The Organists

The Titular Organist and Choirmaster is Adv Deon Irish SC OSC BA LLB (UCT) LTCL (Perf), who was appointed organist of St Peter’s, Camps Bay in 1958, at the age of nine years. After completing his military service, he spent three years singing in the St George’s Cathedral Choir, then directed by Barry Smith, and was also tutored for the LTCL by Prof Shirley Gie. He succeeded Richard Cock as Organist and Choirmaster of St Michael’s on Advent Sunday of 1972, since which time he has expanded the choir’s repertoire considerably and also introduced the regular liturgical performances of orchestral masses. At the petition of the parish, he was awarded the title Titular Organist by the Bishop of Table Bay in 2002, both in recognition of his 30th anniversary as Organist as also to mark the donation by him to the parish of the 1907 Norman & Beard two manual organ aquired from Addington Palace, the pipework, keyboards and blower of which was used in the rebuilding of the parish’s existing two manual 1906 Norman & Beard. In 2011 he was made a Member of the Order of St Simon of Cyrene in recognition of his services to church music within the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

The Assistant Organist is Richard Haigh M Mus (SMU), B Mus (Gen), B Ed (Hons) (UCT), LTCL (Pno), LTCL (Org), LRSM, UPLM, who is Head of the Music Department at Wynberg Boys’ High School and also Director of Music of The Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town. Richard began organ lessons with Garmon Ashby at the Diocesan College at the age of 14 and was awarded the Claude Brown Organ Scholarship in 1996. After majoring in organ at UCT under Prof. Shirley Gie he was awarded a full scholarship to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he studied under Dr. Larry Palmer for a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance, which he obtained cum laude. During the next six years he held positions as Associate Organist of The Cathedral Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe, Sub-Organist and Choirmaster of The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Dallas and Organist and Choirmaster of Christ Episcopal Church Plano. Since his return to South Africa ten years ago, Richard has been actively involved in the musical life of the city, inter alia conducting the country’s largest high school symphony orchestra; a school choir of 150 pupils during his time at Westerford High School; and directing and training The Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town.
We welcome enquiries by visiting organists and organ enthusiasts and by persons interested in the work of the choir. In this regard, the organists are always pleased to meet visitors at the organ console after services. In addition, Deon can be contacted on 076 8864519 or by email at; and Richard on 072 695 2932 or by email at [email protected] .