The Girly Organist
Did you know that one of the only Female Organists in the country, occasionally plays at Liverpool Cathedral?
Her nickname 'The Girly Organist' came from her naturally girly aesthetic, something we don't often see in the organ world! Not only is she a brilliant organist, she is associate organist at Leeds Cathedral and Director of Music at Lancaster Priory.
Rebekah Okpoti, also known as 'The Girly Organist' actually only started playing the organ about 4 years ago! She started as a pianist and after being asked last minute to play the organ at a service she carried on practising and taking lessons.
Rebekah actually built her own pipe organ... she started on the one at her church but after wanting to be able to practice in private she made her 3 manual organ at home. However, she still likes to play hymns on Sundays at church like a normal organist. We asked 'The Girly Organist' her favourite thing to play on the organ to then learn that she does her own composing and her favourite piece to play is her own, both John Ruskin Organ Sonata and Anne Lister Organ Sonata are pieces she enjoys playing, her work is a more accessible style that can bring in a new audience rather than the traditional music we see being played on the organ.
As women only represent eight per cent of the organists listed on the main UK organ-recitals web page, we asked Rebekah why she thought it was so little?
She stated that the access points for getting into playing the organ are not there especially not for girls. It is not something that is put into kids' minds at all, she believes that church schools could be an easy access point to get a younger audience into playing the organ! That's why Rebekah has started doing an organ club for kids to join in, in hopes to get people involved.
Finally, we wanted to know something that people may not know about 'The Girly Organist'.
Although she is an incredible organist, her favourite music to listen too is actually K-Pop, House music and EDM!