Dr. Norman Coke-Jephcott was born in Coventry on 17 March 1893. He was educated at Bablake School and was awarded his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists in 1911. He was admitted Fellow of the American Guild of Organists in 1912. In 1945 he was admitted to the Fellowship in the Canadian College of Organists (honoris causa) and in the same year received the honorary degree of the D. Mus from Ripon College in the same year, and was made a Fellow of Trinity College, London in 1947.
Regarded by his colleagues as one of the world's greatest masters in organ improvisation, he had also to his credit over twenty published works, the most well-known being the "Bishops' Promendade" (1954) and the anthem, "Surely the Lord is in this place".
He served for 21 years as Organist and Master of the Choristers of the Cathedral of St, John the Divine in New York City (1932-1953).
"Bishops' Promenade", written the year after he retired from St. John the Divine, is said by some to have been a tongue-in-cheek "mocking" of an overly pompous bishop. Whether or not this is indeed the case, it is a spirited "tuba tune" that sounds great on a big organ in a large acoustic. it is No. 800 in the "St. Cecilia Series" published by H.W. Gray.
To show just HOW much "the Church" has changed, I've had several cathedral positions and served, I think, 5 bishops. NONE of them would fit the picture of this piece!
ALL of them, even the "traditional high church guys" wanted to be "an easy going pal," with as little ceremonial to them as possible.
Consequently, I DID play this once "for" the "palliest" of the lot...
Some serious Brahms coming later...