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Tony Price

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Everything posted by Tony Price

  1. I have been organist to a parish for 35 years, the last 15 as Director of Music. The organ console is forward facing at the back of a west-end choir gallery which is 'stepped' down towards the east end, and purpose built for a choir of 50+ which is still very much alive. It's a large parish, with c. 1,400 attending the five Sunday Masses. The parish has, quite rightly, a Disability Group which has recently conducted an audit of the building and requested that, in future, the Choir sing from downstairs in the main body of the church so as to enable access to the group for any disabled singers that may wish, in the future, to join. We have been asked to do so to comply with Diocesan Guidlines in respect of the DDA. The sight and sound lines between the console and the main body of the church would make such a move impossible to manage. I do not have any disabled singers wishing to join the Choir. Whilst I am happy to assist disabled singers in absolutely whatever way reasonable, to enforce such a move is likely to ensure the end of the Choir (and two other smaller Choirs that rely on organ accompaniment). Has anyone been on the receiving end of such DDA 'advice'? If so, I'd really appreciate some thoughts as to how to manage it. It does not seem realistic to disband a wholly successful parish choir on the basis that someone disabled, at sometime, may not be able to manage the stairs into the Choir Gallery. I understand that there was a case in a Catholic church in Nottingham along similar lines, that was settled by the Diocese out of court - this has been quoted to me, but I have not been able to find, or been provided with (despite requests), any details on the matter. Any thoughts you might have to help and encourage me would be very much appreciated. Kind regards, and grateful thanks in anticipation Tony
  2. I couldn't agree more, Colin. An absolute 'must' for anyone, especially organists, involved in church music. The tome manages to combine an informative read with much factual information that is just not easily found elsewhere. Some delightfully irreverant moments as well! ISBN: 0955074908 Tony
  3. Yes, that's the one. Tony
  4. Perhaps half a dozen times in the last 35 years I have been faced with a small single manual + pedal instrument built by J. Merklin (Paris?) in a Catholic church in the Clapham area of South London. As an amateur organist, I grapple manfully with the unusual short compass pedal board, and always find it interesting that the few available ranks, all 8ft, are split a la harmonium, Basse and Dessus. The single 4ft is an exception. Never having come across an another instrument like it, I wonder if it has a place in history worthy of conservation (not that I have any input over the welfare of the organ whatsoever), whether the builder was a significant company in France, and if there are other examples of their work in the UK. I would imagine it is a very early 1900s organ, and was probably put in when the church was built at that time. Is anyone able to kindly shed some light on this unusual instrument for me? Gratefully, Tony
  5. The Organ: http://pws.prserv.net/usinet.danance/chorg/vatorg.html The Organist http://www.tcvomaha.com/ArchivedIssues/Oct...ct1Feature2.htm The instrument looks much smaller than it actually is, dwarfed by the building in which it stands. HTH, Tony
  6. Part of the 'local' problem is also the fact that it must often be very difficult to convince a congregation that they should stump up huge sums of money for an instrument that they have seldom, if ever, heard. The more active a parish is in its music-making, the more likely it is that the request for investment will be met helpfully. Without such activity, you are very likely to be left totally in the often unpredicatable hands of the external historians and benefactors as regards any likelyhood of restoration. At parish level, it is generally unlikely that any available funding will go beyond day to day maintainance of the instrument. Tony
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