Everything posted by Chris Gibbs
Rather a late reply, but I came across this thread whilst "googling" for something else. As a Canterbury O/C (1959-64) I am quite sure that the story (and the other two) are based around Canterbury. As I open my 1957 edition, at the heading of Chapter 1 is an engraving of the Christchurch Gate (albeit showing the postern on the wrong side). On page 7 is an engraving showing the kitchen exactly as I remember it including the opening into the passage behind it into which I once climbed up into! The figure ("Mr Ardent") in clerical garb tossing an omlette is undoubtedly the Rev. Clive Pare, Headmaster of the Choir School (1937-1963). Not the King's School. I believe he was at sometime Sacrist rather than Precentor at Canterbury. (He was also the City's Sherrif and later Mayor during my time). The move to Gloucester was in 1963 where he became a Canon. He died in 1973 and is interred in the Canterbury Cloister garth. CG.
Perhaps I can add two further points on the life of Allan Wicks. Looking back as a choirboy, one was conscious of his attention to detail in the singing of the Psalms. Other canticles too of course, but the Psalms with their vibrant descriptive language are what I remember. Whether it be a few short ones or the 15th evening they were a joy to sing. I am pleased to report that David Flood continues this attention to detail and should also mention- as this is an organ forum- how important and sympathetic the role of the organist is in accompanying the Psalms The other point I would like to record is that for many years he was Conductor and Director of Music for the Canterbury Choral Society (with whom I still sing). We were/are a lucky choral society to have had him as conductor and the Cathedral as our performance venue. Massive works such as Mahler 8, Bach B Minor mass or Gerontius went hand in hand with gentler works such as Fauré's Requiem. A riddle for Roffensis:- "Take a straighter stronger course to the corner of your life." Affirmative band?
My first post here as a member having been viewing for a year or two. With all the tributes to Allan Wicks here I feel moved to add my own from a different and privileged perspective. First of all though I am not an organist, (although I did play it in my later school years) but I am an avid enthusiast of the organ and its music, inspired I am sure by Allan Wicks during my time as a choirboy at Canterbury Cathedral from 1959-64. (Allan came in 1961). Even as young choristers we were aware of his enthusiasm for "modern" music and French in particular especially Messiaen. As others have mentioned, his enthusiasm and sense of humour were just some of his virtues. I was a bit of a late developer and he was patient with me. Indeed on one occasion during the rehearsal of a particularly difficult piece with an awkward interval that most were getting wrong, he stopped and looked at me and asked me to sing the note! I hadn't a clue, but thought "initiative test here- sing something!" So I did- which must have been right because he said "well done Gibbo" (my nickname), and thrust his hand in his pocket and gave me threepence! I wish that I had kept it now, but I went out and bought some sweets. So, at the weekend I excavated the music and record chest and put onto my 1970's system (Pioneer PL12D- Lynsley-Hood 75 Amp - Kef Concertos) Transports de Joie from the Organ Showpieces album. Need I say more...