5 March 2015 10:50

A musician who has consistently hit the top notes is to retire after 35 years at the Lancaster University organ console.

One of the country’s leading organists, recitalist Ian Hare was the first person to be appointed to this role.

A former Lecturer in Music and an Honorary Fellow at Lancaster University, Ian, who lives near Penrith, played for the last time at a University ceremony on March 4 when the new Chancellor, the Rt Hon Alan Milburn, was installed.

He accompanied the Lancaster Singers, which he founded in 1975, in a rendition of his motet, the Lancaster University motto (Patet Omnibus Veritas – truth lies open to all) set to music.

Ian actually composed the choral work and first played it at the University’s 40th anniversary and it was sung at Sir Chris Bonington’s Installation in 2005.

He came to Lancaster University in 1974 when he was appointed Lecturer in Music. At his suggestion an organ was installed in the Great Hall on campus in 1979.

He has performed widely in Britain and abroad and at many of the major London venues, notably Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Temple Church and an appearance at the BBC Proms.

Also a composer, Ian specialises in choral and organ music, and has had a number of works performed and published in Britain and the USA. He has made several recordings, including broadcasts for radio and television, and organ CDs.

He is the Director of Music at Crosthwaite Church, Keswick, in the Lake District, directs the Keswick Choral Society and was Chorus Master of Cumbria Rural Choirs for 25 years.

After founding the Lancaster Singers in 1975 he remained their Musical Director until 1989, conducting many choral works with orchestra and professional soloists.

From 1981 to 1989 he was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Cartmel Priory and then Sub-Organist at Carlisle Cathedral until 1995. He is now Musical Director of Carlisle Cathedral’s Carliol Choir.

Ian continues to work in musical education as an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, including visits to Far Eastern countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Ian said: “It has been a privilege and a challenge to work for Lancaster University for 40 years since my appointment in 1974 by Professor Denis McCaldin having previously been an organ scholar at King’s College Cambridge. There have been many concerts and other occasions to remember with gratitude.”