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Highlights of parish life in Houghton Regis
Nigel Steele took up the position as organist of All Saints in January 1998, and has been organist for twenty-five years. He has played for approximately 1500 Masses and other regular services, two inductions, four ordinations, several confirmation and civic services, together with countless weddings and funerals. Playing the organ for a service is a three-pronged juggling act – leading a congregation, accompanying the choir and playing music beforehand and afterwards. Prior to his appointment he has been involved with the music at Houghton Regis since 1987, and has been making a joyful noise unto the Lord from either choirstalls or organ bench for over sixty years.
Over the years he has enriched the choir’s repertoire with occasional anthems and carol arrangements, and has either composed or adapted the responsorial psalms and gospel acclamations used regularly in our liturgy.
Nigel has also given occasional recitals for the benefit of our congregation and other organisations in the parish and wider community. Nigel’s repertoire of music played before and after our services not only includes music written for the organ, but also includes that written for other instruments which he has arranged and adapted for the organ. He has a special interest in performing music by Handel and other eighteenth-century English composers, which is sometimes played from facsimile copies of eighteenth-century editions. His other great love and special interest is French organ music from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries during the reign of Louis XIV, which is occasionally played from facsimile copies of the original editions.
Nigel has also supervised the recent refurbishment and cleaning of the organ by Pipe Organ Services.
Nigel is fully aware of the fact that the music at All Saints has been and continues to be a great feature of our parish life and mission both within the parish and for the wider community, and he will hopefully continue to maintain and develop this tradition for many years to come.