“When I started playing just one hymn at a Sunday evening service”, Chris recalls, “I was unable to climb onto the organ bench unaided and it was several years before I could even reach the pedals. Little did I think that, 25 years later, I’d still be there!”
The programme included some of his favourite pieces and stories from his career as a parish musician, as well as some larger works that are rarely played during church services. Throwing caution to the wind, Chris improvised a piece of music based on the theme from Coronation Street – as chosen by the audience!
Chris was joined by the St Bede’s Choir, from the church’s 9am mass, and soloists Natalie Fairhurst and Nathan Fenton, two of the church’s long-standing music-makers.
In a surprise twist, parish priest Fr Dominic Golding presented Chris with the Portsmouth Diocesan Medal for his service to the church, awarded by Bishop Crispian Hollis.
The concert raised £237 to support the work of the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD). If you’ve enjoyed listening to some of the extracts of the concert below, why not donate to CAFOD online?
Aria – Paul Manz
Trumpet voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke
Salisbury Alelluia – Christopher Walker, with verses for the Easter Vigil arranged by CJ Olding
Holberg Suite – Edvard Grieg
Improvisation on the theme from Coronation Street – as selected by the audience!
Two preludes – Johann Rincke
Stabat Mater – Pergolesi
The Lord bless you and keep you – John Rutter
Toccata – Georgi Mushel