15 October’s Organ Marathon to be launched by Oxfordshire’s High Sheriff

30 organ students at St. Giles’ along with distinguished guest organists will provide a showcase for their musical talent on 15 October at St. Giles’ Church.

An Organ Marathon, lasting around 7 hours and starting at 2:00pm, will be launched by Oxfordshire’s High Sheriff, Mr Mark Beard.

Afternoon free recitals

  • 14:05 James Andrews of New College
  • 14:35 St Giles’ Organ students followed by Katherine Pardee, Andrew Patterson, Mitchell

Evening Concert

The day’s music will conclude with a concert by two students of St Giles’ Music Academy at 7:30pm. They will present a varied programme of organ music.

Here’s a sample played by one of our students, Zihan Wang.


  • Benjamin Gronlie
  • Zihan Wang

Music by Frescobaldi, Mendelssohn, Bach

John Forster, ‘Orgelwerke’

‘Orgelwerke comprises a set of three preludes and fugues in a pastiche retro-Baroque style, with each being modelled on pieces by Heinrich Scheidemann, Dietrich Buxtehude, or J. S. Bach, and composed using new German organ tablature rather than modern staff notation. The project combines sampled pipe organs and recreations of the synthesiser patches devised by Wendy Carlos for Switched-On Bach in 1968, which are then distributed among 24 separate loudspeakers placed around the performance space. Orgelwerke is about exploring notions of (in)authenticity in relation to new organ works and electronic organ sound, and the result is something that’s intended to feel conspicuously faux-historical.

John is currently studying for a PhD in Composition at City, University of London. The title of his research is ‘What is a Pipe Organ Work?’, and he’s focussing on how the ways in which different people conceptualise the pipe organ can lead to different approaches to creating pipe organ works. John has had a lifelong interest in the pipe organ, and after starting lessons as a chorister, spent a couple of summers as a teenager working at Henry Willis & Sons Ltd. in Liverpool. While studying for a Music degree at the University of Oxford, John was organ scholar at Brasenose College and St. Giles’ Parish Church, subsequently taking a gap year during which he sang bass in Rochester Cathedral Choir. Following a digression studying for an MSc in Global Politics at Durham University, then working for an ESG research firm in London and musicking in his spare time, John realised he wasn’t that into offices after all and so decided to embark on a doctorate.’

Tickets £10.00 and £5.00. Children free of charge.

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