A WELL-known name in the region's music circles has retired after 35 years at the Lancaster University organ console.

One of the country’s leading organists, highly respected recitalist Ian Hare was the first person to be appointed to the role.

A former lecturer in music and an honorary fellow at Lancaster University, Ian, who lives near Penrith, played for the last time at a recent university ceremony to install the new chancellor, the Rt Hon Alan Milburn.

He accompanied the Lancaster Singers, which he founded in 1975, in a rendition of his motet, the Lancaster University motto (Patet Omnibus Veritas – truth lies open to all) set to music.

Ian actually composed the choral work and first played it at the university’s 40th anniversary; it was also sung at Sir Chris Bonington’s installation in 2005.

He joined the exalted ranks of Lancaster University in 1974 when he was appointed lecturer in music. At his suggestion an organ was installed in the Great Hall on campus in 1979.

Ian has performed widely in Britain and abroad and at many of the major London venues, notably Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, the Temple Church and an appearance at the BBC Proms.

Also a composer, he specialises in choral and organ music, and has had a number of works performed and published in Britain and the USA. He has made several recordings, including broadcasts for radio and television, and organ CDs.

Ian is director of music at Crosthwaite Church, Keswick, directs Keswick Choral Society and was chorus master for Cumbria Rural Choirs for 25 years.

After founding the Lancaster Singers in 1975 he remained their musical director until 1989, conducting many choral works with orchestra and professional soloists.

From 1981 to 1989, Ian was organist and master of choristers at Cartmel Priory and then sub-organist at Carlisle Cathedral until 1995. He is now musical director of Carlisle Cathedral’s Carliol Choir.

Ian continues to work in musical education as an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, which includes visits to the Far East and countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Ian said that it had been a privilege and a challenge to work for Lancaster University since he was appointed by Professor Denis McCaldin in 1974. He added: "There have been many concerts and other occasions to remember with gratitude”.