SOCA AGM day at St Mary Magdalene Church, Taunton – Saturday 6th November 2021

President’s Report:    Stephen Bell welcomed everyone to the meeting, commenting on the rare pleasure of seeing people face to face. He gave a brief review of the events that had been able to happen in recent months: the talk on Mendelssohn;   the visit to Ilminster;  the visit to Honiton.  He thanked those responsible for organising these events. It was pleasing to see more non-members at Holy Trinity for the Mendelssohn event, but numbers attending the “Come and Play” visits were disappointingly low. Stephen hoped that we were all looking forward to the recital later in the day (see below).

Looking to the future, Stephen hoped to attract more members to events, and to try to persuade more young members to join and take part. He also hoped to create stronger links with the cathedral, now that the musicians there were members. He also regretted the narrowness of our geographical appeal, and wished to see a wider catchment area for our events.

Stephen thanked the committee for the support that he had received. Reciprocal thanks are due to Stephen for his leadership over the past two years.

Secretary’s report:   John Bodiley had nothing special to report on his final day in the post. He did, however, point out that the new organ gallery page on the website was for the practical interest of, and use by, the members. Currently, there are details of three instruments on the page, and he hoped that more members would submit information on more organs in the area. He pointed out that the organs were there for all to try. John was thanked for his time in office.

Election of officers and committee for 2021/22

President:   John Bodiley    prop.   SB   sec.   AC

Secretary:   David Yates      prop.    JC   sec.   DS

Treasurer:   Doug Smith      prop.   HS   sec.   JB

Auditor:      Charles P-W     prop.   IH   sec.   JB

Paul Hale’s Organ Recital and Talk

At 11.00 a.m., Paul Hale gave a fine recital, illustrating the many colours of the Willis organ, and entertaining the audience with informative anecdotes. It was pleasing to see a sizeable audience.

Some committee members then moved across to Zizzi’s restaurant with Paul Hale, for an excellent meal. Thanks to Miles Quick for organising this, and for compiling the informative programme for Paul’s recital.

In the afternoon, Paul gave a talk, defining the work he does as an organ consultant.  As examples, he used the organs at St. Peter’s Church. Wolverhampton, recently re-built by Michael Farley (who was present) and Radley College Chapel – a largely new instrument in a fine case. He briefly mentioned a small organ for a village church in Warwickshire, and work in New Zealand on organs ruined in the 2011 earthquake. The talk was followed by an excellent tea, for which thanks are due to the cafe staff at St. Mary Magdalene.

Overall, this was a very good day, and it is hoped that more interest in organs and organ-playing may have been fostered.

Paul at St Mary Magdalene, Taunton

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