Dr Emma Gibbins will give the next organ recital on Sunday, 21 February, in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh at 4.15pm.
Emma’s musical career has led to a range of appointments, including Director of Music at All Saints Parish Church in High Wycombe; Associate Organist at St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate, the National Musicians’ Church in the City of London; Organ Scholar and Director of a newly formed Girls’ choir at Brentwood Cathedral in Essex and accompanist of the South West London Choral Society.
A move to Northern Ireland in August 2008 enabled Emma to take up the position of Director of Music at St. George’s Church in Belfast. She also taught piano and organ, worked as a piano accompanist in the Music Department at Queens University, directed the Belfast Phoenix choir and accompanied the St George’s Singers.
In February 2015 Emma moved to Newport in South Wales to take up the position of Director of Music at St Woolos Cathedral. Here she is responsible for directing the Cathedral’s Choir of men and boys and has also established a new girls’ choir and Cathedral Voluntary Choir.
Outlining her choice of programme for her recital in Armagh, Emma says, “As well as more traditional German Baroque and French Romantic works, the programme will include two interesting, unusual and more modern pieces. ‘L’ange à la trompette’ was written in 1954, by the French composer Jacques Charpentier, who was a student of Messiaen. It is an exciting re-working of the French virtuosic Toccata, ending with a dazzling coda. The second piece, ‘Church bells beyond the stars’ by the contemporary English composer, Cecilia McDowall, is an atmospheric and sparkling piece inspired by a line from the metaphysical poet, George’s Herbert’s poem, ‘Prayer’.”
The Dean of Armagh, the Very Revd Gregory Dunstan, said, “It will be a great pleasure to welcome Emma back to Armagh. Unfortunately, I missed her last visit in 2013, but she is a most accomplished performer, who also gave generously of her time to the Boys’ Choir in the Charles Wood Festival of Music and Summer School.”
As is the format with recitals in the Cathedral, admission is free, with a retiring collection towards the further endowment of the Cathedral choir through the Archbishop’s Choir Fund.