Jesuans pull out all the stops for organ fundraiser

Our Director Of Music, Richard Pinel, and former Organ Scholar and Assistant Organist Benjamin Morris (2011) are just two of 54 of the UK’s leading organists brought together by the Cathedral Music Trust to create a virtual performance of Bach’s iconic Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

A voice for UK cathedral music, the Trust has put the performance together to raise money for the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund

The video features musicians playing instruments from cathedrals, college chapels and major churches. Introduced by Clare Balding, it premieres at 6.30pm on Thursday 26 November on the Trust’s website.

Benjamin, now Assistant Director of Music at York Minster, said "It was such a privilege to take part in this unique venture together with so many outstanding organists from across the UK. At a time when organs and choirs across the country had been made silent due to the pandemic, it felt right for us all to come together to contribute in this way to help raise money for the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund. It was a strange experience recording a mere nine bars of a Bach fugue in a silent and empty York Minster, but the final film will be a musical and digital masterpiece!"

Richard Pinel said “The professional Cathedral Choirs in many of the UK's Cathedrals are the envy of the world. In this time of enormous financial pressure, the Cathedral Choirs Emergency Fund is vital to them staying afloat. It’s a real pleasure to have taken part in this project and I can’t wait to see the finished performance!”

Natasha Morris (née Brice) is the Cathedral Music Trust’s Development Director – she studied English and History at Jesus (2008). Talking about her experience being involved in the project, she said: “As a former choral scholar at Jesus College, and as a development professional in the arts and music sector, I am moved and saddened by the plight of our many talented professional musicians affected by the pandemic. So, when the opportunity came up to help create something positive out of the situation, I jumped at the chance. This has been an incredibly special project to help produce, and one that we hope will help share the joy of music with so many as well as raise much needed funds to help support our beloved cathedral choirs and choral foundations."

Another Jesuan on the Cathedral Music Trust’s team is Communications and Marketing Officer, Sophie Carp (MPhil Arts, Culture and Education, 2006), She said: "It is a real honour to be part of the fundraising team behind the Cathedral Choirs' Emergency Fund. The organ video perfectly reflects the high levels of musicianship we normally have the privilege to enjoy in our country's cathedrals, college chapels, and major churches. Of course the fact that all organists involved played to empty buildings is a sobering reminder of these challenging times, so it's all the more pressing that we raise the funds to ensure this hugely special musical tradition survives for generations to come."