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Mander Organs

D Quentin Bellamy

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About D Quentin Bellamy

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  • Birthday 23/03/1962

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    Colwyn Bay, North Wales

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  1. Good news! The Welsh Government has lifted its ban on the use of pipe organs in churches..... The BBC website news is just reporting the ban this afternoon - 2 days after it has been lifted! Hey ho..... THE REPRESENTATIVE BODY OF THE CHURCH IN WALES CORONAVIRUS – COVID19 GUIDANCE ON MUSIC AND THE PLAYING OF CHURCH ORGANS From the 7th August 2020, Welsh Government has confirmed that church organs can now be played in churches as part of private prayer, marriages, funerals or worship activities. This note seeks to provide guidance on how this might be undertaken in a Covid-19 Safe manner. Overall Position Welsh Government guidance states that activities such as singing or chanting should not take place given the increased risk of infection from these activities. Recorded music may be appropriate as an alternative to hymn singing. Music should not be at a volume that makes normal conversations difficult. It is permissible for an individual to sing at a service where it is an essential part of that service. Such a singer should sing behind a plexi-glass screen to protect guests. Physical distancing should be observed at all times. It is possible for more than one individual to sing over the course of the service, but this should not be more than one at a particular time and there should be separate arrangements to protect from transmission e.g separate plexi screens or cleaning of screens between each use Welsh Government guidance also states that you should not play musical instruments that are physically blown into e.g wind or brass instruments. However, a pipe organ can now be played as part of a worship, funeral or wedding service. The decision to use an organ (which requires a limited quantity of air to pass through the mechanism) should be based on a risk assessment and adherence with social distancing, hand hygiene and cleaning guidance. The use of alternative instruments such as an electronic keyboard or recorded music should still be considered. A pipe organ may also be played for practice or maintenance purposes when the building is closed to the public. NB Whilst the organ can be played, the congregation cannot sing with it. The organ can accompany an individual singer as described above. Risk Assessment Approach MAC/PCCs, who wish now to have organs played during services, should draw up a written risk assessment for the activity. The risk assessment should cover the following issues: Physical Distancing A clear 2-metre distancing should be maintained between the organist and any other person. This might be demarked by floor tape and signage where the organ is accessible to service attendees. Signage on organ loft entrances should be considered. The organist should play alone i.e no page-turner or registrant should be present (unless a member of the organist’s household) It is advised that 2 metre distancing should be maintained between people and the organ itself. Whilst air movement from organs is minimal, this is safe precaution especially for certain instruments like pedal-powered harmoniums. Consider access routes to and from the organ or organ loft. Hygiene As for all other attendees at the church, sanitiser should be available at entry and exit points. It is advised to provide sanitiser specifically for the organist near to the organ or loft. It is sensible to ensure a break of 72 hours between different organists using the instrument. Music scores, books and sheets no scores to be left in situ following occupancy or shared unless a 72-hour break between use can be guaranteed. Hand sanitize before and after use. Cleaning The touched surfaces of the organ should be cleaned before and after use. Cleaning wipes can be used for this and bagged and disposed of carefully after use. Keyboards and stops are obvious points of contact but also consider handles, doors, handrails, organ seat and other areas around the organ which will be touched. Cleaning of the organ surfaces should sit alongside the Covid-19 cleaning regime of the wider church. 7th August 2020
  2. At the moment the situation in Wales is somewhat different in that the Welsh Government has banned the use of the pipe organ in church services in Wales! This is based on the amazing assumption that as a wind instrument the organ will spread the virus on the air. Of course that leaves us with the small problem of drafts from windows, central heating, and even opening the door to get into the church on a windy day! :-) I'm not aware of any clergy colleagues who have spoken out about this, but I've sent a message to all my friends in Wales to get on to their Welsh Senedd members to get the ban overturned and hopefully the sounds of the merry organ will return to our places of worship in Wales. Here is the content of my letter to our Senedd member - I am pleased to say that he responded in a most positive manner.... (see below) If there are any other folks on this forum (or if you know of anyone living in Wales) who would write to their Senedd member, I'm sure that would be a great help to us in getting this ridiculous ban overturned. Canon Q Along with many clergy and church musicians, I am a little bemused at the fact that the Welsh Senedd has apparently banned the use of pipe organs in churches. The explanation given for this is that as an organ is a wind instrument it may blow the Corona virus throughout the building. Frankly this is ridiculous and it has organists and church members up in arms – especially when (I’m fairly sure) no such restriction exists anywhere else in the world. Already the singing of hymns is forbidden in Christian worship right now (which is quite unbelievable), and it seems almost deliberate spite against Christians to say, “Oh and by the way you can’t use your church organs either”. Please could you find out for me if this bizarre ban on the organ will be lifted any time soon? Many thanks Quentin = = = = = = = = = = = Hello Quentin, Thank you for your email and for bringing this matter to my attention. The Welsh Government has instead issued guidance which prevents the use of church organs during worship. I can assure you that there has been no vote on this issue in the Senedd. I agree with you that the ban is extraordinary. Having checked both the UK Government and Scottish Government websites I can see that they have only restricted the use of wind instruments that require breath to be operated and that church organs are specifically permitted. I will raise this issue with the Welsh Government and report back to you.
  3. I remember Jennifer Bate coming to Colwyn Bay in the mid-1980s to give a recital on the Conacher/Cowin organ at St Paul's Church (and I guess having to give a recital on that organ would have been an ordeal for anyone). But... she certainly delighted and thrilled us all with her music that evening. Later on I purchased her Messiaen recordings from Beauvais Cathedral and one or two others. But now I think of it, I don't seem to have heard much about her in ages and ages. Was she still active in the organ world? There doesn't seem to be too much comment about one of our great organist recitalists. Just wondering....
  4. Just looking at the Sheffield organ, I see that it is a Phoenix rebuild of a Copemann Hart, but I'm not sure what has become of the Mander pipe organ, whether it is still there or gone. I noticed on the stop-list of the present instrument that the nomenclature of the stops seems to be a curious mix of French, German and English. For example I see that there are names in different languages for the several flutes in the organ. These include on the Great a Hohl Flute 8’ and in French (presumably) a Flûte Harmonique 8’. In the Swell there is a Rohr Flute at 8' and also a Flûte Traversière at 8’, whilst in the choir we have a Chimney Flute at 8’ and also a Bourdon at 8’. In the Solo there is a Harmonic Flute and a Concert Flute. And in the Pedal there’s a right old mixture of Franglais including a Montre and also a Soubasse both at 16’ whilst the 32’ rumble is a Sub Bass; this together with Flute 16, Bass Flute 8'. Flute 4' and Open Flute 2' - the mind boggleth!!! There are also German stop names as well. So this appears to be some kind of multi-lingual beast. Why all the different languages??? It looks as if the builders, or the consultant, or both, couldn't make their mind up what it was supposed to be. Without getting into a pipe versus electronic debate (which is verboten on this site), can it be said that this instrument (and I guess many others) is suffering from a severe identity crisis?
  5. As a very distinguished former organist of York Minster once told me, "One is in a constant battle with the mentality of 'if it works, change it'". :)
  6. Least of all Sir Christopher Wren..... 😎
  7. Now all we need is an alien organ scholar.... 😎
  8. Well I see the console is sold for the princely sum of £940. Hopefully if for a domestic setting the winning bidder will have observed this thread.... 😎
  9. Just out of idle curiosity, would the floor have to be strengthened? It looks a heavy brute.....
  10. I'd understood that Canterbury had a Hammond. So was that their second foray into electronics? See HERE
  11. And the next thing we need to know is which major organ building company or consultant apparently said that the organ was of no significant value - thus scuppering the Heritage Lottery application. This is such a tragic loss.
  12. A great pipe organ trashed... Richard Hills at the Wolverhampton Compton
  13. I was so sorry to read this news, and after having had a chat with his successor, Ian Tracey, I have some further information to share about Noel. NOEL RAWSTHORNE (1929-2019) Noel Rawsthorne passed away peacefully in the early hours of Monday 28th January, aged 89 years. He was Organist of Liverpool Cathedral for twenty-five years from 1955-1980, thereafter being succeeded by his pupil and Assistant, Ian Tracey, the current post-holder, and being given the honorific title of Organist Emeritus. After study at the Royal Manchester College of Music (now The Royal Northern College of Music), he won scholarships to study with both Germani & Dupré. From 1980-1984 he was City Organist & Artistic Director at St. George's Hall, Liverpool, and travelled widely as a recitalist in U.K. Europe and USSR. In recognition of his many achievements, he was awarded a D.Mus from the University of Liverpool in 1994. Chrissie & Chris Rawsthorne and Liz, his wife, have requested a very private cremation, followed by a great service of thanksgiving and celebration at the Cathedral on Sunday 3rd March at 3.00pm, to which all are invited. Noel's ashes will then be interred under the North side of the organ, alongside those of Goss-Custard, his teacher and predecessor, during Evensong on Saturday 19th October, preceding the 93rd Anniversary Recital. ==== On a personal note, I'd like to express my sincere condolences to Ian on this loss of one his great mentors. I have always enjoyed to hear Ian regaling his recital audiences with tales of Noel's adventures, and I know that he will be hugely missed.
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