Listening to David play the Willis

Listening to David play the Willis

David Warner first came to SMSG a couple of years ago with a group of organists from Luton. He returned on 4 October to play some 'Light music at lunchtime' after the audience had enjoyed their soup and roll lunch.

David learned the piano from age 9 and the organ from age 15. He is organist at St Nicholas Barton Le Clay and is on the committees of the Beds & Herts Organists' Association and the Cinema Organ Society. He  is a piano tuner and has played at various Theatre organ concerts in the U.K., loves musical theatre, travelling and visiting National Trust properties.

Choosing stops

Choosing stops

He started the concert with March from Scipio (1725) by Handel and followed this with the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni. David's third piece was a song rarely heard these days: Cherry Ripe.

O my beloved father by Puccini was next, followed by a Selection from Sound of Music by Rogers and Hammerstein. David explained that he had one played it in a church for their flower festival and someone said it wasn’t very religious until he pointed out it was about nuns!

The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

Then came a selection from Siegfried Romberg's operetta The new moon.

David played a selection of well known songs from several Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, this included Jesus Christ Superstar, I don’t know how to love him (from Jesus Christ Superstar), Memory (from Cats), All I ask of you (from Phantom of the Opera) and Any dream will do (from Joseph and his Technicolour dream coat).

David concluded his programme with a selection from the opera Merrie England by Edward German who was a contemporary of Gilbert & Sullivan.

David playing pieces from The Sound of Music

David playing pieces from The Sound of Music

Thank you David for an enjoyable programme of music from operas, operettas and Musicals spanning nearly 300 years, some pieces were familiar to me, others I had not heard before.

Words and photos by Anna Page

David Warner at the Willis console

David Warner at the Willis console