Members will be sad to hear that David has recently died. His funeral will be held at Kingston St Mary Parish Church (where he was Organist) at 12 noon on Tuesday 2nd August 2022. May he rest in peace and rise in Glory.
Kingston St Mary Church
Tuesday 2nd August 2022
A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of
David Richard Knight
I only knew David very briefly, mainly through our SOCA visits to different Organs. However it was clear on entering the church on a beautiful summer’s day that David was loved and well known to a good many other people as the church was nearly full.
The organ was played most competently by John Bodiley who treated us to Elegy- by George Thalben-Ball and two pieces by Bach prior to the start of the service. At 12 o’clock the church bell tolled and David was brought into the church as John played ‘Wenn wir in hochsten Noten sein’ by JS Bach which literally translates to ‘When we are in the greatest need’. This was the last piece of music that Bach actually wrote during the last week of his life by which time he was very weak and had gone blind. He had to dictate the notes to a scribe who wrote them down. It would be good to know that Bach actually heard the piece played before he himself died – but who knows?
The majority of the service was mostly about David’s life beginning with daily piano practice before school (closely watched over by his mum!) and then via a short spell in the RAF as an engineering officer, a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, a brief spell of teaching in a secondary school and ending as head of music in a college department. He was also on the examining board for the Royal Schools of Music, a position which took him all over the world.
Following a number incumbencies as organist and choirmaster in a number of churches throughout the country, David finally saw the light and came to Somerset! David was initially organist of Dulverton Parish church, then organist of Trinity Church in Taunton and finally organist and choirmaster at Kingston St Mary. Here he was clearly well-loved and respected and was able to lead the choir most ably. One of his most recent ideas was to re- introduce choral evensong on the last Sunday of the month. The first of these was in June and by all accounts very well attended, including a picnic afterwards. Sadly though, David had become unwell by then and was unable to attend.
David musical talents were clearly not just confined to church music as witnessed by his association with the King Alfred concert band who, during the time of reflection played ‘I’ll be there’ and ‘Happy Days are here again’. The choir also gave a beautiful rendition of ‘Creator God’ by Margaret Rizza and accompanied by John.
All in all it was a beautiful and very dignified service to man who, from his very early days of daily pre-school piano practice to the lofty heights of teacher, performer and examiner lived a very full life of music. He will be very sadly missed.
Requiescat in Pace David
David Knight was educated at the University of London and the Royal Academy of Music in London. He held posts as Director of Music at an English secondary school and a college of higher education. During this time he also had posts as accompanist and conductor of a selection of choirs. He was a church organist for over fifty years, not only for the Church of England, but also for the Church of Norway where he lived for four years. He taught at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for seven years and was an examiner for the Royal Schools of Music. He performed in cathedrals in England, Ireland, Norway and Hong Kong. More recently he was Musical Director of the Watchet Choral Society, and the Apollo Wind Band in Yate. He also served on the Somerset committee of the Royal School of Church Music. His last post was as Organist and Choir Director in Kingston St Mary church, and he was also President of the Dorset Association of Organists.