June sees the re-establishment of a parish choir at St. Mary's, and it is planned that they will start on the feast of Corpus Christi.
My voluntaries for June centre around two French composers, Dubois and Franck (OK, he was actually Belgian!), and two of their pupils, Sauvrezis and Prestat.
Sunday 9 June sees the performance of Dubois' well-known Toccata, with Guilmant's Cantilène pastorale as prelude to the service. The Guilmant has happy memories for me, as it was played at our wedding at my wife's request.
The following Sunday sees the performance of two Franck pieces: The Prelude, Fugue and Variation from 'Six Pieces' (1860-62), and the Pièce héroïque from 'Three Pieces' (1878).
Alice Sauvrezis (1885-1946) was a student of César Franck, Théodore Dubois and Paul Vidal in Paris. She is mostly known for her piano music and songs, and the Choral in E major, which I play on 23 June, is perhaps her only organ composition.
Marie Josephine Claire Prestat (1862-1933), a favourite student of César Franck, was the first woman to win four first prizes at the Paris Conservatoire. These were for Harmony (1885), Accompaniment (1886), Counterpoint and Fugue (1889) and Organ (1890). She was Professor of Piano and Organ at the Schola Cantorum from 1901 until 1922. Her Prelude and Fugue in C minor concludes the service on 23 June.
The organ voluntaries for the feast of SS Peter and Paul all have suitable Petrine links. Peter Philips' early Pavana (1580, from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book) is followed by Sweelinck's two variations on it. The celebration concludes with Mulet's great 'Tu es petra', one of the great French toccatas.