The Gala Organ Concert to launch our Blue Coat For All project resonated through Liverpool Cathedral, on Wednesday 30th January, with a stunning combination of organ and choral pieces. Special guests included the Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, Nathan Lee; Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mark Blundell; and the High Sheriff of Merseyside, Peter Wood.
The event celebrated the forthcoming restoration of the School’s historic and rare Father Willis organ, with a £180,600 Heritage Lottery Fund grant. It also saw the launch of the Pipe Up campaign, inviting people to sponsor the organ’s pipes to raise funds to support a new Blue Coat Organ Scholarship. This exciting new Scholarship will involve students’ tuition not only on the School’s restored Father Willis and Chapel Walker organs, but also on Liverpool Cathedral’s giant Willis organ and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral’s Walker organ.
The concert’s organists all had links with Blue Coat, either as teachers or past and present students, and their performances were alternated with the Senior Choir and our new Chamber Choir, both conducted by Mr Emery, the School’s Director of Music.
Blue Coat Ambassador Lee Ward, Director of Music at Liverpool Cathedral, hosted the event, organised the players and performed the finale. It was presented by fellow Blue Coat Ambassador, Roger Phillips, Senior Broadcaster at BBC Radio Merseyside.
The opening piece was played by Year 12 student Daniel Greenway, and followed by Tim Harvey, Old Blue; David Houlder, Blue Coat former Director Music; and Dr Christopher McElroy, Blue Coat Ambassador, Old Blue and Director of Music at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
Headteacher Mike Pennington said: “The event was outstanding and I appreciate the huge efforts which went into it. Everyone I spoke to was extremely positive about the project and are enthusiastic to support us as we go forward.”