Organ Recital, Callum Alger - 16 June 2019

This event has now taken place. Thank you for all your support. Future events will be listed on our Concerts page.

Sunday 16 June 2019, 7pm, at St John the Baptist, Westbourne

(Updated post event)

News from the Recital

In the latest concert, the Westbourne organ was played by Callum Alger, a first prize winner of 2018 IAO/RCO Organ Competition and Gillian Weir Messiaen Competition. The audience of more than 80 people enjoyed a wonderful evening of music including Elgar, Mendelssohn, and John Stanley. The setting was the beautiful and ancient St John the Baptist Church, which is located on the border of Westbourne and Emsworth. 

With tickets only £5, this event was aimed at being accessible to a wide audience to enjoy organ music and discover the fascinating church history over refreshments in the interval. 

The recital series builds on the success of previous organ events at the church, most recently featuring organist Charles Harrison, from Chichester Cathedral. The autumn recital will feature William McVicker, Organ Curator of the Royal Festival Hall. More details below.

Revd Andrew Doye, Rector of Westbourne, said: 'The Callum Alger recital was superb: exhilarating and uplifting, and introduced in a humorous and engaging manner. It is a delight to see St John the Baptist Church, in Westbourne, developing such a series of excellent musicians, and becoming a credible venue for high quality performances outside of our major cities and cathedrals."
Stewart Taylor, Director of Music at Westbourne, said: "I am really pleased by the way that our organ recital series at Westbourne is developing. We have had consistently good audiences and this reflects that fact that we are offering top-class performers playing an exceptionally good instrument with a focus on interesting and accessible programmes that are not too long."
Thanks to all involved in this recital and our concert series.


The Programme

The concert lasted approximately 75 minutes and included works by Elgar, Bach/Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, de Grigny and Duruflé
  • Edward Elgar  Allegro maestoso (from Sonata in G)
  • J.S. Bach/Vivaldi  Concerto in D minor (BWV 596)
  • Felix Mendelssohn  Organ Sonata in A major (Op.65, No.3, MWV W58)
  • Nicolas de Grigny  Ave maris stella
  • John Stanley  Voluntary in D minor (Op.6, No.5)
  • Maurice Duruflé  Choral varié sur la thème du 'Veni Creator' (Op.4)

Callum Alger concert Westbourne programme  

The Westbourne Church organ history and specification



Callum portrait pictureCallum is currently a fourth year undergraduate at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, studying the organ with Henry Fairs, and choral conducting with Paul Spicer. Alongside his studies, he is the Acting Director of Music at the Collegiate Church of St Peter, Wolverhampton, where he oversees the week-by-week running of the busy music department.

He has previously held positions at St Thomas' Church, Stourbridge, Portsmouth Cathedral (in conjunction with the Portsmouth Grammar School), and St Matthew's Church, Northampton, as well as regularly deputising at Derby Cathedral. In September 2019, he will take up the prestigious position as Organ Scholar at Westminster Cathedral.

In 2018, Callum was awarded first-prize at both the inaugural IAO/RCO Organ Competition in Peterborough, and inaugural Dame Gillian Weir Messiaen Competition in Birmingham, and has twice been a finalist in the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition. He is an Associate of the Royal College of Organists, and Trinity College, London. As a recitalist, he has played at cathedrals in Liverpool (Met), Winchester, Coventry, and Birmingham, and chapels in Oxford, as well as part of music festivals in St David's Cathedral, Wales and Hexham Abbey.
Callum has studied abroad in Leipzig, under the tutelage of Prof. Martin Schmeding at the Musikhochschule, he has performed on BBC Radio 4, and can be heard on the commercially released disc 'O How Glorious' from St Matthew's Church, Northampton.

More about the organist at

Thank you to Callum Alger for use of the photograph.


Next in the organ recital series

On the evening of Saturday 21 September 2019, the church will welcome William McVicker, who will give a talk followed by refreshments and organ recital. £10 entrance. William is Organ Curator for the Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre. Thanks to the Portsmouth and District Organists' Association event for supporting the autumn event. 
William is Director of Music at St Barnabas's Church, Dulwich and Organ Curator of London’s Royal Festival Hall (RFH), where he has revived both the RFH organ and the Organ Recital Series. More details on his talk and the recital at Westbourne.

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