We are very grateful to our performers for giving their time and skills for free. Please give generously to the retiring collection to help cover the expenses of the series. Thank you.
All the recitals will be live-streamed on the Church's YouTube Channel. Please see below for the direct links
Allegro deciso from Evocation (Marcel Dupré)
Andantino from Pièces de Fantaisie (Louis Vierne)
Suite op 5 (Maurice Duruflé
Suite gothique (Léon Boëllmann)
i. Introduction – Choral
ii. Menuet gothique
iii. Prière à Notre-Dame
Scherzo (Marco Enrico Bossi)
Capriccio (John Ireland)
Symphonie no 3 (Louis Vierne)
i. Allegro maestoso
Crown Imperial (William Walton arr Herbert Murrill)
Adagio from Sonata no 11 (Josef Rheinberger)
Sortie in B flat (Louis Lefébure-Wély)
Temple trio (John Ashton Thomas)
Fantaisie in E flat (Saint-Saëns)
Prelude & fugue in C BWV547 (J S Bach)
Andante in D (Felix Mendelssohn)
from Six pieces (Herbert Howells)
ii. Master Tallis’s Testament
Prelude & fugue in A minor BWV543 (J S Bach)
Fantasie über den Choral „Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme‟ (Max Reger)
Cortège académique (Ernest MacMillan)
Improvisation on Slane from Three hymn tune fantasias (Francis Pott)
Nicht zu schnell from Studien für Pedalflügel (Robert Schumann)
In quiet mood (Florence Price)
Te Deum (Jeanne Demessieux)
“He is, without exaggeration, an extraordinary artist, whose humanity shines in the impeccable artistry that flows from his hands...” (Hans Zimmer, award-winning composer)
Roger Sayer is at the forefront of British choral and organ music. A former organ student at St Paul's Cathedral, Roger was Prize Winner at the 1989 St Albans International Organ Competition and won all the organ prizes at the Royal College of Music. Since then, he has been constantly in demand both as a recitalist and accompanist and his playing takes him to many parts of the world.
His recent tours and events have included recitals in Italy, Germany, Holland and Denmark, a major tour of Australia, a live recital at Temple Church broadcast on BBC Radio 3, opening the 2018 Summer Organ Festival at Westminster Abbey and the release of two new recordings for Priory and Signum Records.
Roger Sayer's work as organist has also extended into the film world, with his most recent performance as organ soloist for Hans Zimmer's Oscar-nominated score for the motion picture Interstellar. Roger later went on to perform the work live with composer Hans Zimmer in a special concert at London's Royal Albert Hall, which was attended by the film's director, cast and supporters, including Christopher Nolan, Jessica Chastain, Professor Brian Cox and Professor Stephen Hawking.
As a recording artist, Roger has released a number of CDs of solo organ music. His latest recordings, The Complete Organ Sonatas of Josef Rheinberger and The Grand Organ of Temple Church, have received several 5* ratings and outstanding reviews. The Grand Organ of Temple Church has been recommended on MusicWeb International: ‘Roger Sayer’s playing has a vitality and vibrancy about it which positively exudes brightness and clarity of thought.’ His Rheinberger CD was Recording of the Month on MusicWeb International: ‘Roger Sayer proves himself to be an apt interpreter of Josef Rheinberger’s wonderful music; his playing is superior to that of Jürgen Sonnentheil on CPO in the two sonatas that he performs on his disc. The excellence that Sayer shows in those two sonatas is continued on into the other eighteen, so much so that I hope that Priory gives him an opportunity to record further recitals of the composer’s music.’
In addition to his organ playing, Roger Sayer is also an acclaimed choral director with some of the UK's finest choirs. After founding the Rochester Cathedral Girls’ Choir, Roger joined Temple Church in 2013 as Director of Music and has since created an impressive portfolio of broadcasts, concerts and recordings. The choir’s most recent CD, The Temple Tradition, received a 5* review in Choir and Organ Magazine: ‘The richly voiced young choristers of the Choir of the Temple Church are a joy to listen to, their unison singing nothing short of miraculous, and Roger Sayer draws from his singers outstanding phrasing and subtle nuances of tone’. Under his direction, Temple Church Choir has broadcast numerous times on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, and undertaken several international tours of the USA, Holland, Singapore, Australia and Germany. In 2017, Roger conducted the choir at the St Albans International Organ Festival 'Three Choirs' concert, alongside the choirs of St Paul's Cathedral and St Albans Abbey, and set up a new youth choir of at Temple Church.
Outside of Temple Church, Roger Sayer worked with the London Symphony Chorus for ten years as Accompanist and Deputy Chorus Director, collaborating with many of the world's leading conductors and soloists. He is regularly invited to be external examiner at the Royal College of Music organ department.
Roger has a YouTube channel where a new recording is released every Monday.
Charles Andrews has been Liturgical Organist of the Temple Church since 2019. He studied at the Royal College of Music with David Graham and Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin, with the aid of a Douglas & Kyra Downie Award. Before studying at the RCM Charles held a Michael James organ scholarship at Rochester Cathedral. From 2011-16 Charles was Associate Director of Music at All Saints, Margaret Street in the West End of London. Plans for the near future include recording organ works by former Temple Church organists Henry Walford Davies and George Thalben-Ball and their associates.
Charles Francis is currently in his second year studying for an undergraduate degree in Organ Performance at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where he studies organ with Daniel Moult and Nicholas Wearne. Alongside his degree Charles also works as Organ Scholar at St Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham where he regularly accompanies the cathedral choirs. Becoming a prize-winning Associate of the Royal College of Organists while still studying for his A-levels, it was during this time he also maintained regular deputising roles at Canterbury and Rochester Cathedrals. This presented the opportunity to work with various choral ensembles from the UK, USA, Canada, the Netherlands. Engagements have also taken him to St Edmundsbury, Portsmouth and St Paul’s Cathedrals as well as St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Since winning First Prize in The Dame Gillian Weir Messiaen Competition in 2019, Charles has become increasingly in demand as a performer with upcoming concert venues including Portsmouth and Truro Cathedrals.
Thomas Allery is Assistant Director of Music at Temple Church. Here, he works alongside Roger Sayer in training the choristers, focussing especially on teaching the junior choristers, and in teaching musicianship skills. He is often seen directing the church’s professional adult choir, the Temple Singers at services and concerts.
Outside of Temple Church, Thomas enjoys a varied career spanning work as an organist, harpsichordist and teacher. Thomas is also organist of St Mary-le-Bow Church, Cheapside, where he plays for services for several of the City’s ancient Livery companies and presents regular concerts.
Thomas Allery is passionate about teaching and encouraging students to develop a range of musical skills from a young age. He has created numerous educational resources which link performance with musical theory, aural awareness, keyboard understanding, and harmony to encourage the development of a well-rounded musician. He is regularly developing new educational materials which encourage an understanding of musical theory through the repertoire that students are performing.
He is organ tutor at City of London School and Radley College, and teaches basso continuo at the Royal College of Music.
Having studied at Oxford University and the Royal College of Music, Thomas recently completed an Artist Diploma in harpsichord at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he studied with James Johnstone and Carole Cerasi. From 2014 – 19 Thomas was Director of chapel music at Worcester College, Oxford and was also Assistant Organist of Magdalen College. Thomas is in regular demand as a continuo player on organ and harpsichord, for chamber music and orchestral repertoire. He is the regular continuo player of award winning chamber ensemble, Ensemble Hesperi. With this group, he has performed at numerous leading UK festivals, presenting the programme ‘The Pheasant’s Eye’ which showcases Scottish Baroque Music with highland dance. In 2014-15, Thomas was a Junior Fellow in Harpsichord and Continuo at the Royal College of Music and was a Britten-Pears young artist as a continuo player, performing Bach cantatas under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe at Snape Maltings, in 2019. He is currently undertaking research into historical continuo treatises from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and exploring how they can be used in keyboard education today.
Polina Sosnina is the Pettman Organ Scholar at the London Oratory and the Kenneth and Violet Scott Scholar at the Royal College of Music, where she studies with David Graham and Andy Dewar.
Since graduating from Magdalene College, Cambridge, Polina has held organ scholarships at Temple Church and St Martin-in-the-Fields, and worked as Director of Music at St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Brentwood.
Recent performances include recitals at St John’s Smith Square, Temple Church, and a Bach Corner recital at the 2019 International Organ Festival in St Albans. In 2017, Polina was the first woman to be awarded first prize in the Brian Runnett Competition at St John’s College, Cambridge. The following year, she won first prize in the Essex Organists’ Association competition and was a semi-finalist in the IAO/ RCO Competition.
Polina is grateful to the RCO, Organists Charitable Trust and Eric Thompson Trust for their generous support of her studies.
Hilary Punnett is Assistant Organist and Director of the Girls’ Choir at Chelmsford Cathedral. A native of Canada, Hilary completed her MMus in Organ Performance at McGill University under the tutelage of John Grew and William Porter, and was awarded the W Douglas Clark Memorial prize and the Douglas Mackey prize for her studies.
During her time at McGill, Hilary worked as Assistant Organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal. In 2011 she moved to England, spending two years at Southwell Minster as Organ Scholar, where, in 2012, she was also Director of the Minster Girls’ Choir. She then moved on to become the inaugural Travis Organ Fellow at All Saints Church, Northampton, where she accompanied the boys, girls and choral scholars in their seven weekly services.
From 2014-2019 Hilary worked at Lincoln Cathedral as Assistant Organist, where she regularly accompanied and conducted the Cathedral Choir, trained the probationer choristers, and was Director of the Lincoln Cathedral Consort.
Outside her work at Chelmsford Cathedral, Hilary is an accompanist, singer, teacher, organ recitalist and choral conductor, as well as the RSCM Area Team Leader for Essex and East London. Since moving to the UK, she has studied organ performance with Daniel Cook and Colin Walsh. She has also appeared on several CD recordings both as a singer and organist, including Southwell’s acclaimed recording of the Cavaillé-Coll organs in Sées cathedral. She is a keen sampler of fine cheeses and is also both a Highland and Irish dancer.
Jeremiah Stephenson first started learning the organ as a chorister at Sheffield Cathedral. Currently Associate Director of Music at All Saints Margaret Street in London, Jeremiah combines his Sunday duties with a busy career as a freelance recitalist, accompanist and teacher.
Jeremiah has performed solo recitals across the UK, Europe and America. His work has been broadcast on television and radio in the UK, France and the Czech Republic, appearing alongside the BBC Singers on Radio 3 and playing a televised recital as part of the Janáček May International Music Festival. This year’s projects include recitals in venues such as St Paul’s Cathedral in London and Uppsala Cathedral, as well as participation in the Toulouse les Orgues and Rocamadour Musique Sacrée fesitvals.
In his capacity as one of the Royal College of Organists Accredited Teachers, Jeremiah teaches students of all ages, from complete beginners to those sitting diploma examinations. The majority of his students are state school children whose organ lessons are supported by various charitable schemes.
A prize-winning graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, Jeremiah completed his formal studies with Michel Bouvard and Willen Jansen at Toulouse Conservatoire supported by the Nicholas Danby Trust. He won first prize in the Eben International Organ Competition held in the Czech Republic, and second prize in the International Competition ‘Prix de J L Florentz’ organized by L’Académie des Beaux-Arts in Angers, France. Jeremiah continues his study of interpretation with Dame Gillian Weir.