On 7 October 12 SOCA members gathered at St Paul’s Church Honiton to enjoy the spectacular 1999 organ by Kenneth Tickell – in perfect condition following a comprehensive tuning on the previous day.
After a welcome from Stephen Bell, Andrew Carter summarised the history of organs in St Paul’s, much assisted by a comprehensive historical leaflet by John Mingay, the former organist of the church who masterminded the procurement of the Tickell instrument so efficiently that it was inaugurated debt-free. Andrew introduced the various ranks, individually and in combination, which were demonstrated with skilful improvisations by Stephen.
Andrew then gave a short recital of music by composers ranging from 16th-century Venice to 20th-century France, featuring contrasting plenos, trio combinations, the lively Cornet, the eloquent Cremona and the luscious Vox Angelica: all facilitated by the sensitive and responsive tracker action.
Members then took full advantage of the opportunity to play themselves. At the end of a successful afternoon there was common agreement that this beautiful instrument, perfectly voiced in a responsive acoustic, is one of the musical jewels of the South-West.