Schulze Organ Recital

On Thursday, 13th February an Organ Recital is being performed at Ellesmere and is a must for all concert enthusiasts, as a gentleman by the name of Alan Viner will be performing various musical pieces on the famous Schulze Organ which is housed in the Big School at the College. The instrument was built in 1864 by Edmund Schulze. Schulze was one of the greatest organ builders of all time and therefore any work by him is of considerable artistic significance. More importantly it remains as Schulze left it and has not suffered at the hands of the twentieth century restorers.

It came in Ellesmere Colleges possession when in the late 1970s the Church in which it had been housed - St Mary's Church, Tyne dock, was demolished due to diminished congregations which led to a deterioration of the fabric of the Church. Despite the widely publicised threat to the instrument nobody came forward with an offer to re-house one of the worlds greatest organs. It was then that the Diocesan Secretary, who had a son at the College, suggested that the great hammer beam roofed Hall at the College would be a magnificent and contemporary setting for this great treasure. The College agreed to donate the site and a Trust fund was set up to raise the finances to purchase the instrument and to ensure that the instrument is maintained. The College continues to ensure that this wonderful instrument is preserved and enjoyed by all.

Alan Viner was educated at Sir Thomas Rich's School, Gloucester, and began his piano studies at the age of 8 and the organ at 13. He obtained an Honours Degree in Music from the University of Reading in 1973, and was the first student there to specialise in Performance (Organ) under the inspiring tuition of the late John Webster, organist of University College, Oxford. After completing a P.G.C.E. at Saint Luke's College, Exeter in 1974, Alan worked in Hertfordshire as an Assistant Music Teacher until returning to his native Gloucester in 1976, where he was appointed Head of Music at Severn Vale School. He resumed his Organ studies with John Sanders, organist of Gloucester Cathedral, and in July of 1976 obtained his ARCM Performance Diploma from the Royal College of Music. During his three years in Gloucester, Alan also held the post of Organist and Choirmaster at St. Mary's Berkeley, and St. Nicholas's, Hardwicke. He moved to Shrewsbury in 1979 to become Director of Music at The Priory Boys' School, and then, in 1981, Head of Music at the Wakeman School.

Alan left the state sector of Education in 1989 and since that time has been a free-lance musician, teaching organ, piano and theory of music on a private basis. He has a successful private practice and is also much in demand as an accompanist and organist. He has been a member of the peripatetic team at Ellesmere College since 1997.

Tickets for this exciting event are £5 or £4 concession and the concert starts at 7.30 p.m.

To order tickets or for further information on the concerts or the Schulze Organ, please call the College on 01691 622321

5th February 2003  Back to News