Lunch and music on the menu as a Minster favourite returns

Halifax Minster. Organist Graham Gribbin

Halifax Minster. Organist Graham Gribbin

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Halifax Minster’s popular lunchtime organ recitals are returning and following on from last year’s success the recitals will have a new added flavour.

As well as enjoying a variety of music, visitors to the historic church will also be able to tuck into delicious snacks and drinks.

Minster organist, Graham Gribbin said: “When we added the refreshments element to last year’s lunchtime recitals, the aim was to bring the organ recitals to a new audience and by introducing the light lunches, create a very relaxed atmosphere. “The recitals certainly proved to be very popular because by making the recitals no more than 45 minutes long, we found that people could pop along to the Minster in their lunch hour, get a sandwich and some homemade cake and sit and enjoy the music.

“With the new season of lunchtime recitals, we are bringing bigger names to the Minster to play too and we hope local music lovers will come along and enjoy a real variety of music.”

The recitals which are free of charge, take place every Thursday from 1pm but a selection of sandwiches and snacks will be on sale from 12.30pm onwards.

They begin again on Thursday (March 2) with Adam Parrish, a professional pianist, organist, oboist, composer and musical director who works for a number of artists and organisations in the UK, including Rick Wakeman. Adam regularly plays the organ at York Minster.

Although they are still predominantly organ recitals, on March 16 Ella Binns one of the Minster Choristers will be singing, accompanied by Graham. Ella is a student at North Halifax Grammar School and has sung in the Minster choir since the age of seven.

The Minster is also teaming up with Bradford Cathedral to attract organists from further afield on April 6, the recital will be given by Jem Stephenson from Toulouse.

Graham said: “We are unique at the Minster in that we have two organs; as well as the large Harrison organ which contains Snetzler pipes dating back to the 1700s, we also have a smaller chamber organ. “The Minster is well-known for its beautiful organ music and the lunchtime recitals are the perfect opportunity for people to come along, meet up with friends, have a bit of lunch and enjoy a variety of wonderful pieces. We look forward to welcoming music-lovers of all ages.”

More details about the recitals plus other events at the Minster are available by visiting www.halifaxminster.org.uk