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.

Saturday 22nd January 2022 12.30 for 1pm – EOA Lunch at Chelmsford Cathedral, with guest speaker, Sir Andrew Parmley

We are delighted to have secured the services of Sir Andrew Parmley as the guest speaker for an Association Lunch, to take place in The Chapter House of Chelmsford Cathedral, on Saturday 22nd January 2022, from 12.30pm. Members will remember Sir Andrew was a guest at the EOA Hauptwerk event a few years ago and it will be lovely to hear him speak to us about his role as Chief Executive of the Royal College of Organists, and his times as Lord Mayor of London, Director of Music at Forrest School in East London, and also as a parish church organist in the City.

Members and non-members are all welcome join us for this event and the cost will be £15 per person including a hot buffet lunch. The Chapter House is next to Chelmsford Cathedral and is in walking distance of Chelmsford Railway Station and city centre carparks.

If you are interested in attending the lunch, then please do send an expression of interest as soon as possible to EOA committee member Dr Michaela Cottee at or by phone/text on 07784 5144119 along with any dietary requirements you may have so that the menu can be chosen accordingly. Those who have expressed an interest will be asked for a non-refundable deposit of £5 in early January 2022 to secure their place.

Sat 5th or 26th February 2022 2pm – Workshop-masterclass on performing (and registering) English Romantic Organ Music, led by Philip Prior, date and venue TBC.

Many members will know that EOA President, Philip Prior has a great love of English Romantic Organ Music, and we are delighted that he has agreed to lead a workshop-masterclass for us on performing music from this school of organ playing. Both players of all standards and non-players observing are welcome to join us for what should be an enjoyable and informative afternoon.

Those members and friends wishing to play should prepare pieces dating from the 19th & 20th century English Romantic school – some possibilities could include the music of Felix Mendelssohn, Henry Smart, Edward Elgar, John Ireland, Percy Whitlock and Herbert Howells to name a few, but there are many others!

So, this is advanced warning to begin to think about which piece(s) you’d like some friendly tips on improving, further details including confirmed date and venue will be found in the next newsletter.

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

· Sat 12/19th March – An all-day visit to play the newly installed Klais organ in St Mary’s Church, Maldon and other instruments in the area.
· Sat 2nd April - An illustrated talk on the organ and its role in the orchestra by Roderick Elms, along with members’ playing time, venue TBC.
· June - The 72nd Annual General Meeting (with supporting attraction)
· July - A visit to organs in Braintree & Bocking churches
· We hope that the Extended Visit to Paris, previously postponed due to Covid, will run from Tuesday 30th August – Friday 2nd September 2022.

Non-EOA Events

Events Promoted by Members

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: .

Other confirmed 2022 events from other organisations that our members have traditionally supported are:

Sat 29th January – Bloomsbury Organ Day, “Trocedero & Town halls”
Bloomsbury Organ Day 2022 (

Sat 29th January – RCO Study Day - Last Verse Hymn Reharmonisation in the Chapel of Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk.
RCO Study Day: Last Verse Hymn Harmonisation Tickets, The Chapel, Ipswich | TryBooking United Kingdom

Saturday 29th January at 3.45pm, Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk
Glen Dempsey (Ely Cathedral)
Concluding Recital of RCO Study Day.

Sat 5th March - IAO London Organ Day – “The Grand Vauxhall Extravaganza”
London Organ Day - The Incorporated Association of Organists (

IAO Festival Friday 22nd – Tuesday 26th July 2022 in Edinburgh
Festival Invitation | The Incorporated Association of Organists (

Details of the content and booking for all of these can be found on the relevant websites by following the link included.

Recent Events

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

A good number of members were able to spend a lovely, bright September day visiting four very different churches and organs on the North Essex/Suffolk border - St Mary the Virgin in Radwinter, St Augustine of Canterbury in Birdbrook, St Lawrence in Ridgewell and St Peter & St Paul in Foxearth. It was particularly nice that there were warm welcomes and refreshments available at all the churches we visited, along with the usual pub lunch to keep us going!

Sat 23rd October 2pm - "The Life and Music of Louis Vierne" - an illustrated talk by Peter Crompton

It was very good to return once again to Broomfield Church Hall as we welcomed 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) and those composers who he was influenced by and who Vierne in term influenced. All who attended were treated to some wonderful informative anecdotes, some delightful recordings (including Vierne himself playing) and came away much more enlightened as to how approachable Vierne’s music was, and how important he is in the French organ school of the 19th and 20th centuries.

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

We were very pleased that Simon Hogan, formerly Assistant Organist of Southwell Minster, and currently pursuing a busy freelance career, gave a wonderful recital on the organ of St Mary the Virgin, Shenfield. 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.