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Birthday Honours 2007


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Congratulations to Dr Francis Jackson on being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. (See p.14 here.)

 

Of course, in the old days he would have been made a knight by now. I think many might agree that no other organist would deserve it more.

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Congratulations to Dr Francis Jackson on being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. (See p.14 here.)

 

Of course, in the old days he would have been made a knight by now. I think many might agree that no other organist would deserve it more.

 

 

I spoke to Dr. J. on the telephone at 6.30 this evening and he is, though predictably abashed, thoroughly delighted.

 

Not before time and if it hadn't been for the intervention of a certain 'other' musical Knight, I venture to suggest that a higher honour would have been offered much earlier - a long story!

 

For those interested: FJ is in concert again at Emmanuel, Wylde Green on Sunday 24th, almost a year to the day since his last visit there when he received such applause and ovation that he was literally forced to encore!

 

David Wyld.

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Dr Francis Jackson gave the first organ recital which I ever attended as a small boy. It was part of the Emery Recital series given in Salisbury Cathedral. It made a profound impact on me at the age of eight, for it was at this recital that I decided that I wanted to be a professional organist. I have been for the last 25 years, and I would go so far as to say that I owe Francis Jackson my career and, frankly, all that I have achieved.

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Congratulations to Dr Francis Jackson on being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. (See p.14 here.)

 

Of course, in the old days he would have been made a knight by now. I think many might agree that no other organist would deserve it more.

 

I think we would all wholeheartedly agree with these sentiments - it does seem odd though that having been given the OBE pre- retirement as minster organist that he should still not have been knighted! :(

Anyway- good that his 90th year & continuing services have been marked.

 

I think I am not speaking out-of-turn in saying that there is be a big minster celebration on the day after his birthday in the evening Wed 3rd October when we all may have opportunity to salute one who has been a great inspiration to so many. :lol:

BW

Philip

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it does seem odd though that having been given the OBE pre- retirement as minster organist that he should still not have been knighted! :(

But they don't knight organists any more, do they? When was the last? (Sir Andrew Davies doesn't count.)

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But they don't knight organists any more, do they? When was the last? (Sir Andrew Davies doesn't count.)

 

If you're talking about being honoured for services to music as an organist, then the last knight may well have been Sir George Thalben-Ball. Philip Ledger's knighthood was, I suspect, for services to music in his capacity as Principal of the RSAM&D. It should be noted, however, that a Dame is the female equivalent of a Knight of an Order of Chivalry, so Dame Gillian Weir may well be the last organist to be honoured as such.

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Guest Barry Oakley
I think we would all wholeheartedly agree with these sentiments - it does seem odd though that having been given the OBE pre- retirement as minster organist that he should still not have been knighted! :(

Anyway- good that his 90th year & continuing services have been marked.

 

I think I am not speaking out-of-turn in saying that there is be a big minster celebration on the day after his birthday in the evening Wed 3rd October when we all may have opportunity to salute one who has been a great inspiration to so many. :lol:

BW

Philip

 

And what about David Gedge who retired as DOM at Brecon this Easter, having served over 40 years at the cathedral?

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Guest Barry Williams

David and Hazel Gedge were each awarded the Cross of Saint Augustine by the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the very few couples to have received the award in this way.

 

It is a pity that they were not awarded a Lambeth degree as well. I suppose it is not too late to suggest that.

 

Barry Williams

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I've just been doing a little research (OK, flipping through Watkins Shaw's tome on cathedral organists). I found that knighthoods were given to the following in chronological order:

 

1872 John Goss (St Paul's)

1887 George Martin (St Paul's)

1888 John Stainer (St Paul's)

1892 Joseph Barnby (Eton)

1897 Frederick Bridge (Westminster Abbey)

1921 Walter Parratt (St George's, Windsor)

1926 Herbert Brewer (Gloucester)

1932 Edward Bairstow (York)

1933 Walter Alcock (Salisbury)

1937 Walford Davies (St George's, Windsor)

1943 Sydney Nicholson (St Paul's)

1947 Percy Hull (Hereford)

1947 William McKie (Westminster Abbey)

1951 Ernest Bullock (Westminster Abbey)

1954 Willliam Harris (St George's, Windsor)

1968 John Dykes Bower (St Paul's)

1977 David Willcocks (King's, Cambridge)

1982 George Thalben Ball (Temple Church)

1985 David Lumsden (New College, Oxford)

 

David Willcocks and David Lumsden were most likely given their knighthoods because of their directorships of the RCM and RAM respectively rather than because of their work at the universities - the institutions carry royal branding after all (like the RSAM&D).

 

And the same royal branding seems to have governed most of the other decisions above. For much of the 20th century, if you were the organist of Westminster Abbey, St George's, or St Paul's you could more or less bank on getting a knighthood (though for reasons I cannot divine, the chronology of the awards does not necessarily follow the chronology of the postings - look at Stainer and Martin). Outside these three institutions nothing was guaranteed. York has only Bairstow; Canterbury nothing. As for the chapels royal, forget it.

 

But, even at the three noble piles favoured by the royals there has been nothing since 1968. I suppose one has to assume that organists have gone down in the royal estimation. I wonder why. (Maybe it's because I played those psalms too loudly that Easter Sunday... :()

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David Willcocks and David Lumsden were most likely given their knighthoods because of their directorships of the RCM and RAM respectively rather than because of their work at the universities - the institutions carry royal branding after all (like the RSAM&D).

 

Into this category would also come Sir George Dyson (RCM).

 

Oh, and a missing knight: 1921 Sir Ivor Atkins (Worcester)

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Yes, it would not have hurt to have given FJ a K. While GTB got it for service to the Temple, FJ has been active on a number of fronts. Organist, author and composer. We will not see his like again. Also both he and Willcocks had 'a good war'.

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Guest Cynic
Yes, it would not have hurt to have given FJ a K. While GTB got it for service to the Temple, FJ has been active on a number of fronts. Organist, author and composer. We will not see his like again. Also both he and Willcocks had 'a good war'.

 

 

Hear, hear.

 

Sadly, the award of a knighthood to George Thalben-Ball came only after hard and public lobbying. Maybe we should try for the same again. You would have my vote and any support I could give! I can think of nobody more deserving of this award.

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Hear, hear.

 

Sadly, the award of a knighthood to George Thalben-Ball came only after hard and public lobbying. Maybe we should try for the same again. You would have my vote and any support I could give! I can think of nobody more deserving of this award.

 

He has my vote!

 

Perhaps I'm a bit cynical, but I can't help but feel that had he been the incumbent at a southern/London establishment things would have been different. I am sure that the 'powers that be' (in London) are blissfully unaware of the existence of anything between the Home Counties and the Scottish border.

 

John

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Congratulations to Dr Francis Jackson on being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. (See p.14 here.)

 

Of course, in the old days he would have been made a knight by now. I think many might agree that no other organist would deserve it more.

 

 

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

 

 

I am utterley delighted; not least because "Francis" was the complete inspiration to me at the age of 12, and it was to York that I cycled 40 miles each way at the age of 13, just to hear him play the minster organ as only he knew how.

 

MM

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Oh, and a missing knight: 1921 Sir Ivor Atkins (Worcester)

 

Surely Sir Thomas H W Armstrong ought to be included (k 1957) and possibly, but much more dubiously, Sir Hugh Allen (k 1920). I suppose Sir Richard Terry (k 1922) is disqualified for playing for a foreign team ?

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Surely Sir Thomas H W Armstrong ought to be included (k 1957) and possibly, but much more dubiously, Sir Hugh Allen (k 1920).
Again these two were surely knighted, not for being organists, but because of their directorships of the RAM and RCM respectively

 

I suppose Sir Richard Terry (k 1922) is disqualified for playing for a foreign team ?

Nope. Interestingly (or maybe not) I note that it was in May 1922 that George V received the dedication of Tudor Church Music, those nine hefty tomes published by the Carnegie Trust. Terry was the original editor of TCM (and a thoroughly unreliable one; his fellow editors were driven to oust him in 1922). I wonder whether that lies behind the knighthood as much as his cathedral position.

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Again these two were surely knighted, not for being organists, but because of their directorships of the RAM and RCM respectively

 

With Allen almost certainly , but Armstrong had been a Cathedral Organist for almost 30 years and a top administrator for rather less than 3, so in terms of cumulative services rendered... I suppose it would be possible to unearth the citation and thus find out the basis on which the award was given but I think I'll happily leave the work involved in that to someone else.

 

Nope. Interestingly (or maybe not) I note that it was in May 1922 that George V received the dedication of Tudor Church Music, those nine hefty tomes published by the Carnegie Trust. Terry was the original editor of TCM (and a thoroughly unreliable one; his fellow editors were driven to oust him in 1922). I wonder whether that lies behind the knighthood as much as his cathedral position.

 

Is your suggestion that he got his K for "completing" the project, in spite of the mutiny, or as a consolation for being sidelined ?

 

Be that as it may, I would certainly add my vote to those of the others who hold that FAJ deserves to be added to their number

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Over the years the organ world - organists and organ builders alike, have done their best to put forward Dr Jackson for his "K". It is difficult to know what is needed to get a recommendation carried through no matter how well deserved.

 

FF

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Is your suggestion that he got his K for "completing" the project, in spite of the mutiny, or as a consolation for being sidelined ?
I'm wasn't suggesting anything. However, the mutiny appears not to have been known to the world at large. It only came to light when Richard Turbet investigated the correspondence in OUP's files 12 or so years ago. Terry was, of course, a leading church musician of his time and was famous for having introduced much new music of real value to Westminster Cathedral, both Tudor and modern (Howells for example). TCM might have been seen at the time as his crowning achievement and the dedication to the king (which I imagine would have been negotiated in advance) can't have done him any harm. Maybe the convergence of these things in 1922 is a coincidence, but I think it might be prudent to accept that there might be a link.
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Over the years the organ world - organists and organ builders alike, have done their best to put forward Dr Jackson for his "K". It is difficult to know what is needed to get a recommendation carried through no matter how well deserved.
Who vets the honours nominations? Civil servants. Though the responsibility lies with the Cabinet Office, in practice nominations are referred down to locally based officials for comment. So firstly it will depend on whether your local minions know you or not. Clearly your chances are better if they do. This is doubtless the reason why such a high proportion of the people who get honours are in central/local government or quangos, or are in businesses that regularly bring them into contact with the relevant civil servants. Secondly it will depend on what criteria the civil servants have been told to apply. In this materialistic age I would imagine that you need to be contributing to the country's econonomy or material social welfare to stand the best chance. At the very least you need to be a credit to your nation. Now, whilst none of us needs telling that Dr Jackson is exactly that, it may well be that the civil servant who has the crucial say merely sees anything to do with the church as quaint, eccentric and/or intellectually flawed. In other words, it could be down to something as simple as one individual's mindset. I'm not for a minute saying that that is what has happened, merely that it is not impossible.

 

With decisions made in such a cack-handed manner, would you really want a knighthood? It wouldn't mean anything to me.

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With decisions made in such a cack-handed manner, would you really want a knighthood? It wouldn't mean anything to me.

 

Hear, hear. Not that I am ever likely to be a recipient, of course!

 

In this politically correct age I am not sure what meaning these 'honours' have any more. When I read of some of the people to whom they are awarded, and for what reasons, I really do question their value.

 

I am very pleased that Francis Jackson has been awarded the CBE (although a life peerage, never mind a knighthood, may have been more appropriate!)

 

However of far more importance, in my humble opinion, is the high esteem in which he is held by many ordinary people whose lives have been enriched by his work and influence. Long may he continue to benefit the organ world.

 

John

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