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Opening Ceremony @ St. Mary’s Church, 207 High Road. E18 2PA

6th October 2018 @ 10:45 - 11:30



The opening Ceremony attended by the Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Debbie Kaur-Thiara.

Followed by a short festive organ recital by St. Mary’s Director of Music, Allan Clay.

St Mary's Church South Woodford
St Mary’s Church South Woodford

St. Mary’s Church South Woodford

Organ Music Programme

Prelude in G major BWV 541                  J S Bach

Sonata No 1 in F Minor

2nd movement: Adagio                            Mendelssohn

Paean (from Six Pieces for Organ)         Herbert Howells

When thinking of the organ music of JS Bach, we often bring to mind the iconic Toccata and Fugue that opens Disney’s Fantasia, and imagine that Bach was a rather stern and solemn man. The sparkling Prelude in G major thrillingly bursts that bubble. Full of champagne-like running passages, it is the perfect music to launch this year’s Woodford Festival.

Mendelssohn, as well as being the man who rediscovered the music of J S Bach, was also a Romantic tunesmith of the finest order. He wrote 6 Sonatas for organ, and don’t be put off by the formal term of Sonata – this Adagio (a slow movement from Mendelssohn’s first sonata) is a beautiful song without words.

A Paean is defined in the Oxford Popular Dictionary as “a song of triumph” so what better music to conclude this introduction to the festival than Herbert Howells’ electrifying example. Alternating brilliant, athletic scales with bold fanfares, Paean celebrates all that is to come in the Woodford Festival 2018.

Allan Clay

St. Mary’s Director of Music, Allan Clay
St. Mary’s Director of Music, Allan Clay

Allan Clay was educated in Essex and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London. After graduating, he worked as a freelance musician and was the founding conductor of the Surrey Sinfonietta (now the London Camerata) who gave the first performance of his Oboe Concerto with Hilary Dennis. In the mid-90s, Allan joined the staff of Felsted School, and subsequently has been Director of Music in schools in the South of England, as well as at Harrow School, Bangkok, where also he worked with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, and had the honour of performing before HRH The Princess Galyani Vadhana. Last year, after over 20 years as a Director of Music, Allan hung up his whiteboard markers to focus exclusively on his musical vocation as a performer, conductor and composer. He examines worldwide for ABRSM and is delighted to be Director of Music at St Mary’s, Woodford.


Rev Ian Tarrant
Anny Wortley-Millek


St Mary’s Church
St Mary's Church, 207 High Road
South Woodford, London E18 2PA
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020 8505 3000