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03 September 2017 5:15pm

The last in Ely Cathedral's series of 'Sunday Organ Recitals'

Gary Desmond - Deputy Organist Bath Abbey

Free Admission
Retiring Collection


Praeludium in C Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)
Chorale Prelude 'Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier' Gerald Near (b 1942)
Variations on 'Immortal. Invisible' (St Denio) Hans Uwe Hielscher (b 1945)
'And the peace may be exchanged....' (Rubrics) Dan Locklair (b 1949)
Variations on the Old 100th Denis Bédard (b 1950)
Choral et Fugue (Sonata V) Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911)
Sarabande Sacrae Arthur Wills (b 1926)
Toccata from the Symphonie de Boston (1965) Pierre Cochereau (1924 - 1984)

Gary Desmond first studied the organ with Clifford Harker at Bristol Cathedral and then spent four years at the Royal Academy of Music with Douglas Hawkridge (organ) and Roy Jesson (piano). After leaving the Academy, he became a pupil of Susi Jeans and has since studied with David Sanger and David Briggs.

For many years, Gary was Organist and Director of Music at the City Parish Church of St Stephen, Bristol, where he arranged a busy annual music programme, and also Director of Music at Bristol Grammar Junior School. Whilst at St Stephen's, he directed the choir in broadcasts on BBC Television and Radio and was also conductor of the St Stephen's Singers.

On three occasions Gary was elected President of the Bristol and District Organists' Association and has served several terms as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Incorporated Association of Organists. He is frequently invited to be the accompanist and organist for local choirs and choral societies and he has also acted as organist for BBC Radio Bristol.

Gary Desmond has given many recitals in the Bristol area, including the Colston Hall; other venues have included St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and many other cathedrals and churches in the UK. He has also given recitals in Germany and, since 2002, he has played regularly in the recital series at Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.

Visits to the USA have included concerts in First Congregational Church in Los Angeles, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco and Washington National Cathedral.

He is now a freelance recitalist, accompanist and teacher and, since 2008, he has been Deputy Organist at Bath Abbey. In 2016 he also became Acting Organist and Director of Music at the church of St Mary the Virgin, Bathwick.

Recent recital venues have included St Stephen, Walbrook (City of London), St Edmundsbury and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedrals, Glasgow Cathedral, the Kelvingrove Museum and Ayr Town Hall. Venues in Germany have included the Marktkirche, Wiesbaden, Münster Cathedral and Altenberg Cathedral; to the USA - San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and New York City.

The programme for 2017 includes concerts in London, Bath Abbey, Portsmouth Cathedral and a further visit to the USA.