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Bristol Beacon Organ Workshops

Bristol Beacon, with the support of the J and M Britton Trust, is launching a series of organ workshops between April and August 2024 led by BDOA member and Bristol Beacon tutor Claire Alsop, in partnership with organ venues across Bristol.

These free interactive and engaging workshops will appeal to young people who wish to explore the pipe organ, including those with no previous experience of the organ. They are open to aspiring young musicians from all over the city and beyond, with an age guide of 13-16 (KS3+ – secondary school age).

Further information and how to register your interest in attending the workshops is below.

Introductory workshop

What: Bristol Beacon invites you to a free workshop to come and discover the  pipe organ. Led by Claire Alsop, this will be a fun, interactive introduction, full of information about the organ and how it works, and an opportunity to try it out for yourself. Often called ’The King of Instruments’, the organ is a self-contained orchestra, and this workshop will introduce you to the different families of sounds that can be found on this amazing instrument. No prior experience is necessary, all are welcome.

Who: (Age guide: KS3+)

When + Where: Monday April 8th at Redland Park United Reformed Church (URC), Whiteladies Road, Redland Bristol BS6 6SA. Nearest train station Clifton Down, Bus stop: nearest/opposite Boston Tea Party on Whiteladies Road. Arrival from 1045 for 1100-1230 workshop.

How: Please indicate your attendance by completing this form.

Second workshop:

When + Where: Saturday June 8th – Arrival from 1045 for 1100-1230 workshop. All Saints Church, Pembroke Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3ED

Led by Claire Alsop. This interactive workshop will introduce the organ at All Saints Clifton and include a talk by organist Eric Tyson.

How: Please indicate your attendance by completing this form. (If you sign up to the first workshop, you do not need to sign up to the next, as we will have your details)

These events are supported by the Britton Trust, Bristol Beacon in partnership with Redland Park United Reformed Church, St. Mary Redcliffe Church, All Saints Church, Clifton, and the Bristol and District Organists’ Association.

Bristol Beacon, supported by the J and M Britton Trust will be also offering up to 4 bursaries from September 2024. Young people who have demonstrated their interest and aptitude for the organ will be selected to receive free tuition on the organ. Lessons with Claire Alsop will take place in a central location every other week in term time, and Bristol Beacon will work in partnership with the organ community to develop a practice location convenient to where the young people live or attend school. Support with resources and transport is also available.

Future performance opportunities range from playing and performing on the Britton Organ at Bristol Beacon as part of the organ’s re-opening celebrations in 2025, to participation in concerts and recitals at Bristol Beacon and at other organ venues across the city.
Workshops will continue throughout 2024-25, and will be open to all, not just those who have qualified for a bursary.

If you have any further questions regarding getting involved in these free events, please email Laurie Stewart, Head of Creative Learning at Bristol Beacon.

Meanwhile, here’s a chance to hear and see Claire playing the organ in St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol.