Dales concert to celebrate the restoration of the church organ

An evening of baroque music for organ, orchestra and voice takes place in a church in Dales.

The Wensley Camerata is a celebration of a campaign to repair the historic three-manual organ by Abbott of Leeds which was badly damaged by water and organist Richard Selwyn Sharpe who campaigned to bring it back to its former glory.

It is considered the finest in Richmondshire, has a Grade I certificate from the British Institute of Organ Studies and was donated to the church by the Orde-Powlett (Bolton) family in memory of Letitia Baroness Bolton, who died in 1882.

The concert is organized to benefit Holy Trinity Church, Wensley and Hope and Homes for Children Ukraine Appeal.

Richard, an incredibly talented organist, has always wanted to play Handel’s organ concertos with an orchestra. By chance, he meets a member of the Richmondshire Orchestra at a concert and is put in contact with conductor Martin Budgett, who is drawing up a program for a special Handel and Bach evening.

The specially assembled orchestra, The Wensley Camerata, will perform two organ concertos by Handel written for performance in the intervals of his oratorios “Estther” and “Deborah”, both written in 1735.

Violet Beaumont will sing Handel’s aria “Let The Bright Seraphim” from Oratorio “Samson”, 1743. Violet is a talented soprano who was choirmaster at Durham Cathedral and now lives in Edinburgh. She sang at various weddings in Yorkshire and at Hexham Abbey.

Richard will also perform a solo work for organ, a Concert in the Italian Style by Vivaldi arranged by JS Bach, before the orchestra performs Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, a work in the French style. The concert will end with Handel’s Festive Occasional Oratorio Overture written in 1745/6 to raise patriotic support during the Jacobite rebellion.

The concert, followed by a reception, will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Wensley, on July 30 from 7.30pm to 9pm. Contact [email protected]

Martha J. Finley