St Margaret’s Church is an ideal venue for concerts
The space at the East end of the Nave is large enough for a 100-piece choir or more, and/or a full symphony orchestra. There are regular concerts by Cantores Olicanae, and Ilkley (and Otley) Choral Societies, The Leeds Symphony Orchestra and various other orchestras, bands and choirs have used the church for concerts.
We also have our own concerts: there is an annual all-comers concert for members of the church, which is usually over-subscribed, organised by reader and cellist Nadine Wharton. She and fellow string-player Adrian Williams regularly play alongside Christopher Rathbone on piano for the weekly Family Service. They have also teamed up with Opera North baritone Edward Thornton to give fund-raising concerts on an annual basis, performing piano quartets by Fauré and Schumann, an ‘Organ Quartet' by Christopher Rathbone and songs by Schumann, Brahms, Finzi, Ravel, Stanford and Rathbone.
Another recent concert was given by the professional Glasgow-based ensemble ‘Daniel’s Beard’, including Schubert’s great C major quintet and three pieces by Christopher Rathbone. Yet another local musician, the trumpeter Geoff Cloke, occasionally lends extra sparkle to such special occasions as Palm Sunday and Remembrance Day.
The church has a good Bechstein grand piano as well as the famous Hill organ, and there is a CCTV system to aid organ accompaniment of a choir in the nave. Anyone wishing to book the church for a concert should contact the parish administrator in the first instance: email@example.com
For a detailed specification of the organ, read more...