Dorset Association of Organists


Subscription - Meetings - History - Publications


Hon. Secretary, Dorset Association of Organists
Nigel Webb
Tel: 01 929 553 375
Email: [email protected]

Membership benefits

The Dorset Association of Organists (DAO) welcomes all those with an interest in the pipe organ, its construction and its music whether or not they play the instrument themselves.

The Association usually holds nine meetings a year at various locations throughout Dorset. There are usually no meetings during August, December and January. The Annual General Meeting is held in late March.

The meetings cover a wide range of topics related to the organ and its music, as well as to choirs, and sometimes the role of music in the liturgy. There are visits to hear and play organs, talks and classes on playing the organ and on interpreting organ music, talks and demonstrations on organ building, maintenance and tuning, recitals by members and an occasional celebrity recital, an annual coach outing to a cathedral or similar major location, and social events including an annual dinner. From time to time there are sales of second hand music.

Members receive the Association’s own Newsletter four times a year. This contains details of the forthcoming meetings, IAO news, news about members, announcements including vacancies for organists, and a diary of local recitals and concerts.

The Dorset Association of Organists is affiliated to the Incorporated Association of Organists. This enables DAO members to participate in all IAO activities and entitles them to all the benefits and services provided by the IAO. DAO members can subscribe at a reduced rate to the IAO magazine Organists’ Review.

The Association is a Registered Charity No. 277303.



The subscription is £10 per year payable at the Annual Meeting.

A second member at the same address may join for a subscription of £5 per year.

For those under the age of 18 and students in full time education membership is free.

The annual subscription does not include a subscription to the Organists' Review.

To join the Association contact the Hon. Secretary.


Meetings 2013/14

(Full details available from the Hon. Secretary)
16th March 2013 Saturday 16th March 75th Annual General Meeting, at 3.00pm at St Andrew’s, Preston.
20th April 2013 Saturday 20th April 2012 at Gillingham Methodist Church, Gillingham at 2.00pm. 'The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll' - A screening of the new DVD made by Fugue State Films to be presented by Will Fraser. The DVD will be shown using the church's new large screen and projector along with a high quality surround sound system. Admission for IAO Association members is £7 (£10 for non-members) Tickets from Tel 07817 379006. Gillingham Methodist Church High Street, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4AG. See also
11th May 2013 Saturday 11th May Organ Crawl in the Sherborne area
8th June 2013 Saturday 8th June Visit to Shepton Mallet and Wells Cathedral
6th July 2013 Saturday 6th July St Laurence Church, Upwey at 2.30pm Bring and Play followed by cream tea.
September 2013 To be announced
12th October 2013 Saturday 12th October IAO Regional Organ Day Tewkesbury Abbey
16th November 2013 Saturday 16th November Annual Lunch at the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club, Studland
15th February 2014 Saturday 15th February Skittles match agains the Bournemouth Association at Bloxworth Village Club
15th March 2014 Saturday 15th March Annual General Meeting



The inaugural meeting of the Association was held on the 5th November 1937 in Weymouth when it was decided to form the Dorset Association of Organists . The early years of the Association were difficult and membership was very low during the war years but gradually membership grew and today stands at close to 100. Originally, the Association catered for an area from Poole in the east to the Dorset/Devon border in the west and northwards into the middle of the County. However, in recent years it has drawn members from the whole of Dorset and in 2406 the membership decided to change the name of the Association to the Dorset Association of Organists. The new name became effective from 1st January 2007. The Association has close links with neighbouring Associations and from time to time holds joint meetings. The catchment area of the Association is a predominantly rural and many of the members are organists of country town and village churches. However, some members do not play the organ at all and are purely interested in the instrument and its music.


Wellstead, J.B. (1987) South Dorset Organists' Association - 50 years: a history compiled from the records of the Association.

Thorning, M.R. & Webb, N.R. (1989) The Organs of South Dorset: an inventory of organs within the Association's area.

Webb, N.R., Wellstead, J.B. & Smith D.T. (eds) (1997) Diamond Jubilee Year Souvenir Book.

1997 Diamond Jubilee Music Collection. Nine pieces composed by Association members.*

* = currently out of print, second hand copies occasionally available

Top. Last updated: 1 March 2013. Page set up by Anthony Cairns. © South Dorset Organists' Association 2002.