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Everything posted by madorganist

  1. Coming from an Anglican background, where the organist drew up music lists on a quarterly basis, I found it quite a shock when I moved over to a Methodist Church. I’m lucky to get 48 hours notice of the hymns. This causes a number of frustrations. Its difficult to prepare appropriate choir anthems as many of our preachers refuse to follow lectionary themes, so we have to maintain a repertoire of theme neutral anthems. Also, it means that we have a significantly reduced variety of hymns – they all like to choose their favourites. Some of the preachers will make changes if I point out that we have had a particular hymn within the last week or two. Most wont! And one in particular will insist on providing hymns and tunes that are totally unknown to the Church or choir
  2. This really annoys me. Not only are the hymn numbers printed on the order of service, they are also displayed on multiple hymn boards. Then there is the is the question of consistency, sometimes it’s the hymn number followed by the first line, and sometimes any number of lines (whole verse), comments about the author (never composer – wonder why?) and then the number again. These days if they pause for too long I just start playing. Unwritten passing notes are another irritation. I could go on and on and on. Perhaps there is a TV series lurking here, “ Grumpy (Old) Organists”.
  3. I think it could be something to do with closet megalomania. Like JSB, I enjoy testing an organs lungs, and given half a chance, would love to have a thrash on a steam engine. Perhaps the UN would have had better results in Iraq had they sent in an army of organists and steam enthusiasts. The steam engines would all be running again, and the militants could all chill out to the sounds of the merry organ (and steam whistles). I understand that there are a number of steam engines located near to Baghdad, including a British built 8F. I’ll get my anorak.
  4. I’m Robin Stalker, organist of the Centrepiece Church in Ashford Kent. (http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D03036) It was one my aunts that described me as a “mad organist”, hence my use as a pseudonym. These days I think I would best be described as a “mildly irritated organist”. I had organ lessons from Philip Moore (no, not that one) and managed to pass my Grade 8. Sadly transposition still has me totally bewildered. Best organ fun? Easy, being let loose in Coventry Cathedral after hours. It seemed only right and proper to test full organ………repeatedly! Running a very close second is the time I played “ There’s No Business Like Show Business” arranged for organ quartet. I played the pipe organ and was joined by three toasters from the local organ club. After many years working in finance I am currently resting. It’s nice to be able to devote more time to photography and steam railways. Robin
  5. Black leather! I thought I’d seen it all, I think I have now. And for the curious, think Harley Davidson rather than dominatrix. I had to stop playing before the service, I couldn't hear full organ against the multitude of "mean machines" in the car park. It turned out to be only two "mean machines", but never the less the organ lost!
  6. This is what I got from Thanet Leisure Force, the people that run the Town Hall on behalf of Dover District Council "Further to your request I can confirm that the organ is still on site as it was when Thanet Leisureforce took over the operation of the Dover Town Hall back in November 2003. I have made enquiries as to the approx cost to have it repaired / restored which is in the region of £200k. This sum of money could not be justified commercially for us to consider but in my opinion could form part of a Cultural bid for Lottery money – should DDC wish to pursue. Dover Choral Society have show interest in the past in backing a bid for money but to date no real action has taken place. I hopes this answers your questions and do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further assistance
  7. I emailed them this morning - no reply as yet. I cant believe that the organ could have been scrapped without someone picking up on it
  8. I thought it was more a case of silenced pending a huge pile of cash.
  9. How about Franz Schmidt’s Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln – that has quite a big organ part – and a rather nice Hallelujah chorus
  10. Any idea of what he's playing? Couldn't see anything on the cathedral web site
  11. More or less the same here - I gave up halfway through the Mag. I'm sure the singers are very talented - its just that to me, they didn't sound entirely at home with the music.
  12. Could be quite entertaining! Slip on some Jim Morrison "C'mon baby light my fire" and enjoy the results!
  13. Contact you local diocesan arsonist.
  14. World Praise – edited by David Peacock and Geoff Weaver Published by Harper Collins ISBN 0 551 04001 7 Contains 84 items from all over the world
  15. I fully sympathise with your position. In the last 15 years my own choir has gone from singing a fairly traditional Anglican repertoire to a largely unison based diet. This is directly attributable to death – I kid you not! On the positive side, we have gained a few youngsters who sing very nicely, the problem is with the parents and the almost constant stream of shopping trips et al. We also have the dubious please of an “enthusiastic groaner” in the back row! From time to time I do feel like giving it all up, but I am buoyed up by the favourable comments from visitors to the church – we are now the only church in our circuit that has a choir and a “proper organist”. One book that has proved to be worth its weight in gold is “World Praise”. I freely admit that that the title brings up the nightmarish vision of Songs of Fellowship” and such like, but if you can get beyond that you may find it very valuable. The music is truly international and most of it is easily singable in unison, or with a bit of harmony for the more adventurous. It’s worth a look. If you want more information let me know, I can’t tell you much more about publishers etc, as I don’t have a copy at home
  16. NOOOOOOOO, spare me from Blaenwern. When I played at a CofE church it made a nice change, but now that I reside in Methodist land its all they ever want to sing! I've played Love Divine to Fairest Isle a few times - confuses the heck out of them!
  17. At my previous Church , Evensong was being taken by an elderly retired priest. Time and events had obviously passed him by, consequently we prayed for the King!
  18. Had a reply from my MP Damian Green today. An early day motion has been put forward to discuss/debate this issue (EDM 1827). The wording of the motions and the names of the MP's that have signed it can be found here http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails....301&SESSION=875 And I quote from his letter: "I am delighted to see that as a result of Conservative pressure the DTI Minister, Alun Michael MP, has now promised that church organs will be excluded from the directive. I assure you that we will continue to push the Government to ensure that this exemption is granted. I sincerely hope the Government will take the opportunity to prevent the huge amount of damage this directive could cause to the Pipe Organ industry and the United Kingdom's cultural heritage." Sounds encouraging to me. Rob
  19. Just a thought.......if we are to be deprived of our pipe organs, what's going to happen to all the stained glass windows? Or even leaded lights in the home?
  20. I've just emailed my MP. It'll be interesteing to see what reply, if any, I receive.
  21. The Widor is a serious fire risk! Do not under any circumstances listen to this "performance" whilst smoking a pipe.
  22. Boellmann Priere a notre dame is my standard interlude fair, and if the punters are too noisy they get almost full organ in the loud bit. They've got the hint once or twice! And if they don’t like it..... tough. At least it will have made me feel better.
  23. Sounds like I made the right decision in not renewing my subscription
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