A SPECIAL recital is set to take place in Christchurch to launch the biography of a long-term Priory organist.

Talented musician Geoffrey Tristram was organist and master of choristers of the Priory for 30 years until his untimely death in 1979 at the age of 61.

Professor David Baker’s book ‘Geoffrey Tristram: A Very British Organist’ contains more than 350 pages with more than 80 illustrations celebrating and reflecting on the Geoffrey’s incredible exploits, as well as a CD of previously unreleased recordings.

The author is director of the Halifax Organ and Choral Academy.

Geoffrey moved to the south coast in the 1940s and was organist of All Saint’s Church in Southbourne before taking the role at the Priory in 1949.

He had singular success in the ancient borough as a director, teacher accompanist and recitalist.

During a speech in the 1970s he said he had played 4,500 services, 2,300 weddings, listened to 4,000 sermons, and played in the region of 17,576 hymns and given some 400 recitals and more 100 broadcasts.

The recital to mark the book launch is free to attend at the Priory from 5.30pm on Thursday, August 4, with books available to buy on the evening from the Priory shop.

The book will stay on sale at the Priory shop and can also be purchased on Amazon without the CD included.