York Minster

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Today we won’t be hearing the sweet singing of the choir, but the impressive sounds of York Minster’s Grand Organ. Playing for us is Benjamin Morris, Assistant Director of Music at the Minster, and the piece he performs is Toccata on 'Wachet Auf' by David Halls who also happens to be Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral! The piece is the winning entry in the over 18 category of the Grand Organ Composers’ Competition, which York Minster organised in partnership with Cathedral Music Trust and Banks Music Publications to celebrate the organ’s once-in-a-century refurbishment. 

David’s piece was given its world premiere at York Minster’s Advent Procession on 28 November. The winner of the under 18s category will be announced in the coming weeks, and their piece will be played at the Minster's Nine Lessons and Carols on 22 and 24 December. 

The competition was judged by a panel of industry experts including New York-based composer Nico Muhly, composer and former York Minster Organist and Master of Music Philip Moore, British composer Roxanna Panufnik, Canadian-born organist, conductor and composer Sarah MacDonald and York Minster’s Assistant Director of Music Ben Morris.

"We were delighted with the response to the competition which attracted a high calibre of entries. The competition was designed to celebrate the Grand Organ’s return at the heart of worship in the cathedral, continuing a heritage which goes back centuries. It’s been fantastic to be able to invite people to be part of this landmark project, adding to this rich musical history while celebrating the instrument’s future."

Benjamin Morris, Assistant Director of Music 

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