Following the successful conclusion of the Sir David Willcocks Memorial Appeal (in honour of Old Cliftonian Sir David Willcocks, 1919-2015), we have held an inauguration concert to mark the installation of 12 new 32ft Double Ophicleide pipes on the Clifton College chapel organ.
Distinguished Old Cliftonian Sir David Willcocks had a successful musical career and is known around the world for his broadcasts of the Christmas Eve ceremony of Nine Lessons and Carols in his role of Director of Music at King's College, Cambridge. Also marking the 150th anniversary of the 1867 Guthrie Memorial Chapel, the event was a fantastic occasion to hear a thrillingly profound extra octave of bass sounds from the chapel organ, the instrument on which Willcocks himself learnt.
We were delighted to welcome many College supporters, staff, parents, pupils and our guests of honour, OC Jonathan Wilcocks (Sir David Willcocks’s son) and Mark Venning, Chairman of Harrison and Harrison Ltd who installed the new organ pipes. They had the unique opportunity to hear the organ in all its new splendour, in virtuoso solo recital pieces, and in combination with brass and the combined choirs of the Preparatory and Upper Schools directed by David Pafford and Daniel Robson.
Organ performers included Old Cliftonian Charles Matthews, pupil Henry Metcalfe (Sir David Willcocks Organ Scholar), Katie Usherwood (Music Scholar), Romain Bornes (J&M Britton Organ Scholar), and staff organists James Drinkwater and James Hills.
It was truly a special evening and we would like to thank everyone involved for their generosity and unwavering support.