I am an experienced church organist and specialise in deputising in churches where the resident organist is temporarily unavailable.
I play in Greater London and in Lancashire (Preston/Blackburn area).
My website lists some of the churches in which I play when required and also contains some excellent testimonials.
I am familiar with the liturgies and customs of different denominations, e.g. Anglican (High and Low), Roman Catholic, United Reformed etc and will be happy to spend time learning about, and preparing for, others.
I have played for celebrations of Sunday Eucharist (Mass), Evensong, Weddings and Funerals, and on special occasions, such as Holy Week. I can read and accompany Gregorian chant.
I have no problems in playing hymns, providing suitable voluntaries before and after each service according to liturgical season, and reflective music during distribution of communion. I am an excellent improviser and can provide bridging music where required during a service, e.g. during censing, processions, etc.
I am keen on playing in such a way that the congregation should not notice that an 'outsider' is on the organ bench. I try to achieve this by thorough preparation.
Therefore, whenever time permits, I visit the churches in which I am to play days or weeks in advance to try out the organ, discuss the liturgy, take detailed notes of cues and requirements.
I try to adjust to the congregation rather than force the congregation to adjust to me.
One vicar, pleasantly surprised, once remarked, after I had stepped in at extremely short notice, that my playing fitted into his service like a hand into a well-worn glove. I cannot always be perfect in this respect, but I do work hard to come as close as possible to this ideal.
I am a liturgical organist, not a concert organist.
I am also a linguist and can therefore sometimes help in services which are conducted in languages other than English. I speak or understand Latin, German, French, Spanish and Italian
I am very keen to learn and experience the liturgies and customs of denominations which are new to me.
I am prepared to come at short notice (sometimes overnight) IF STILL AVAILABLE but often receive bookings several months in advance. It is therefore a good idea to contact me as early as possible.