Only a few tickets remain for a significant and long-awaited musical event in Beeston when at 5pm on Sunday 30 August Catherine Harris will give the inaugural recital on the newly-installed organ at St Anthony’s Catholic Church.
Replacing a poor-quality electronic instrument, the new organ was installed in the West Gallery by David Wood of Huddersfield. It has both the finest possible pedigree and also ‘green’ credentials, having been built in 1893 by the renowned Hull firm of organ-builders, Forster and Andrews, originally for a church in Borthwick, Scotland and discovered by Diocesan Organ Advisor, Dr John Rowntree, as being ideal for St Anthony’s needs.
St Anthony’s, Beeston opened in 1905 and was designed by architect Charles Fox of Dewsbury in the neo-Gothic style with which the new organ fits well in terms of design, its pipes being beautifully painted and gilded in the manner of that period.
As well as being a former Organ Scholar at Leeds Cathedral and one of the organisers of the Leeds International Organ Festival, Catherine Harris has since 2019 been Organist for the Parish of St Maximilian Kolbe, accompanying the parish’s children’s choir with young singers from the local St Anthony of Padua and St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary Schools participating in the internationally-acclaimed Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme, under the baton of Choral Director, Lucy Haigh.
When singing in churches can resume once more, the new organ will be a wonderful accompaniment for the Choir in St Anthony’s very pleasing acoustic – but until then, the organ repertoire Catherine will be playing at this inaugural concert will be more than exciting enough, including the ever-popular Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann.
Parish Priest Fr Timothy Whitwell who is himself extremely musical said: ‘I was delighted to accept the offer of this fine instrument from the good people of Borthwick and it has been a pleasure to see the organ come back to life in its new home. We look forward to many happy years of enhanced liturgical accompaniment with Catherine at the console! Glory!’
St Anthony’s is a spacious church which has been assessed as a Covid-safe environment, but physical-distancing means numbers must be limited, so please book your FREE tickets here!