ORGANISTS from all over the country are being encouraged to visit the North-East for a unique celebration of the musical instrument.

The Organ Club, which promotes organ music nationally, has organised three days of tuition, recitals, and historical organ tours around Durham and Newcastle, culminating with a group concert to allow visitors to play together.

The Organ Weekend event will take place from Friday, May 31, until Sunday, June 2. Proceedings will be primarily be held at Ushaw, on the outskirts of Durham, with excursions to surrounding sites, including Durham Cathedral, Durham College Chapels, and a guided “organ crawl” through Newcastle.

Ushaw volunteer George Lee, an accomplished organist at St Mary’s Church in Newton Aycliffe, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for organists of all ages to celebrate this tremendous instrument and join in with the music-making. It’s going to be a great weekend.”

Mr Lee, who began his professional career as a percussionist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, volunteers his talents at Ushaw by piano playing for visitors every Friday between 11am and 1pm.

He paid tribute to the organ as an instrument, saying: “It has such a vast range with so many different voices. It’s like an artist having a palette with a huge variety of colours to choose from.”

This is the second year the Organ Weekend has been held at Ushaw. Activities will be curated by James Parsons, the founder of Oundle for Organists, and partly sponsored by Newcastle and District Society of Organists.

Tuition will be offered throughout the weekend by well-known organists David Goode, James Parsons, Brigitte Harris, and William Saunders, to help attendees hone their talents.

The weekend will also feature two recitals; David Goode will perform at the world-famous Durham Cathedral, on Friday, May 31, and William Saunders will play in Ushaw’s stunning St Cuthbert’s Chapel, on Saturday, June 1.

The event will end with a special group concert at Ushaw, which will allow participants to demonstrate their abilities.

The weekend costs £185, which includes all tuition, recitals, Dinner in The Parlour at Ushaw, and Organ Club membership for 2019. There are discounts available for existing Organ Club Members and students.

To reserve a place, or for more information, email contact@jamesparsons.org.