Ross-on-Wye's renowned classical organist, Laurence John, is set to return to his roots with a vibrant recital at the historical St Mary’s Church on Saturday 19th August. Laurence, now an accomplished musician at 25, first left his mark on the local music scene when, as a 17-year-old student at Hereford Cathedral School, he became the youngest organist in the parish church’s 700-year history.
Born and raised in Ross, with family still residing in the area, Laurence has since taken his talents further afield, serving as the Assistant Director of Music at St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire. His musical journey also includes time at Oxford University, where he achieved two music degrees and held positions as an organ scholar at both Hereford and Exeter Cathedrals.
With a reputation that reaches beyond British borders, Laurence's performances have graced BBC television and Radio 3’s Choral Evensong, filled the historic spaces of Westminster Abbey, and provided the soundtrack to choir accompaniments in America, France and Portugal. However, his upcoming performance holds a special place in his heart. “It is always a pleasure to return to my roots at St. Mary’s," he shared, "Members of the congregation have always been so supportive of me and always give me a warm welcome when I return. So this recital is just like coming home.”
The concert promises a rich and varied programme of pieces by some of the world's most celebrated composers, including Bach and Vaughan Williams. This gala evening, which is due to last an hour and a quarter, will also play an important role in preserving local heritage as it will raise funds for the Friends of St. Mary’s, supporting the essential maintenance work needed to protect the ancient church's fabric.
The performance begins at 7:30pm and tickets are priced at £10. Music lovers can purchase them on the church's website, from Rossiter Books, or at the door. With Laurence's return, the evening promises to deliver not only outstanding music but also an emotional journey home.