Organist gets on her bike to raise money for church

Elise Crean and Dessie Moorcroft
Elise Crean and Dessie Moorcroft

A church organist from Armagh is donning her leathers in a unique attempt to play 12 concerts on 12 cathedral organs across Northern Ireland in one day.

Musician and biker Elise Crean will be helped to reach the 12-venue, 270-mile dash scheduled for July 21 on a powerful motorcycle piloted by her husband Dessie Moorcroft.

Bike enthusiast Elise who is the resident organist in First Armagh Presbyterian Church says she is aiming to raise money towards the £70,000 required to rebuild the church’s historic organ.

“This may be the first time a church organist has been seen in motorcycle gear and I am hoping that a combination of curiosity and generosity will help generate audiences for each concert,” she said. “Each stop will be exactly 30 minutes long. We have to stick very strictly to the schedule so that we can complete the round trip through each of the six counties on time.”

Elise will be playing a programme of favourites from across the centuries including Purcell’s Trumpet Tune, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Elgar’s Nimrod (from Enigma Variations) and Karg-Elert’s Nun danket alle Gott. Each concert will also feature an organ and bagpipe duet of Highland Cathedral.