Francis Jackson

Happy 100th birthday on Monday 2nd October.......
this is our tribute in music and photographs


Francis Jackson compositions
          

Francis Jackson playing on the first recording of his Fanfare in 1956 which he composed earlier that year.

Born in 1917, Francis Jackson, a native of Malton, Yorkshire, was a chorister at York Minster from 1929 to 1933. He was a pupil of Sir Edward Bairstow, organist of York Minster, and gained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists in 1937.

The same year he graduated Bachelor of Music at Durham University, attaining the doctorate there in 1957. He was organist of Malton Parish Church at the age of sixteen, and succeeded Bairstow at York Minster in 1946. 
Francis Jackson has given recitals all over the world, and has made records both with York Minster Choir and of organ music. He has written extensively for the Church, and his output includes anthems, organ solos, organ sonatas, monodramas, a concerto, a symphony & some solo songs. 

In 1978 he was appointed OBE in the New Year Honours. On retiring from York Minster in 1982 he received the Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music, the Doctorate of York University anf the Order of Saint William of York.

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Sir Edward Bairstow at York Minster, 1913-1946

Francis Jackson, Minster chorister  :  1929-1933 

Francis Jackson at York Minister, 1946-1982. 
Taken shortly after his appointment in 1946.

Francis's first year in the choir, 1929

Private 78rpm records from two of York's finest solo choristers  : 1950-1952

​Roy Bean :  front row, 3rd from right.
Beverley Jones : front row, 4th from right

Handel,  'I know that my redeemer liveth'
sung by Beverley Jones, Head Chorister
Francis Jackson, organ 
Eboracum privately pressed78rpm,  1950

Boyce, 'The gentiles shall come'
sung by Roy Bean, Head Chorister
Francis Jackson, organ 
Privately pressed 78rpm record,  1952

Boyce, 'Tell me lovely shepherd'
sung by Roy Bean, Head Chorister
Francis Jackson, piano 
EMI private 78rpm pressing,  1952

Greene, 'The sun shall be no more'
sung by Roy Bean, Head Chorister
Francis Jackson, organ 
EMI private 78rpm pressing,  1952

First commercial recording of the choir under Francis Jackson  :  1950

Bairstow 'Let all mortal flesh'
Columbia records,  1950

Photo gallery : 1950s

Chorister fitness training...old style!   ​1951

Crocodile from school to cathedral,  1951

Classroom, 1951

BBC Choral Evensong broadcasts from York Minster

10 July 1974

26 September 1979

Photo gallery : 1950s

Rehearsing in the Song School, 1951  

1952

Christmas Party Magic Lantern Show, 1957

​Roy Bean :  front row, 3rd from right.
Beverley Jones : front row, 4th from right

Radio documentaries

Britain's Cathedral and their Music
​introduced by Sir John Betjeman

BBC Radio broadcast, 1966

'Seeds of Faith' 

Stephen Oliver meets the former master of the music at York Minster, to reflect on life between the twin poles of splendour and silence. 

​BBC radio broadcast, 1993

Photo gallery : 1960s

Rehearsing in the Song School, 1961

Recording a BBC 'Songs of Praise' broadcast, 1965

Rugby team, 1965

The choral works of Francis Jackson

Evening Canticles in G
St Albans Cathedral directed by Barry Rose

From a BBC Choral Evensong broadcast in 1991 and donated for this tribute by Barry Rose

'Blow ye the trumpet in Zion'
Choir of York Minster, directed by Francis Jackson
organ, Ronald Perrin - treble solo, Robin Walker

BBC Radio broadcast, 1966

'Kyrie' from Communion Service in G
Choir of York Minster, directed by Francis Jackson

Private recording made during a service, 1971

'Sing Praise to God'
Choir of York Minster, directed by Francis Jackson

Private recording, 1970

'Faster than Fairies' - A secular song
Francis Jackson, piano
Gordon Pullin, tenor soloist

Private recording 1956

'May Thy Holy Angels, O God'
Choir of York Minster, directed by Francis Jackson

Private recording, 1970

Photo gallery : 1960s

Francis Jackson & Ronald Perrin.  This photo was used on the sleeve of the EP issued in 1966, which was the first commerical recording since the 78rpm records of 1950-52

Rehearsal in the Song School, 1967

Headmaster Bevan Wardrobe and Francis Jackson, 1968

Organist & Orchestral Composer  

Bach, Prelude & Fugue in G

from a BBC radio broadcast,  1966

A lost compostion
Variations on a theme by Vaughan Williams (Mantegna)” 1961

During an edition of “Today in the North” broadcast on BBC radio Herbert Smith went up to the organ loft in York Minster to interview Francis Jackson about his new orchestral work, which was about to be premièred in the minster, and listened to Dr Jackson playing the theme of the work on the minster organ. The subsequent broadcast of the concert is included here, but the work has never been recorded commercially and the score is now lost.

Dr Jackson’s piece was commissioned by Iris Lemare and first performed at York Minster by the Lemare Orchestra, under the baton of the composer

Photo gallery : 1970s

Returning from evensong, 1971

Carol Service, 1971

1972

Photo gallery : 1980s

Choristers on Aachen tour, 1981

Final formal photograph taken with
choir & chapter, 1982

Celebration concert on  his retirement, 1982