Reworking of a musical classic by Alfie in honour of his late mum

A talented young musician has created a reworking of a famous piece of classical music in memory of his mother who died of brain cancer.

Alfie Beston, a church organist, saxophonist and aspiring composer from Chelsfield, Orpington, collaborated with more than 40 musicians as part of an ambitious project to reimagine Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.

After writing a new arrangement of the piece, the 17-year-old set out to find suitable musicians to play it and embarked on a two-year project to get each of the sections recorded, filmed and arranged into an incredible video he has now released to raise funds for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

Alfie’s support of the charity comes following the death of his mum, Sarah, to a highly aggressive type of brain tumour in July 2021.

Alfie, who got a music scholarship to Sevenoaks School in Kent and directs music at St John the Evangelist Church in Bromley, said: “I sent the parts remotely and most of the musicians sent back audio and video but sometimes I went to them or they came to me. I ended up with more than 150 audio tracks for this.”

He added: “I’m an organist so I wanted to reimagine a piece of organ music, but one with a famous melody people would know, which made Toccata and Fugue in D minor the obvious choice.

“There are different arrangements of the Toccata but I felt I could do something different, that pushed the boundaries of what’s possible, with a multitracked online collaboration.”

The finished product, Toccata, features solos from trumpeter Mike Lovatt, who has led the trumpet sections of the BBC Big Band, saxophonist Nigel Hitchcock, who has performed with artists including Tom Jones, Ray Charles and Robbie Williams, guitarist Gary Ryan, who is assistant head of strings at the Royal College of Music, and jazz soloist Sammy Mayne.


Alfie with sister Esme and mum Sarah (Picture: Alfie Beston)

TV and film composer Lester Barnes, who has been nominated for Oscar, BAFTA and EMMY awards, also helped Alfie with the audio for Toccata.

Alfie, who plays in a band with Lester and used to play lead sax for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra Academy’s big band, said: “I’m really happy with the final result, but, for me, most of the value lies in the process of making it because of the people I got to meet.”

The skilful teenager’s video of the collaboration has already raised more than £2,100 for Brain Tumour Research since being released on YouTube on February 22.

Sarah, a counsellor and geography teacher who taught at St Olave’s Grammar School in Orpington for 27 years, passed away 27 months after diagnosis, aged 48.

Alfie said: “Losing someone you love to brain cancer is awful and I know the key to improving the outcome for others in the future is research, which is why I support Brain Tumour Research.”

To support Alfie’s fundraising, please visit and to watch his video go to

Pictured top: Musician Alfie Beston (left) with TV and film composer Lester Barnes (Picture: Alfie Beston)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.