Alex Mason and Martina Schwarz offer Lancing concerts

A Lancing church is welcoming a top organist and accordionist for concerts.

Alex Mason
Alex Mason

St Michael and All Angels, Lancing is hosting a series of concerts in October and November with performances by Alex Mason and Martina Schwarz.

Spokesman Ian Tout said: “Alex Mason, who joined Lancing College as director of music in September 2019, has given organ recitals throughout the UK including the City of London Festival and St John’s Smith Square and in France, Germany, Ireland, Lebanon, Norway and the USA. He started as a chorister and organ scholar at Gloucester Cathedral, then read music at Oxford University where he was organ scholar of Worcester College followed by postgraduate study in improvisation at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague.

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“He became a fellow of the Royal College of Organists aged 18 and then embarked upon a career in cathedral music first at Lichfield Cathedral where he was assistant organist and founder-director of the girls’ choir, and then St Davids Cathedral where he held the posts of organist and master of the choristers and also artistic director of the annual music festival.

“As an organist he is particularly well known as an improviser. He won first prize and variation prize in the Grand Prix d’Improvisation, Biarritz, 2001, was runner-up in the Tournemire Prize, St Alban’s, 1997. He has improvised to silent movies in the Elgar Concert Hall, Birmingham University and Keble College, Oxford. As an accompanist and continuo player he has worked with Ex Cathedra, Tenebrae, saxophonist Christian Forshaw and the Sanctuary Ensemble and has appeared with them in London, Birmingham and at the Bath, Cheltenham and Three Choirs festivals.

Aedan Kerney, organist and choirmaster at St Michael’s said “Alex is a remarkable organist and a fine musician and we are very fortunate that he is now part of the West Sussex music scene, although in very dark days for live music-making. We are so fortunate that he has agreed to give a recital on the Peter Collins organ at St Michael’s”.

Alex’s organ recital takes place on Thursday 15 October at 7.30 pm.

Martina Schwarz, born in Cologne, is a London-based musician, composer/ songwriter, performer and choir leader. She has a constant and varied stream of engagements as a singing accordionist, solo as well as in different musical formations. She is a music creator for theatre, film and dance, for community, educational and health settings.

In her performance at St Michael’s, Martina will conduct a musical journey around the world, visiting the musical traditions of many countries as well as playing some of her own compositions. The night will include soulful melodies from Eastern Europe, passionate tangos, French chansons, a German song or two and well-known tunes from this part of the world.

Martina’s performance will be at St Michael’s on Saturday, October 17 at 7.30pm.

All events take place in St Michael and All Angels Church, South Street, Lancing, BN15 8AJ. Under current Government advice face coverings will need to be worn and limited numbers of tickets are available to enable social distancing. Tickets are £7 at www.stmichaelslancing.org/music, book by email [email protected] or telephone 01903 762793 (leave a message).

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