Concert in tune for organ-fund appeal

ON SONG ... organists Syd Harrison, left, and Fred Hemmer with the organ in St Pauls Church.

ON SONG ... organists Syd Harrison, left, and Fred Hemmer with the organ in St Pauls Church.

VOICES are to unite in harmony as part of ongoing fundraising efforts at an historic South Tyneside church.

Musica Johannis, a vocal octet based in the North East, has been a huge supporter of St Paul’s Church at Church Bank in Jarrow in recent years.

In the past they have helped raise funds to boost an ongoing appeal to maintain the Anglo-Saxon church’s vintage organ.

And they will be boosting the fund again when hitting the high notes at a Christmas concert on Saturday, December 28, from 7.30pm.

The evening will feature selections from their huge repertoire of songs, including medieval through to 20th century, sacred, secular, light, pop and more.

Deputy church organist Fred Hemmer said: “In the past this concert was always very popular between Christmas and New Year.

“This group has raised a lot of money for St Paul’s in the past to provide new choir robes, but our summer concert this year raised over £1,100 in aid of the organ fund.

“We have also over the last three years helped Julia Watson raise over £10,000 for the Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle, where her husband Geoff, our founder and director, spent the last two and a half weeks of his life.

“Geoff and Julia’s son Chris and daughter Jenni have sung with us for a few years, but this will be their last concert with us, as they are both studying music at university and are seeking to pursue careers in music and music production.

“We have a varied programme of choir and audience items and our accompanist will be Richard Leach, a former organ student of Geoff’s who went on to be organ scholar at Pembroke College, Oxford.”

St Paul’s boasts an organ built in 1911 by the famous Leeds-based organ builders James Jepson Binns.

In 1997, the organ was rebuilt by Harrison & Harrison Ltd of Durham, at a cost of more than £50,000.

Tickets for the concert are £7 and people can pay at the door.

Anyone wishing to donate to the organ maintenance fund should make cheques payable to ‘St Paul’s Church,’ and send it to St Paul’s Church, Church Bank, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear.

To learn more about Musica Johannis log on to www.musicaljohannis.co.uk





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