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Ministry Title : Liturgical Worship Ministry
Article Title : Events during the visit of Mr Christopher Gower
Published : 20-SEP-2010

The Committee on Liturgical Worship of the Diocese is pleased to announce the visit of Mr Christopher Gower to Hong Kong and from 20 October to 1 November 2010.  Mr. Gower, served as Master of Music at Peterborough Cathedral from 1977 to 2004, is a distinguished organist, composer and conductor.  Attached is the biographical detail of Mr Gower.
Whilst in Hong Kong, Mr. Gower will work with the Diocesan Choir for the All Saints Day Service at St John's Cathedral on 1 November.  For this occasion he has especially composed a Communion setting.  The Diocesan Choir will commence rehearsal at the second half of October.  Other events will include a choral camp, a Choral Evensong, a talk on the works of English composer S S Wesley and auditioned opportunities for individual organ coaching sessions.  For further details please refer to the itinerary attached.

Details of Events:

Date

Time

Events

Venue

21 Oct 2010
(Thursday )

7:30pm – 9:30pm

Diocesan Choir (HK Island)  Rehearsal

St John's Cathedral

23 Oct 2010
(Saturday)

9:00am – 6:00pm

Choral Camp
(free of charge)

St Peter's Church
North Point

24 Oct 2010
(Sunday )

2:00pm – 4:00pm

Organ Workshop 1
(open event)

St Paul's Church

24 Oct 2010
(Sunday )

4:30pm
6:00pm

Rehearsal
Choral Evensong Service 

St John's Cathedral

25 Oct 2010
(Monday)

7:30pm – 9:30pm

Talk on S S Wesley

St John's Cathedral

27 Oct 2010

(Wednesday)

7:30pm – 9:30pm

Organ Workshop 2
(open event)

St Stephen's Church

28 Oct 2010
(Thursday)

7:30pm – 9:30pm

Diocesan Choir (HK Island) Rehearsal

St John's Cathedral

1 Nov 2010

(Monday)

6:00pm
7:00pm

Rehearsal
All Saint's Day Service

St John's Cathedral

      Hourly Individual Organ Coachings:
            Date:  27 Oct 2010 - 28 Oct 2010
            Time: 2:00pm – 5:00pm

               Venue: St John's Cathedral
         To cover the expenses the fee for the above hourly session is HK$500.  These are
      auditioned slots.  If you are interested in participating please kindly contact the Music
      Officer of St John's Cathedral by emailing to:
atsang@stjohnscathedral.org.hk

Introduction:

Christopher Gower was born in Buckinghamshire and educated in Nottingham, taking advanced piano studies with Gertrude Baldwin and organ lessons with Kendrick Partington and Professor Ivor Keys. In 1958 he succeeded Dudley Moore as Organ Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford and studied there with Dr.Bernard Rose and Dr.Egon Wellesz. Three years later he was appointed Assistant Organist at Exeter Cathedral and Director of Music at the Cathedral School. In 1965 he was awarded the Lane Memorial Scholarship at the College of Church Musicians, Washington  Cathedral, USA. From 1967-69, in addition to his cathedral and school appointments, he was a lecturer in music at Exeter University.

In 1969 he was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Portsmouth Cathedral, a post which he held jointly with an appointment at Portsmouth Grammar School. From 1977 – 2004 he was Master of the Music at Peterborough Cathedral and his retirement from that appointment has given him opportunity to increase his freelance work as a lecturer, composer and examiner. This has included a visiting lectureship at Canterbury Christ Church University.
At Peterborough he directed the choir in numerous broadcasts, recordings and television programmes, including the series music for "The Barchester Chronicles" for the BBC. He also directed the choir in recital tours to France, Norway and Sweden, and three to the USA and Canada. He founded and was Artistic Director of the Cathedral Festival which commissioned a number of anthems and settings by distinguished composers including Kenneth Leighton, Bryan Kelly and Robert Walker.

He has examined for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music for thirty-eight years, not only in the UK, but also in Spain, Singapore, and mainland China, as well as four examining tours in Hong Kong.

Included in his many compositions are settings for Canterbury Cathedral, Brecon Cathedral, Magdalen College, Oxford and Hexham Abbey. He also composed a carol for Sir Edward Heath which the former Prime Minister conducted at his annual carol concerts.

As a pianist he has specialized as an accompanist working first with the Canadian tenor, Terry Penner and subsequently with the soprano Priscilla Childs. He continues to teach the organ and piano to diploma level. In addition to his Oxford degree Christopher is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians.

Alongside his professional commitments he served as a magistrate on the Peterborough Bench for twenty years. He is a Lay Canon Emeritus of Peterborough Cathedral and also Grants Secretary for the Friends of Cathedral Music – a national body which over the years has awarded grants of over £1.7 million to cathedrals in support of their music. After a long association with the Plaisterers’ Company in the City of London, he became a liveryman in 2004.

His wife, Sylvia, was for twenty years manager of Peterborough Cathedral Shop and retirement from that post has given her the opportunity to increase her singing teaching. Christopher and Sylvia are joint secretaries of the Friends of Peterborough Cathedral. They have two children, who are both married. Catherine is a teacher in Surrey and Andrew is Director of the Broadstairs Campus at Canterbury Christ Church University and a lay clerk in Canterbury Cathedral Choir. Christopher and Sylvia have six grandchildren.

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