News

Listen to the War Memorial Organ

Updated: 30th May 2020

We are pleased to announce a series of live recordings of the War Memorial Organ, made by Warren Symes, for you to enjoy from the comfort and safety of your own homes. We will release a video or two each week, with a programme featuring many favourite pieces from J.S. Bach, Karg-Elert, Handel, Vierne and more...

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and like us on Facebook to be notified of new videos. All videos will also be released on our new videos page. We are grateful to Warren for recording this music during a check of the organ's mechanisms, and to Jonathan Roberts for his technical assistance in making the recordings available.

Report from Ben Perryman, departing School Organist

Updated: 2nd May 2020

Read a report on Ben's year as School Organist, with his thoughts on learning and performing on the organ, highlights from the year, and the role of the organ in the School today here. We are grateful to Ben for producing such an interesting read!

POSTPONED - John Dixon plays the War Memorial Organ

Southend High School for Boys - Saturday, 4th July 2020, 7:00pm

UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS NOW BEEN POSTPONED for the safety of our audience and performers due to the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please see our events page.

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Come for this unique event as John Dixon (Tuscany, 1968-75) returns to play a recital on the War Memorial Organ of his own compositions from both his published and unpublished catalogues. More info available via our events page.

Online Update from the OSOS Committee on Wednesday 29th April 2020 - formal AGM deferred

Updated: 25th April 2020

The Committee of the Old Southendian Organ Society wishes to inform you that we will host an online update on Wednesday 29th April 2020, starting at 7:45pm. Arrangements for our formal Annual General Meeting are deferred until further notice, in line with guidance from the Charity Commission of England and Wales and the Government. However, the online update will cover the same set of reports from Committee members on the Society's activities, operations and finances, and offer an opportunity to ask questions of the Committee.

Full information on joining the meeting via Google Meet on your PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet app, or telephone are available here.

Reports from the Committee are available to download here.

CANCELLED - A Musical Journey with Voces Novae

Southend High School for Boys - Wednesday, 29th April 2020, 7:30pm to 8:30pm

UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS NOW BEEN CANCELLED for the safety of our audience and performers due to the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please see our events page.

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We are pleased to announce our first event of 2020: a mid-week recital from talented singers Voces Novae, plus music from the organ, tracing some of the best compositions from the 16th Century to the present day with music by Morley, Bach, Wood, Chilcott (and more...)!. More info available via our events page.

Christmas with Cantare

Southend High School for Boys - Saturday 14th December 2019 - 7:30pm

Award winning ladies choir Cantare will sing an enjoyable evening of festive favourites, alongside carols and music for Christmas from the organ at Southend High School for Boys, in support of the Organ Society. More info available and book your tickets now via our events page to avoid disappointment.

A Southendian Autumn's Showcase

Southend High School for Boys - Saturday 19th October 2019 - 7pm

Join us for a varied concert with something for everyone: from solos on the War Memorial Organ, to music from an eclectic mix of instruments and voices. See our events page for more information and to book your tickets.

Jeremy Blandford plays the War Memorial Organ

Southend High School for Boys - Saturday 6th July 2019 - 7:30pm

Acclaimed organist Jeremy Blandford returns to the school with a recital including music by Bach, Mozart, Elgar, Whitlock, & Reubke, played on the Hill, Norman & Beard instrument.

This event will offer the exclusive chance to see the organ up close, including a look inside the organ chamber to see the 1228 pipes and mechanisms that make the instrument sing! See our events page for more information and to book your tickets.

Notice of the 2019 Annual General Meeting

April 11th 2019, starting 7:45pm at the Old Southendian Clubhouse, Garons Park

Please be advised that the 2019 Annual General Meeting will be held on April 11th 2019, starting 7:45pm at the Old Southendian Clubhouse, Garons Park (map). The formal notice and agenda may be found here, and minutes of the 2018 Annual General Meeting may be found here.

Spring event - A concert at Holy Trinity Church, Rayleigh

Saturday 23rd March 2019 - 7pm

A evening featuring a varied programme of music, in support of OSOS and the church.

More information to follow - see our events page for updates and to book your tickets.

Please note the change of venue for this event, due to unforeseen circumstances.

Report from the outgoing School Organist 2017-18, and publication of the School Song

Updated: 18th September 2018

Thomas Stanford (Sparta, 2011-18) reports on his year as School Organist in an article for the Society. View the report here! The manuscript of the School Song compiled by Thomas during his year as School Organist is now available to download: see our School Song page.

Next event date set - A concert for Remembrance

Southend High School for Boys - Friday 9th November 2018 - 7pm

A mixed evening of music from wartime and for remembrance, featuring the rebuilt War Memorial Organ at Southend High School for Boys alongside other instruments, voices and performers.

More information to follow - see our events page for updates and to book your tickets.

Interview with Adrian Lucas following his recital

June 2018

As part of the preparations for the concert by internationally acclaimed musician and OSOS President Adrian Lucas to celebrate the rebuilding of the school organ, we interviewed Adrian on his time at school, his career since then, and the recent work and activities of the Organ Society.

Tickets on sale for 'Adrian Lucas plays the rebuilt organ'

Southend High School for Boys - Saturday 16th June 2018 - 7pm

On June 16th 2018 Adrian will give the inaugural professional event on the organ, with a celebration of the achievements that have led to the successful rebuild. Tickets are now available for this event via TicketSource, and booking is highly recommended.

April 'New Southendian Showcase' announced ahead of June recital

Southend High School for Boys - Thursday 19th April 2018 - 7pm

We are excited to confirm that on April 19th 2018, we will have our first preview of the rebuilt War Memorial Organ at Southend High School for Boys with an event featuring the organ alongside school, student and recent leaver performers and with varied instruments and voice. See our events page for more information and to buy tickets online now via TicketSource.


Adrian Lucas will follow on June 16th 2018 with the inaugural professional event on the organ, with a celebration of the achievements that have led to the successful rebuild. Tickets are now available for this event too via TicketSource, and booking is highly recommended.

Notice of the 2018 Annual General Meeting

Holy Trinity Church, Rayleigh - Tuesday 17th April 2018 - 7:45pm

Please be advised that the 2018 Annual General Meeting will be held on April 17th 2018, starting 7:45pm at the Parish Centre, Holy Trinity Church, Rayleigh. The formal notice and agenda may be found here, and minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting may be found here.

OSOS Report 2017: article from The Old Southendian

The report on this last transformational year, as written for the Old Southendian Association magazine, can be viewed here.

Adrian Lucas plays the rebuilt organ and Trombone pipework acquired

Come on Saturday 16th June 2018 at 7pm for an event not to be missed from OSOS: internationally acclaimed musican and organist Adrian Lucas (OSOS President and former pupil) will be exploring the rebuilt organ at Southend High School for Boys. More information to follow on our events page.

We are also very excited to announce that the organ will be expanded with a Trombone stop using pipework previously in use in Pershore Abbey within an organ by Nicholson, now enabling the completion of the specification envisaged when the rebuild commenced. See more about the organ rebuild on our project updates page, and read how you can support the organ appeal.

Next concert announced for 23rd September at St. Augustine's, Thorpe Bay

Our next concert will be on 23rd September 2017, starting 7pm at St. Augustine's Thorpe Bay. More details on this varied event may be found on our events page, tickets will be available on the door.

Pictured is The Southend High School for Girls choir, Novem Consort, who joined us as guest performers in this event. You may download the full programme here.

Comprehensive work to the War Memorial Organ announced

Updated: June 2017

We are pleased to announce that, since June 2017, a major project to professionally rebuild the organ, which aims to secure its future well into its second century, is under way! Read more about the work to the War Memorial Organ, and join many other Old Southendians, friends, and other donors in supporting the organ appeal. You may find more news from the project on our updates page.

School Organist Competition Win

Updated: March 2017

Keenan Ngo, the current School Organist at Southend High School for Boys, took on the challenge of the Essex Organists' Association competition in March 2017 and came away victorious. Congratulations Keenan! A report from Keenan on his experience is attached with photos from the day here.

Concert in November 2016

We are delighted to announce that our next concert will be held at Southend High School for Boys on the evening of Saturday November 19th. Please see our events page for more information.

OSOS Report 2016: article from The Old Southendian

The report on the year, as written for the Old Southendian Association magazine, can be viewed here.

SHSB Students at St Paul's Cathedral

Updated: July 2016

In July 2016, OSOS was pleased to support a group of SHSB students in their visit to St Paul's Cathedral to hear Vincent Dubois. Jack Duffield tells of their experience in this report.

Next concert in April 2016

Updated: March 2016

We are pleased to announce plans for our next concert on Saturday April 16th at Southend High School for Boys. See the events page for the latest information.

Organ Expansion Announcement - Update

Updated: March 2016

After the great success of the organ's expansion with reed, flute and mutation stops added to the Great keyboard, we are pleased to announce that work has commenced to add a pair of string stops to the Swell keyboard.

These quiet but incisive string-toned pipes will add yet another distinctive sound to the organ's specification. We are hopeful that work will continue in 2016 - listen out for some new sounds from the organ later on in the year!

An update as at March 2016 can be found here.

Read about recent works to the organ here.

OSOS annual report for 2015

The report on the year, as written for the Old Southendian Association magazine, can be viewed here.

An Evening's Entertainment - Concert in September 2015

See the programme and a photo of the performers from our evening of music on September 12th at SHSB on our events page.

The Organ today at SHSB

Updated: September 2015

A short report on how the organ features in School life today has been added, written by current pupil George Cobley here.

OSOS AGM 2015

Updated: March 2015

The Annual General Meeting for 2015 will take place on Monday 30th of March 2015. Please get in contact to register your interest in attending and for further information.

The School Song

Updated: January 2015

A page with information (and links to further details) on the School Song (including a recording) has been added! Take a look here.

OSA Magazine Article

Updated: December 2014

An article about the formation of OSOS and recent SHSB organ history was published in the 2014 OSA Magazine. See a PDF copy of the article here.

Adrian Lucas 'Organ Extravaganza' in October

Updated: September 2014

Our President and internationally acclaimed organist, Adrian Lucas (Tuscany 1972-79), provided a great evening of entertainment, entitled 'Organ Extravaganza' on October 24th at 7:30pm. Find out more, including photos and the programme from the evening.