St. Andrews Church in Soham, and Ely Cathedral, where we will also attend Choral Evensong. More details will appear here in due course. In the meantime, please contact Jonathan Lilley via the EOA contact page if you are interested in joining us for this event.

A car sharing system will be in operation for this event.

£8 Active participation
£5 Observers


Annual General Meeting

Saturday 9th June 2018 (1-4.30pm). Chelmsford Cathedral. Our Annual General Meeting will once again be held at Chelmsford Cathedral. This will be an opportunity to hear about our events over the past year. We will also be electing/re-electing members to the committee, and electing a new President. We will be treated to an organ recital by the Cathedral's Assistant Director of Music, Laurence Lyndon-Jones, and our guest speaker will be Richard Gowers, who will talk about life as an organ scholar at King's College, Cambridge.

There are many parking possibilities within the City of Chelmsford.

Free admission, although donations towards the costs of the event would be greatly appreciated.

Clavier-Übung III

Saturday 7th July 2018 (10am-1pm). St. Laurence Parish Church, Upminster. Richard Brasier presents a complete performance of J.S.Bach's grand masterpiece. There will be a short pre-concert talk, and refreshments will also be served.

There is a church car park, although spaces are often limited at weekends. There are other car parks around the town, and on-road parking is also available.

Battle of the Organs!

Saturday 1st September 2018 (11am-5pm). Old Independent Chapel, Haverhill. Our first ever Battle of the Organs event, featuring the OIC's 1901 J.J.Binns organ, will include:

- A lecture-demonstration on hauptwerk, illustrated using a hauptwerk system running the Haverhill OIC sample set.
- An opportunity to play both the real and virtual Haverhill OIC Binns organs.
- A “battle of the organs” recital featuring both the real and virtual Haverhill OIC Binns organs.

The OIC is a short stroll from Haverhill Town Centre, which offers many options for refreshments.

This event is still in the early stages of planning. More details will appear here in due course.

Improvisation Workshop

October 2018 (Date, time and venue tbc).

£8 Active participation
£5 Observers


EOA membership composite recital

November 2018 (Date, time and venue tbc). We conclude our activities for the year with a composite recital featuring members of the EOA. This will be a great opportunity for the membership to come together, to perform in a relaxed and supportive environment. Refreshments will be provided for what should be a festive occasion!

Non-EOA Events


Celebration organ recital

Saturday 17th March 2018 (7pm). St. Nicolas Church, Rawreth (SS11 8SH). An organ concert to celebrate the refurbishment of the church's historic pipe organ, with invited organists playing a varied selection of music. Refreshments will be available.

Free admission with a retiring collecting in aid of church funds.


Fantastic English Style!

Sunday 17th June 2018 (4.00-5.15pm). St Nicolas Parish Church, Witham. From about 1660 to 1710, English composers began composing in a new style known as Stylus Phantasticus, characterised by surprise and unpredictability. The English keyboard composers most influenced by this ‘fantastical style’ were Christopher Gibbons (1615–1676), Matthew Locke (c.1622–1677), John Blow (1649–1708) and Henry Purcell (1659–1695). But what were the origins of this extraordinary musical style and how did it arrive and manifest itself in England?

Programme details here.

Admission free with retiring collection.