Higginson, Ian - Organ Sound Colours, Vol. 1



"Such is the author's natural musicianship and command of his instrument that one may defy any organist, on opening the volume, not to wish to play one or more of the pieces immediately" – The Organ, September 2020

A Versatile Collection of Contrasting Organ Pieces Suitable for all Occasions

Published by Parish Publications

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£ 20.00

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This is the first book in the new "Sound Colour Series", which seeks to explore a great deal of tonal variety and one which illustrates a wide range of instrumental and vocal music from the pen of this prolific composer.

Please do listen to the short sound clips below that have been selected to give you a taster! They are magnificently played by Jonathan Kingston, on a Viscount Envoy 35.


Trumpet Tune in G

Postlude on "Forty Days & Forty Nights"


Prelude on "There is a Green Hill Far Away"

Dance on B.A.C.H.

Prelude on "Drop, Drop Slow Tears"

Postlude on "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today"




Postlude on "Thine Be The Glory"

Sortie in Bb


"The young organist, having successfully accomplished Rinck's first three months (a not inconsiderable achievement in itself) may well wish to explore this eminently practical and highly attractive set of twelve original pieces by Ian Higginson – 'all occasions' are certainly covered in this fascinating and original set of short studies. Such is the author's natural musicianship and command of his instrument that one may defy any organist, on opening the volume, not to wish to play one or more of the pieces immediately – such are their inherent individual qualities.

"The presentation is excellent and this practical publication is strongly recommended – one or more could well form short recital 'encores'.

"Although some very well-known melodies are used for the basis of individual pieces in this collection, I found the most fascinating and compelling piece  to be Higginson's original 'Improvisation' – but it requires a finished technique from the performer."

– Robert Matthew-Walker, in The Organ, September 2020

"There is much that is attractive - catchy even - in this unashamedly tonal music. That Ian Higginson is an organist is obvious since these pieces fit well under the hands and feet, but (caveat emptor!) the standard is largely around Grade 7+.

"'Trumpet Tune' sets the standard in terms of craftsmanship and appeal. Though in G major rather than the usual D, it is typical of its genre. The central section is in Eb which, while hardly revolutionary, comes as a (not unpleasant) surprise. Many of the pieces are suitable as final voluntaries: 'Postlude on "40 Days & 40 Nights"', 'Processional', 'Postlude on "Jesus Christ is Risen Today"', 'Improvisation', and 'Postlude on "Thine be the Glory"'. They are characterised by vigorous rhythms, effective contrasts and a colourful harmonic vocabulary with an abundance of diatonic dissonances (7ths, 9ths) and occasional false relations. Each final chord includes a 6th or 9th in the manuals and a quint in the pedals. I suspect Dr Higginson's compositional process may involve improvisation and therefore the title of the 'Improvisation' seems ironic given the un-improvisatory nature of this rather grand march. The quieter pieces ('Prelude on "There is a Green Hill"', 'Prelude on "Drop, drop slow tears"') are easier than the louder numbers and could prove useful before a service. The two remaining compositions, 'Dance on B.A.C.H.' and 'Scherzo', are perhaps better suited to concert use. They are tricky little devils!

"I am glad to have made the acquaintance of this music and look forward to seeing what future volumes contain."

– Chris Maxim, in Organists' Review, December 2020

"The first volume of Organ Sound Colours contains a total of 12 new organ pieces by the composer Ian Higginson. The album itself is dedicated to Trevor Tipple, a recently retired organ builder, church organist and choirmaster in the Midlands. It contains works of varying difficulty and in different styles (contemplative chorales, trumpet tune, scherzo, sortie, etc.). There is plenty to explore here, with work suitable for church services and the concert platform. The edition itself has been well laid out, with an attractive cover. The price may seem a little steep at £20, but this is a collection that is worth investigating further."

– Richard Brasier, in Church Music Quarterly, December 2020

This publication is also featured in:

"Ian Higginson – A Versatile Musician" on Viscount Organs' website

 – ISM Music Journal, July/August 2020, p. 28

IAN HIGGINSON - Composer - Conductor - Organist - Music Teacher

Ian Higginson was born on the Wirral, Merseyside and moved to Gloucestershire in 1983. His positions have included Organist & Director of Music for the University of Gloucestershire, School Organist & tutor in piano and organ at St. Edward's School Cheltenham, Organist and Assistant Director of Music for the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and tutor in piano at Sir William Romney School, Tetbury.

In addition, Ian is also the conductor to one of Cheltenham's leading chamber Choirs - JUBILATE CHAMBER CHOIR, Cirencester Philharmonia, English Concertante Orchestra and Cotswold Camerata.

Ian is active as an organist, conductor, accompanist, examiner and music teacher. He is also in great demand as a composer and has written numerous choral, organ, vocal and instrumental works, which have been widely performed in the UK and in the USA. Some of Ian's vocal and instrumental works have also been chosen as set pieces at different grades for various UK Music examination boards.

Some of Ian's Christmas music has also been performed by both the RLPO orchestra and choir and the CBSO Orchestra and chorus in their annual Christmas concerts.

Publishers of Ian Higginson's music include: Boosey & Hawkes, Lorenz (USA), Cathedral Music, ABRSM Publishing, Trinity Publishing, St. James Music Press (USA) and Parish Publications.

REVIEWS of Ian Higginson's Music

"Ian Higginson is a composer who is not afraid to write a simple, unaffected melody that choirs will find grateful and rewarding to sing. Here is a series of publications well worth a look at: expertly crafted, imaginative, practical and within the scope of most choirs and organists."
- John Rutter

"I have been performing Ian Higginson's wonderful Christmas arrangements for a few years now, and I find them universally popular with choirs, orchestral players and audiences alike."
- Mark Lee, Organist & Director of Music at Bristol Cathedral

"Ian Higginson is a composer with a refreshingly approachable style, encompassing both rhythmic vitality and memorable melodic writing; above all, he is one of the few of his generation still unafraid of writing a good tune!"
- Ian Tracey, Organist to the City of Liverpool, Organist Titulaire of Liverpool Cathedral, Chorusmaster of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, Professor, Fellow & Organist of John Moores University

"Really well crafted and satisfying to play and enjoy - a very worthwhile addition to an organist's collection..."
- Jonathan Kingston

"For choir directors, Ian Higginson's choral music includes the best of all possible elements - melodies that are gracious and deliciously singable, musical craftsmanship and imagination that directors, singers and audiences alike will carry with them from any performance, and an understanding of what choirs are capable of. They are not to be missed!"
- The late Mark Schweizer, Former Conductor & Founder/Director of St James' Music Press, USA

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