The “magnificent” organist duet with the station guard began with the national anthem



A renowned organist whose duet with a passing security guard at a London train station went viral has revealed the ‘beautiful’ musical moment lasted for hours and began with the new national anthem.

Anna Lapwood, director of music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, stopped to play the organ at London Bridge station on Sunday when she was approached by a security guard called Marcella, who revealed she was a classically trained singer.

The couple first performed the national anthem, God Save The King, then at Marcella’s request, Ms Lapwood launched into a rendition of Handel’s Lascia ch’io pianga.

Ms Lapwood, 27, told the PA news agency: ‘I just thought providing the musical accompaniment to people’s grief, even for five minutes, might be a positive thing.

“It was lovely because I think I played for about three hours in total at the end, which I hadn’t planned on at all.

“Sometimes it was just me and sometimes it was a really big crowd, like when Marcella was singing.

“And everyone joined in the national anthem at some point and it was a nice way to help people and give them what they needed at that time, even if they didn’t didn’t realize they needed it.”

Ms Lapwood posted a clip of her duet with Marcella on Twitter on Sunday night and the video quickly went viral, racking up more than three million views.

“Marcella told me she had some training in the past and was also a church organist,” Ms Lapwood said.

“She asked me if I knew this Handel song and coincidentally I had it on my iPad from a duet I did with someone else last week.

“That’s when you really heard his voice open up and come to life.

“People started clapping and it was so beautiful.”

Ms Lapwood is now trying to find Marcella in the hope that the success of the video will encourage her to perform again.

“People really seem to find it very moving and appreciate it,” she said.

“I was so happy for (Marcella) because I feel like she has such a beautiful voice and she’s clearly practiced in the past.

“I hope she sees how much people have loved and appreciated her, and that encourages her to maybe start singing again.”

Anna Lapwood (PA)

The Queen’s state funeral will take place on Monday, September 19.

For Ms Lapwood, being able to publicly pay tribute to the Queen, who died aged 96 on Thursday, was a way for her to process her grief.

“I think grief is such a personal thing and we’re all going through very personal grief right now, but for a very public figure,” Ms Lapwood said.

“I don’t think we know exactly what we should do or even how upset we should feel.

“I was in the train station, and I just saw all these people walking around with flowers and things like that, and you realize it’s really a very public thing.

“As musicians, we live our whole lives through the prism of music.

“So if we’re grieving, music is the thing we turn to.”

Rosie Brooks, 42, told the PA news agency she was walking through London Bridge station on her way to Borough Market at 2pm on Sunday when she heard music “on the other side of the concourse “.

Ms Brooks said ‘quite a lot of people were gathered at the end’ and the performers both seemed ‘totally engrossed in the music’.

“It was such an uplifting, much needed moment right now,” the music illustrator added.

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