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Ronald Watson

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Music for Brass Band


Organ Music with Hand Bells


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Music for Brass Band


Northumbrian Rhapsody Come you not from Newcastle -
My Bonny Lad -
The Keel Row -
Bobby Shaftoe

Please note pricing for this item:
Printed score and parts £80.00
Score and parts delivered via PDF for self printing £40.00

PDF of Score Free on Request




At your service (A/B) £8.00

Four hymn tune preludes for the progressive organist

All things bright and beautiful – Adoro Te – Jesu lover of my soul – Immortal invisible.

These are highly attractive reflective pieces which any working organist will find  immediately useful.

Badinage £6.00

A cheerful divertissement.

In the Mode £8.00

A set of short attractive easy pieces in each of the modes for manuals only (pedal optional)

Four a Penny £10.00

The four ear-tingling pieces in Ronald's latest work are Sinfonia, Tarentella, Umore Contrastante and Festivo.  They would make excellent material for a recital, but are probably too good for use as voluntaries.

Pastorale £5.00

An attractive and approachable piece written for the Spanish organist Pilar Cabrera.

Excursion £7.50

A moderately taxing recital work written for Gillian Ward Russell.

Eucharistia (C/D) £7.00

Ron here comes up with another really fine work. In ABA form it comprises a sparkling opening and closing section which is contrasted with slower music of haunting beauty (and this is not an epithet you find us over-using). This is top quality ‘feel-good’ music and we feel privileged to have it in our lists.

Suite for Mrs Thing

Trumpet March - Song - Jig - Rag - Toccatina


The Suite for Mrs Thing originated it was felt that there was a great need for good organ music suitable for voluntaries that, without making too many musical concessions, could be played by students and reluctant organists everywhere (and of course Sunday morning buskers) - the sort of music that could be played by ‘Mrs Thing from the village’. 

This is high quality music that is fresh and characteristic, but very straightforward, approachable and playable.

Mrs Thing’s Christmas Stocking (A/B)

Noël, Cradle Song, Lullay lulla, Page and Monarch


The earlier ‘Suite for Mrs. Thing’ (see below) has been a rip-roaring Fagus best seller.  She now indulges the congregation in these toothsome Christmas morsels.  Like the Suite, this music is almost essential for both the working organist and the student.  It is practical and contemporary but tuneful and approachable.

Mrs Thing's Easter Egg(A/B)



We nearly called this suite ‘Mrs Thing lays an Egg on the Altar’, but some might not think this joke suitable (or even ‘get’ it).  Anyway we certainly started something with our fanciful creation who now has a complete persona, and whose taste and requirements for Sunday organ music have proved extraordinarily popular - consistently big sellers in our lists.  The reason is clear.  Ron Watson already has a great following amongst skilled players, and applying his musical values in much simpler style creates music which is especially appealing to those whom our American friends call Reluctants (no sexism over there, you see).  Anyway, following the first Mrs Thing ‘Suite’ (for general use) came ‘Mrs Thing’s Christmas Socking’ (still of course available), and now here we have a collection of four pieces for Lent and Easter - ‘Lowly Pomp’, ‘An Upper Room’, ‘The Green Hill’ and ‘Happy Easter!’ All of which are worthy additions to the continuing series

Mrs Thing Puts Her Feet Up (A/B)




For manuals only (ad lib pedal)

Fanfare – Lilting – Quiet Interlude – In Five – Final Flourish

Mrs Things has by now begun to master the organ properly but she is very busy and can’t go down to the church as much as she would like to practice.  With these delightful pieces she can ‘get them up’ on the piano, and, if she is feeling ambitious, add a touch of pedal where appropriate.


Variations on the St Anthony Chorale (A/B)

 For right hand and right foot  (mostly) or manuals


Brahms’s famous theme here has 6 new variations which been written for a friend who has suffered a stroke depriving him of the use of his left side.  However the work can be very successfully played on manuals alone.

The War March of the Priests (B) £5.00

Mendelssohn’s famous processional is here given in an effective and playable arrangement.  Your publisher played, last year, an inferior arrangement of this piece for a service involving the Aberdeen Presbytery (i.e. all the local ministers).  No one noticed, so no one minded, and the organist enjoyed a quiet smirk.  So this version will doubtless find its uses elsewhere as well.

Three Handel Hymn Tune Voluntaries (B/C) £8.00

Maccabaeus - Solomon - Gopsal (Prelude Fugue and Carillon)

Entitled ‘Three Handel Hymn Tune Preludes’ this suite was originally issued by Oecumuse in 1984 and re-issued in a computer-set version in 1997. Now, in honour of Handel’s anniversary, they have re-processed in Sibelius with more accommodating page turns and in a way that can now be read and played back on our website. The minor change of title is on account of the fact that no 3 is rather more ambitious than would be implied by the term ‘Prelude’. A little more astringent than Ron’s later work the music is, as ever, imaginative and well-wrought. And did you know that Gopsal will go into a pretty convincing canon (as in the Carillon here) ?

Maldon Suite (C) £8.00
Tranquillo - Hornpipe - Sea Mist - In Memoriam Edward Bright - Carnival

Inscribed to Gillian Ward Russell who has been a good champion of Ron’s music, this Suite was specifically requested by the dedicatee for occasions when she plays on more modest instruments in smaller churches. Thus this music would be suitable for the recitalist who is faced with similar circumstances. Hence the registration is never demanding and all of the pieces would come off on a standard two manual.  The style is absolutely characteristic of the composer and for example, while not in the least way trivial, ‘Carnival’ contains some of the happiest music in our catalogue.

Kum Ba’yah (B+) £5.00
A Verse by Verse Meditation

This piece was commissioned by Nicky Dunnett in support of the Norwich Cathedral Choir's Tour Fund for their trip to the USA October 2006.  Each section of the work interprets in Ron’s own personal style the words of a modern hymn that has become popular.  It is not too difficult and the music is, as one would expect, mildly piquant.

Ninety Bars (B)  £3.00

 Written to celebrate the 90th birthday (get it?) of a doyen of English cathedral organists, Dr Francis Jackson, this charming scherzo-like movement is based on the hymn tune ‘York’, the city where Dr Jackson has spent most of his distinguished career.  The piece is full of the composer’s customary wit and charm.

Festivo (C)  £7.00

This piece was commissioned by the Chelmsford and District Organists Association to mark their 60th Anniversary, and is scheduled for its first performance in Chelmsford Cathedral on 4th June 2010 by Gillian Ward Russell.

It is appropriately celebratory in manner in the familiar idiom that seems to come so easily to the composer

Adagio from Eucharista (A+)  £3.00
This piece is extracted from the longer and far more difficult work written in honour of the well-known Tees-side organist, Alan Barber.  The outer Toccata-like sections are quite taxing but the quieter reflective middle section is not.  At its first performance listeners were so entranced by it that Ron has decided to make available this middle section as a separate piece.  My own reaction on receiving the original submission was one of regret that though this section is indeed particularly memorable, the whole work was technically quite beyond me !  So I was very pleased to accept Ron’s suggestion.  The music is now in F major (not F# !) And the ending has been adjusted to form a conclusion.  Happy nostalgia is the mood evoked very effectively here.

Elegy (B) 
in Memoriam Herbert Howells

Ron considers this one of his best pieces; it was originally published by Oecumuse, and then reissued by Fagus as a reprint. It has now be re-set and re-formatted and comes on 4 sheets of card (and at a reduction of £2.00 in price!)

The quietly reflective music alludes to Howells best known tune ‘Michael’.

St Wilfrid Suite (B/C)
Intrada - Musette - Trumpet Tune - Celtic Song - Toccatina

Happy Birthday Herr Bach (B)



These titles were very popular in their Oecumuse days and have been available from Fagus since 2004. Here, the composer has completed a newly reset computer edition, which means that the price can be reduced and also that the music is available as a pdf. We are aware that there can be few of the old brigade who do not have a copy of HBHB but there are always the newcomers. Not many people know that the tune ‘Happy Birthday to You’ is still in copyright and we have to pay a royalty for its use. (We understand that two elderly relatives of the original composer living in USA have a good living on the proceeds.)

Three Interludes on Plainsong Tunes (B+)
Reflections on ‘Beata Jerusalem’ - Royal Banners - Stars and Light

This suite is based on well-known plainsong tunes and was written at the behest of a Fagus customer and enthusiast for Ron’s engaging music. As usual it is playable and interesting.

Theme and Variations (B/C) £7.00

Does what it says on the cover, ‘grave or gay’, or rather, alternately gently pungent or delightfully sparkling, the master keeps everyone fully entertained.

Fantasia on ‘Kingsfold’ (B+) £6.00

This new piece is classified as a recital piece, since it is clearly more suited for this purpose. The audience will enjoy these imaginative variations on a very familiar tune.

Kerstin's Tune (B) £4.00

This lovely piece has an interesting provenance. Roger Tanner is an organist who lives in Sweden and who has a particular regard for Ron’s music. When he sadly lost his wife, Kerstin, he asked Ron to write something in her memory. In the event Ron came up with this masterpiece - which, inter alia, proves that music can express the inexpressible, in this case, happiness remembered in sadness.

Kerstin was a violinist and one of her favourite pieces was the lovely ‘Vaggsång’ (Cradle Song) for violin and piano by Tor Aulin (d.1914). (Aulin was a friend of Strindberg’s and a cousin of Kerstin’s maternal grandfather.) ‘Kerstin’s Tune’ incorporates melodic fragments of this work, which can be heard on YouTube

Resurgat (C) £6.00

Ron’s sparkling new piece was written for Harry Macey and the newly restored organ in St Michael and All Angels, Aylsham. There is much variety within its 8 pages and you will need to be pretty nifty with your feet for much of the time, though it will all work out with practice.

Fantasia on 'Rendez à Dieu' (C) £7.00

This piece was first issued in September 2016 but Ron felt that it was unnecessarily difficult in some places. So this issue is a revision that merits its ‘C’ rating in the hopes that it may be found attractive to more moderate players.


Tranquillo (B)



Ron has here responded to a request for something relatively easy. The music is relaxed and charming.

Dancing Rain (B)



The composer’s note states that the celebrated organist and teacher Gillian Ward Russell has designed a programme of organ pieces aimed at introducing children to the organ. She asked him for a piece which might appeal to children and illustrate how the organ works, also there had to be some fancy pedalling. So he came up with this piece which she - and we -think fills her brief very well.


For the Fallen (B)



Ron’s note is as follows: The Great War ended in 1918, one hundred years ago, and as it touched the lives of so many families, including my own, I felt that I had to write something this year which might possibly be used during an Act of Remembrance.ell.


Meditation on 'East Acklam' (B)



Fred Pratt Green considered Francis Jackson’s ‘East Acklam’ to be the best new hymn tune of the second half of the 20th century, and for it he wrote the equally fine text 'For the Fruits of His Creation', a hymn which has found its way into most new collections. At Fred’s funeral Ron extemporised on the tune and this became the basis of this quiet and highly effective voluntary. First published by Escorial Edition in 2000 it has now been newly edited and re-set.

Please see below for this piece’s inclusion in a composite volume.

There is a YouTube performance of this piece available in that section of the Web site.


Rievaulx (D)



1 In which the monks descend into the valley and sing a hymn
1I In which the Abbey is builded
III In which the Abbey is abandoned and falls into ruin
IV A glorious ruin with ghosts

Ron says of this piece:
‘This piece was written in response to a commission by Kevin Bowyer to five composers on the theme of abbeys. As a Yorkshireman I was spoiled for choice as to which abbey to choose but settled for Rievaulx because of its particularly beautiful setting. I envisaged four phases in the story of the abbey, the choice of the site by the monks, the construction of the magnificent church followed by the destruction and falling into decay of the buildings and finally the ruins as they stand today, Rievaulx is a place of peace and beauty, where the history is encapsulated in the very stones and the sense of worship is palpable’.
First published by Escorial Edition in 2000 it has now been newly edited and re-set. There is a YouTube performance of this piece available in that section of the Web site.



Sonatina (D)



Fanfare - Toccata, Aria, Capriccio

Commissioned by Bryan Ellum for a recital in Cromer Parish Church in June 2001 this sparkling three -movement work will delight recitalists and listeners alike.

Again, first published by Escorial Edition in 2001 it has now been newly edited and re-set. There is a splendid YouTube performance of this piece by Davis Dunnett available in that section of the Web site



Triptych for F J (B)



Ninety Bars – Reflets – East Acklam

This volume brings together three pieces written on honour of Francis Jackson, long-time organist of York Minster. The first two celebrate his 90th and 100th birthdays, the third, his most famous hymn tune.
These are pieces of the utmost charm and affection.  There is a YouTube performance of this piece available in that section of the Web site.

Organ Music with Hand Bells

 Peal Away (A/B)


All right  - an odd one this, but it will prove invaluable if you have a Hand-Bell Choir in your church.  The music comes complete with a separate part for the bells which you can photocopy without further charge.



A Village Evensong Completer service including responses, canticles and Lord's Prayer for SAB.

£3.95 for one copy

£2.95ea for 5 and over

Straightforward tuneful music for the developing choir.

The Dereham Service For SATB and Organ

£3.00 for one copy

£2.00 each for 5 and over


An attractive and manageable setting of the evening canticles.


A New Year Carol (Sing levy dew) SAB (mostly)

£1.50 for one copy

£1.00 each for 5 and over

When most of them have gone off skiing or seeing granny or are merely getting over their hangovers, this simple piece will be a godsend.

Harvest Introit  (SAB)

£1.50 for one copy

£1.00 each for 5 and over

Tuneful, entertaining and useful

Voces Angelorum (B-C)  (Variants on the tune 'Angel Voices' by E G Monk (1819 - 1900)
for S Solo SATB and Organ

£4.00 for one copy

£3.00 each for 5 and over


Written in honour of the 70th birthday of Ron’s friend, Gordon Barker, this piece was first performed in Canterbury Cathedral by the choir under the direction of David Flood on 22 May 2007.  Who would not have liked to have been there !  This is an inventive working of a favourite hymn with its splendid tune.  The voices parts are easier than the organ part which demands a competent player.


The Little Girls of Bethlehem  (A)
(A Carol of the Holy Innocents)

£2.00 for one copy

£1.50 each for 5 and over


A rather sad and reflective carol for use in the days after Christmas.



Parish Communion (A) Unison Voices and Organ

£2.00 for one copy

£1.50 each for 5 and over


This setting ot the Communion liturgy has just been written for the congregation of St. Nicholas Church, Wells-next-the-Sea, and is further evidence of Ron’s supreme gift of being able to write good, simple, tunefeul music which is totally apt for its purpose.



The Preces, Responses and Lord's Prayer (B) Treble Voices and Organ

£3.00 each

Minimum order 10 copies


Written for Lee Dunleavy and the boys of All Saints Church Northampton, this issue fills an acknowledged gap in the market. The writing is piquant, interesting, and will be found extremely effective.



If there is to be peace(A/B)  



We have reformatted this former Oecumuse publication for the Web site. It is a but telling setting of an ancient Chinese text, which will be superbly effective in the context of any Remembrance Sunday.



Everybody sang (SATB div.)(C)



A setting of a poem by Siegfried Sassoon used by kind permission of the Estate of George Sassoon.






Refurbished Choral Items

The following items, formerly to be found in our ex-Oecumuse catalogue, have been revised and newly computer-set in honour of Ron’s 80th birthday.

A Grace (SATB)(B)


Ding dong merrily on high (SATB) (B+) £1.50
He who would valiant be (SATB div. + organ) (C) £2.50
My beloved spake (SATB div.) (C) £1.50
Swing low, sweet chariot (SATB) (B+) £1.00
Wedding blessing (SATB + Organ) (B+) £1.50






Reflets (B)



Ron has penned this brief piano piece as a further tribute to Francis Jackson, the hugely well-known and loved former organist of York Minster, on the occasion of his 100th birthday.





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Last updated: 03 March 2024