Grand Organ Experience – First Event Takes Place

Grand Organ Experience – First Event Takes Place


On Thursday 20th January, Richard Kerton-Welch, accompanied by his wife Lisa and mother Sue, visited the Cathedral after evensong to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play the magnificent Cathedral organ.

Richard may be a familiar face to many Wells residents as he is the store manager at the High Street Branch of CanDo4You – our very own shoe repairer and engraver par excellence! This Grand Organ Experience was given to him as a gift by good friends to mark Richard’s many years of service as organist at St Mary Magdalene in Wookey Hole.

During the evening Richard played a number of pieces he had personally selected. The programme was wide ranging and included:

  • Air and Gavotte – John Sanders

  • Cebell – Henry Purcell & Festive Procession – Paul Bryan (Richard’s own merged concept!)

  • Largo from ‘Xerxes’ – George Frideric Handel

  • Minuet from ‘Samson’ – George Frideric Handel

  • Gymnopedie No.1 – Erik Satie

  • ‘I dreamed a dream’ from Les Miserables – Claude-Michel Schönberg

  • Communion – Malcolm Archer

Richard ascending the stairs to the Organ loft

Sitting at the Organ Console

The evening was concluded when Director of Music Jeremy Cole played Elgar’s magnificent Imperial March with Richard watching up close in the organ loft. Throughout the evening, Jeremy was coaching Richard on how to get the most out of the Cathedral organ and from time to time adjusted the stops to ensure maximum impact from the music being played. Richard filmed the entire event in the loft whilst sound recordings were made by his wife Lisa who was sitting in the Quire.

Richard said:

“It has been a lifelong dream to have the chance to play the Wells Cathedral Organ. After decades playing the organ in Wookey Hole, the big step up to one of the biggest and best organs in the country was an exciting prospect. The whole evening is one I shall never forget and I want to thank Jeremy Cole, the Cathedral Friends and most especially my wonderful friends at St Mary’s Wookey Hole for giving me this fantastic opportunity. This is an amazing appeal and I would encourage everyone to support it in any way they can.”

If you would like to support the Friends of Wells Cathedral Grand Organ Appeal by arranging your own Grand Organ Experience or would like to gift the opportunity to a friend or loved one, please click here for more information

Richard, Lisa, and Sue enjoy a pre-experience drink with Director of Music, Jeremy Cole

Listen to our Music

Sunday 22nd May: The Cathedral will be holding a special service of Thanksgiving for the Platinum Jubilee at 3pm to which all are warmly invited. There will be restricted access to visitors from 1.30pm, and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.