Jump to content
Mander Organs
nfortin

Staff Appraisals

Recommended Posts

Do Diocesan Organ Advisors come under any appraisal system?

 

FF

 

Unlikely. For that matter, do churchwardens or vicars?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unlikely. For that matter, do churchwardens or vicars?

 

 

The standards of sermons are the responsibility of the Church Wardens. In one of my local churches they do just that as well!

 

FF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Barry Williams
The standards of sermons are the responsibility of the Church Wardens. In one of my local churches they do just that as well!

 

FF

 

 

Perhaps Frank would kindly let us know the legal authority for this interesting statement.

 

Barry Williams

 

Do Diocesan Organ Advisors come under any appraisal system?

 

FF

 

 

Diocesan Organ Advisors advise the DAC, so the real issue is whether the DAC has any appraisal system. The answer is 'No' because the DAC only advises. No parish is obliged to accept the advice of the DAC. It is possible to apply for and get a faculty in the face of a 'C' Certificate (i.e. DAC does not recommend). Indeed, I have done so on a number of occasions. Any parish or individual seeking a faculty can, if preferred, seek and take the advice of a non-DAC adviser, though the Consistory Court will invariably seek the view of the DAC before issuing a faculty.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, the DAC is obliged by law to advise on the basis that the parish church is the centre of worship and mission.

 

Barry Williams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The standards of sermons are the responsibility of the Church Wardens. In one of my local churches they do just that as well!

Perhaps Frank would kindly let us know the legal authority for this interesting statement.

 

I thought that the power to vet preachers only rested with churchwardens during an interregnum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lee Blick

Organist appraisals could be a useful thing supervised by the RSCM or RCO particularly if at the local church level coupled with some sort of training scheme. Problem is the aRseCO is only interested in the major parish churches and the cathedrals and the RSCM only has limited resources.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organist appraisals could be a useful thing supervised by the RSCM or RCO particularly if at the local church level coupled with some sort of training scheme. Problem is the aRseCO is only interested in the major parish churches and the cathedrals and the RSCM only has limited resources.

 

But at small parish level, the vicar and churchwardens would consider themselves blessed to have a semi-conscious sheep propped up against the keyboard on a Sunday rather than having to use CD's. The RCO and RSCM could, as has been frequently observed, make better use of resources in recruitment. A big jamboree in this area is going on as we speak.

 

Some of the army of "volunteer" organists would appreciate any form of training, and many do very willingly attend courses (RSCM etc) in existence. For many, however, this would seem like a form of "examination" and they might quite legitimately take the attitude that at their time of life they can quite happily do without the extra stress, thank you very much, and say that if putting themselves forward for a thankless, often nerve-wracking and generally voluntary task isn't good enough, then they can find someone else to do it.

 

Oh, and as someone from a major parish church, I can confirm the RCO isn't interested in us either, thank you very much.

 

I think the direction this thread was taking - DAC's, DOA's, and who may maintain the vicar's preach-o-meter rating, was a most interesting one poised ready to show us quite how much guff, hot air and folklore the "structure" of the C of E is based on (politically, at least). Nothing'll ever change, but at least we might start to see things in a better perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some of the army of "volunteer" organists ........might quite legitimately take the attitude that at their time of life they can quite happily do without the extra stress, thank you very much, and say that if putting themselves forward for a thankless, often nerve-wracking and generally voluntary task isn't good enough, then they can find someone else to do it.

 

 

I think the direction this thread was taking - DAC's, DOA's, and who may maintain the vicar's preach-o-meter rating, was a most interesting one poised ready to show us quite how much guff, hot air and folklore the "structure" of the C of E is based on (politically, at least). Nothing'll ever change, but at least we might start to see things in a better perspective.

 

 

=========================

 

 

I suppose I would regard myself as a volunteer, even though I get paid.

 

I was just contemplating the fact that one sung-mass, which I mentioned recently, caused me something like

10 hours work: much of it spent tickling the organ without help, and clambering up and down ladders for about 6 hours until midnight, trying to get the organ more or less in-tune after the breakdown of the heating system over the winter. It was in a terrible state when I started, and sticking pens in notes and going off to scale the heights about 150 times, is not much fun in a cold church.

 

Only then could I start to work on the musical elements.

 

I doubt that many people understand all the things which go into making something work; even if it's only a simple Sunday service.

 

It certainly isn't the money which attracts us, because instead of doing all this, I could have earned £180 doing something a lot less demanding!

 

If I, and many others, had been paid a professional rate for the volunteer work done over the years, we'd all be quite wealthy by now.

 

As for the politics of the C-of-E, I hope I'm not being too cynical, but I can forsee some very serious financial problems for many a diocese in the not too distant future.

 

As for the RCO, well, I couldn't possibly comment.

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organist appraisals could be a useful thing supervised by the RSCM or RCO particularly if at the local church level coupled with some sort of training scheme. Problem is the aRseCO is only interested in the major parish churches and the cathedrals ....

 

Pardon? What's the basis for this claim?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please let's not start this again - it will all end in tears. everything on this score has already been said in the RCO thread.

 

Of course it has. But it doesn' t justify the posting on this thread of what is arguably an untruth, and I was inviting a substantiation of the comment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Of course it has. But it doesn' t justify the posting on this thread of what is arguably an untruth, and I was inviting a substantiation of the comment.

 

One of the challenges of this forum is overlooking people's pet bugbears. LB's appear to be the RCO and stuffy organists in ivory towers, MM's are to do with Eastern Bloc composers and also annoying pcnd by having a pseudonym himself and yet using inverted commas for others who do, 'PCND' has a thing about tierce mixtures and likes French conventions of nomenclature, and virtually everything I say is a bugbear but if you see the word 'temperament', run a mile.

 

Untruth or not, people speak from their own experiences, and there are many who don't like the RCO very much and feel they have legitimate reasons for their beliefs or opinions. Demanding an explanation ain't gonna change their minds. 'VH' is right - you'll find the substantiation you seek in the RCO thread. It would be good to think that on this occasion you could let the comment pass, as this is actually one of the more interesting threads in a very long time.

 

So nfortin - have you had it yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Cynic
One of the challenges of this forum is overlooking people's pet bugbears. LB's appear to be the RCO and stuffy organists in ivory towers, MM's are to do with Eastern Bloc composers and also annoying pcnd by having a pseudonym himself and yet using inverted commas for others who do, 'PCND' has a thing about tierce mixtures and likes French conventions of nomenclature, and virtually everything I say is a bugbear but if you see the word 'temperament', run a mile.

 

Untruth or not, people speak from their own experiences, and there are many who don't like the RCO very much and feel they have legitimate reasons for their beliefs or opinions. Demanding an explanation ain't gonna change their minds. 'VH' is right - you'll find the substantiation you seek in the RCO thread. It would be good to think that on this occasion you could let the comment pass, as this is actually one of the more interesting threads in a very long time.

 

 

I fully endorse David's remarks above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So nfortin - have you had it yet?

Gosh, I haven't been asked that since my school days.

 

Negotiations are continuing. I remain, for the moment, willing to agree to review by the vicar, or for the church to bring in a choral music "expert" to review my work should they so desire, but reluctant to accept the validity of a church warden for this purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Untruth or not, people speak from their own experiences, and there are many who don't like the RCO very much and feel they have legitimate reasons for their beliefs or opinions. Demanding an explanation ain't gonna change their minds. 'VH' is right - you'll find the substantiation you seek in the RCO thread. It would be good to think that on this occasion you could let the comment pass, as this is actually one of the more interesting threads in a very long time.

 

People have beliefs and opinions, of course, and this is the place for them. This thread, however, covers a more serious subject than others here, touching on matters of both employment and canon law, and affecting a good many of us. It is also good that discussion on the topic has benfited from the contributions of lawyers such as Barry Williams who has corrected some inaccuracies which have muddied or confused the discussion. On this particular thread then, the snipe at the RCO was out of place and unhelpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of the challenges of this forum is overlooking people's pet bugbears. LB's appear to be the RCO and stuffy organists in ivory towers, MM's are to do with Eastern Bloc composers and also annoying pcnd by having a pseudonym himself and yet using inverted commas for others who do, 'PCND' has a thing about tierce mixtures and likes French conventions of nomenclature, and virtually everything I say is a bugbear but if you see the word 'temperament', run a mile.

 

Untruth or not, people speak from their own experiences, and there are many who don't like the RCO very much and feel they have legitimate reasons for their beliefs or opinions. Demanding an explanation ain't gonna change their minds. 'VH' is right - you'll find the substantiation you seek in the RCO thread. It would be good to think that on this occasion you could let the comment pass, as this is actually one of the more interesting threads in a very long time.

 

So nfortin - have you had it yet?

 

 

========================

 

 

I'm not quite sure I understood a single word of this.

 

Quite how David manages to equate the bearing of bugs with staff appraisals, escape me, but I feel sure that Stephen Fry would be in awe of any possible connection.

 

Thus far, the thread has not revealed very much at all, save for the fact that there are apparently certain clergymen and church-councils who wish to establish themselves as the grandees of parish-music, within an organisation which appears to be in a state of perpetual irrelevance and "downsizing."

 

The simple fact is, none of us are paid enough for what we do, if the employer/servant relationship is the real issue; which I doubt.

 

So on the basis of making excessive demands for little or no pay, we really are in the realms of slavery, even at cathedral-level.

 

In fact, I can think of very few professional or semi-professional occupations which demand so much, and pay so little.

 

Perhaps what it really comes down to is attitude, and frankly, when I begin to even contemplate the formalities of "staff appraisals," it's a bit like organists and choirmasters being paraded in yokes and obliged to bare their teeth.

 

If this were America where they tend to pay proper money, I could understand it; but it aint and we aren't.

 

I don't really see the point of the discussion, unless it is to discover how many organists can stand on the head of a stop-knob at any one time.

 

The simple fact remains, that the C-of-E is a lousy employer, and always has been.

 

MM

 

 

PS: Bach was "Eastern Bloc" you know: at least geographically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
========================

 

Quite how David manages to equate the bearing of bugs with staff appraisals, escape me, but I feel sure that Stephen Fry would be in awe of any possible connection.

 

I wasn't trying to - no no no. I was trying to avert a disastrous confrontation along the RCO lines which weren't strictly relevant by pointing out that we all have certain bees in our bonnets and sometimes the best thing to do is let them drop.

 

PS: Bach was "Eastern Bloc" you know: at least geographically.

 

Natch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
New boy here: apologies for gatecrashing the party.

 

(Snip)

 

In answer to the question “What do you consider your weaknesses?” he wrote “Apple crumble, beaujolais nouveau and my inability to spend my time filling in forms like this”. Whether or not you adopt a similar approach is for you alone to judge.

 

David Harrison

 

 

======================

 

I wish more poeple would gatecrash with such a splendid quote! Excellent!

 

It reminds me of the chap who was in a meeting once, and his boss asked him to describe his greatest strength.

 

He replied, "I'm a go getter!"

 

With that, he looked at his watch and said, "Excuse me genetleman, I must go a get my bus."

 

:)

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to set the scene I'm Assistant Organist and Music Development Officer at a church in central Sydney. The church can afford to salary me, the Director of Music, an Organ Scholar and pay a "stipend" to the twelve people who comprise the choir, one of whom is also "stipended" (a new word methinks) to run the children's choir and another to act as choir librarian.

 

I expect to be appraised every year - key competencies being ability to play well, sightread well, conduct well and undertake the managerial tasks in my music development role.

 

However, I am full time salaried in this position. The Director of Music is more than qualified to judge my musical work, and other professionals in the parish are more than qualified to judge my managerial work. I am comfortable with any appraisal process based on this scenario.

 

However, being judged against ill thought out criteria by someone who is not qualified, is a process which benefits nobody. Also, if they wish to put you on an outcomes based rolling contract, be sure not to do one iota more than the requirement. Once they realise how much extra work you did before, despite your woeful RSCm rates, I'm sure they'll have a rethink.

 

So I guess to sum up....

 

Carefully considered performance appraisal linked to specific parish needs and allowing for professional development of musician = good.

 

Random application of shifting priorities allied to woeful money = bad.

 

Hope I added something to the debate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lee Blick

Everyone shout hoorahh for Peter Ellis for having a full time post and his paid staff including the choir! Well done for that man!!! Boo to our pitiful RSCM rates for the rest of Christendom... :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, if they wish to put you on an outcomes based rolling contract, be sure not to do one iota more than the requirement.

 

Hope I added something to the debate

 

=========================

 

Just roll that past us again, Peter.

 

I've always followed the exact reverse working-ethic: an incomes-based rolling contract.

 

"I'm sorry vicar, but allowing for compound inflation, you only get 91.78% of the hymns during the next church-year. The voluntaries remain unaffected."

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
=========================

 

Just roll that past us again, Peter.

 

I've always followed the exact reverse working-ethic: an incomes-based rolling contract.

 

"I'm sorry vicar, but allowing for compound inflation, you only get 91.78% of the hymns during the next church-year. The voluntaries remain unaffected."

 

MM

I don't think I could be bothered with the necessary audit trail. "Last Trinity Sunday, vicar, you omitted verses 3, 7, 12 and 18 from the offertory song, but you liked the chorus so much you had us repeat it three times." Probably worth doing, though, just for the pleasure of hearing his quota of notes run out - preferably in the middle of a big service.

 

 

Everyone shout hoorahh for Peter Ellis for having a full time post and his paid staff including the choir! Well done for that man!!! Boo to our pitiful RSCM rates for the rest of Christendom... :rolleyes:
Well, hurrah for Peter's church, rather.

 

Are/were not the RSCM rates allied to the ISM/RCO rates? I may be wrong, but I thought there was some link. I'm not sure whether ISM still set annual rates (I think they are now hourly based?) but IMO they used to be fairly geared to the amount of work and degree of expertise required. The information available publicly is not very precise: http://www.ism.org/publications/info/02_9.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's always good to be Hooraahed. I will pass it on to the relevant authorities.

 

As for the job - right place, right time. This particular church is unique in this country, I'd hate to give the impression of Australia being organists paradise. We of the Antipodean organ fraternity suffer the same indignities (even Australian brides seem to all have an Aunty Mary who just has to sing "Ave Maria") as everywhere else.

 

I quite like the idea of a note quota though. We did the Leighton "Solus ad Victimam" on Palm Sunday. I'd still be laughing now if the organ scholar decided against playing the final chord because it exceeded his contractual obligations.

 

Bedtime for expats now. Toodles x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I quite like the idea of a note quota though. We did the Leighton "Solus ad Victimam" on Palm Sunday. I'd still be laughing now if the organ scholar decided against playing the final chord because it exceeded his contractual obligations.

 

Surely the in the event of a work to rule, the penultimate chord of ‘Solus ad Victimam’ should be the one omitted on the grounds of either (i) too many notes per hand, or (ii) too many tonalities for a single chord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are/were not the RSCM rates allied to the ISM/RCO rates? I may be wrong, but I thought there was some link. I'm not sure whether ISM still set annual rates (I think they are now hourly based?) but IMO they used to be fairly geared to the amount of work and degree of expertise required. The information available publicly is not very precise: http://www.ism.org/publications/info/02_9.html

 

Under the terms of the Competition Act 1998 which came into force in 2000, neither the ISM - nor any other professional body in any discipline, e.g. architects - may now recommend fees; this applies to the RSCM as well.

 

It is permissible, however, to publish the results of a survey of fees (independently conducted) charged by members, and the ISM Information Sheet link which you mention is indeed a survey of fees charged by ISM members working as professional organists in places of worship between September 2004 and September 2005. As you'll see at the link, the survey was carried out by the Statistical Services Centre at Reading University; associations which hitherto recommended fees are not allowed to conduct these surveys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...