Willan 50 a Resounding Success

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Friday 16 February 1968 marked the death of its long term organist and choir master Healey Willan. His musical legacy to the parish continues to this day. Yet his significance as a teacher and composer of more than 800 works is an even greater one, and the parish decided to mark the larger contribution with an appropriate programmatic tribute.  The wider community responded magnificently much to our delight.

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Three outstanding organists - two excellent choirs singing the choral repertoire, another singing Gregorian chant - excellent introductions by Master of Ceremonies Giles Bryant - greetings from parishioner, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson and Mary Willan Mason, read by the rector, who also introduced family members of the Willan family - all these made for an unforgettable evening.  A screen off to the side allowed the audience a rare privilege to observe the three organists as they played these demanding works.

  

And there was more.  Former ritual choir cantor Albert Mahon returned on Sunday afternoon along with other former and current choristers to sing Evensong and Benediction.  Giles Bryant was back conducting the rehearsal in his own inimitable style, bringing wit and wisdom with every instruction for a beautiful and reverential Evensong and Benediction.  Choristers and friends gathered afterwards for wine and cheese and enjoyed hearing stories of "The Doc" from Trish Moffat, Albert and Giles bringing the weekend to a warm and satisfying end.