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Bahamas' Leading Organists To Play At Anglican Chorale Hymn Festival

THE Anglican Chorale offers its ninth annual eclectic sounds of hymns when it presents Preston R Ferguson, Sr, Jeffrey Sturrup and Edward Cox as organists this Sunday at the historic Christ Church Cathedral.

They will lead a Hymn Festival that includes area Anglican church members and friends singing in a mass choir.

These men have distinguished themselves among Bahamian organists by playing entire church services with very little reference to printed music. In the European tradition of church organists, they have composed or improvised much of the music played in a worship setting.

The concert is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be received.

Christ Church Cathedral has a history of fine pipe organs that dates back to 1864 when an organ made by Lewis and Sons was installed. The air supply was by manual labour until 1920 when an electric pump was installed. The Kimball Organ Company rebuilt the aging instrument and moved the pipes from the front of the cathedral to the west gallery in 1935. The console remained in the front and air was conveyed to the pipes via ducts running along the south ceiling. After nearly a century of service, having weathered the hurricane of 1929 and fire damage, the Lewis organ was retired and in 1954 replaced by a Walker organ.

In 1986, two new organs were installed, both made by the Oberlinger Company. The great organ is arguably the finest in the region. It was featured in the American Guild of Organists Journal of April 1987. It has three manuals, 64 ranks and 3,200 pipes.

Organist Preston R Ferguson, Sr has over 37 years of organ experience. He started playing the organ at the age of ten.

Mr Ferguson now serves as senior master at St John’s College, as well as the organist, director of music and senior choir director at St Agnes Anglican Church. He is also the proprietor of Ferguson’s School of Music.

Jeffrey Sturrup, a musician, arranger and composer, has served as a pianist for many choirs and vocalists. Mr Sturrup has also arranged music for many well-known Bahamian recording artists.

He was the Nassau City Opera’s lead pianist for “Treemonisha”, the company’s inaugural production, in 2009. He again accompanied the opera company in its ambitious and successful presentation of “Porgy & Bess” in 2011.

Mr Sturrup now serves as organist at Christ The King.

Edward Cox has been a church organist for over 45 years. He received his early organ training under the guidance of the late Bertram Cambridge, a renowned Bahamian musician and church organist, and later at Trinity College of Music, London, England as well at the London College of Music. His many church organist appointments include Church of Christ the King; All Saints on Calvary Hill; Holy Trinity, Richmond, England; St Francis Xavier Cathedral; Resurrection Catholic Church and St Barnabas Anglican Church. Mr. Cox is presently the organist at the Anglican Church of St Gregory.

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