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Everything posted by michaelwilson

  1. I'm all for gender equality now in both the student bodies and in collegiate choirs, but the idea that there's a "debt" of inequality that can be repaid by shifting the balance in the other direction is wrong.
  2. A point worth noting - following this change there will be a roughly equal number of boy and girl trebles in Cambridge, with Pembroke and St Catherine colleges both having girl-only choirs, King's and Jesus having only boys, and St John's being mixed.
  3. I saw this and was mystified by the reasoning. Currently St John's service schedule for the boys is Tue, Thur, Fri, Sat, 2xSun, which is six services a week This could easily be changed to daily giving eight services to support two groups of trebles singing four times a week each. Add to this over 11 hours a week of morning and per-service rehearsals which could remain much the same for all choristers. They also have probably the one of the shortest schedules of any such choir, singing only approx 24 weeks of the year, and not singing at Christmas or the long vac like King's do. Definitely scope to add more services. I don't buy the argument that two treble lines would have to result in a reduction in singing for each child such that there would be a consequent drop in the quality of the singing.
  4. Robert Quinney skillfully demonstrates it's capabilities here with Bach and Dupre:
  5. The advert for Canterbury is out: https://cvminder.com/jobportal/cvmindervacancy.php?gid=35&jobid=22084
  6. As part of the RCOs Organ Show, James O'Donnell gives a musical tour of Westminster Abbey, briefly playing several of the organs:
  7. James Anderson-Besant has been appointed, currently organ scholar at St John’s Cambridge.
  8. Thomas Kelway was perhaps the first to do an evening service in B minor, and Howells did one also.
  9. I just came here to post that, seems it's "going viral". Interesting for someone like me who probably knows less about organs than everyone else here, having not played one since I was five. I hadn't heard of St Saviour's Cathedral, they have some lovely little lockdown services on the same channel.
  10. Looking at the collegiate choirs, I notice the advert for King's (DoM and two organ scholars) stated that the DoM need not be an organist. For New College (Organist, Assistant Organist and two organ scholars) the further particulars make no mention of playing the organ, simply that the Organist has "responsibility for all aspects of the upkeep of the organ".
  11. Westminster Abbey perhaps (Gibbons, Blow, Purcell, Croft etc) although of course we know these people through their compositions, not their playing or what their choirs sounded like. But WA certainly makes up for that with its recent office holders. If we're talking instruments I think I'd need to know a lot more about the history of instruments in different places.
  12. They are in the middle of a program of works including re-roofing the quire and chapter house, and conserving some internal stone carvings. I'm not sure how this would affect the screen organ, but I suspect the fact it's shrouded in plastic is probably related.
  13. I think King's should have an online honesty box. £1 required from anyone who says they always listen to Carols from King's in Canada on the radio, or watch the live 9LC service on Christmas Eve etc..
  14. In Victorian times it was common that both organists and lay clerks worked as music teachers, I suspect the demand for pianoforte instruction was quite high. A lay clerk might have a basic salary of £70 per annum in 1870, about £8,500 in today's money, a cathedral organist £180, today worth £21,000, so external work was probably desirable.
  15. Timothy Parsons has been appointed Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. He is currently Assistant Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral.
  16. St Edmundsbury are advertising for a Director of Music: https://stedscathedral.org/news/vacancies/
  17. Another is The Organ forum, a sub-forum of The Choir forum on the Radio 3 listener's forums: http://www.for3.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?103-The-Organ
  18. If I'm reading it right they've had 18 months to reflect on their review, and the best they could come up with to address the issues raised is that they should close the choir so they can reflect on them some more.
  19. I don't know the current situation but on the BBC Easter broadcast in 2018 there were 19 or 20 on the front row, roughly 50:50 boys and girls. The back row was 11 or 12 with maybe two women. Seemed like a very healthy choir.
  20. I'm pretty sure you don't "consider implementation" of a plan to broaden the focus of a cathedral music department by abruptly dismissing all the dedicated adults and children of the choir. I'm not sure that there is any belittling going on - people are simply commenting on the public statements that the Dean and Chapter have decided to issue.
  21. I stand corrected on the Cathedral measure as the point when the Chapter became involved in ownership in addition to the Dean. But my point in bringing up fee simple in response to the OP that it is in no way a "personal private chapel" along the lines of those found for example in some country houses of the aristocracy - no one owns it in that sense, like other churches the fee simple is in abeyance. All freehold titles derives from the Crown in a theoretical sense, but the Queen does not own the freehold of Westminster Abbey like she does of Balmoral for example.
  22. I believe like most cathedrals it was owned by the Dean, and following the 1963 Cathedral Measure, the Dean and Chapter. Eminent domain aside, the Queen no more owns it any more than a bishop owns a cathedral. Although of course it's pretty meaningless to talk of ownership, as it's not ownership in the usual sense of a fee simple, but comes with plenty of responsibilities and few rights - the D&C can't sell off the Lady Chapel to raise funds for example. As regards the Queen dipping into her pockets, I am guessing that as The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’ Palace are part of the Royal Household, it would probably break all sorts of precedents for her to start dispensing funds in a personal capacity elsewhere.
  23. My friend asked me to mention this project here which some of you might interested in assisting with: Digitisation of Lichfield Cathedral music lists from 1848 onwards: https://www.cathedralchoir.org.uk/mld/introduction.php A great way to appreciate what our forebears did week in week out and how things evolved. I'd love to get involved myself but I have trouble typing.
  24. Dónal McCann, organ scholar at King's College Cambridge, has been appointed Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford.
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