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Guest Barry Williams

Appointments

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Thanks, Wolsey. He was described as "acting" in the Telegraph yesterday re. the Christening. He deserves a good permanent job like that.

 

Malcolm

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Looks like Edward Higginbottom is leaving New College Oxford (after an extraordinary tenure of 37 years!):

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AHS060/tutorial-fellowship-and-organist-lectureship-in-music/

 

Interesting.

 

I wonder if his successor will like the organ....

 

(I realise that playing it will probably be the last thing that he or she will have time to do - but it will still be necessary to listen to it accompany the choir and to play voluntaries.)

 

And, yes - I know. We have been here before, as well.

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Well at least his successor should be intelligent enough to have an informed opinion. It will be interesting to see who gets the job. The academic requirements will narrow the field considerably.

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Looks like Edward Higginbottom is leaving New College Oxford (after an extraordinary tenure of 37 years!):

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AHS060/tutorial-fellowship-and-organist-lectureship-in-music/

 

Professor Higginbottom's forthcoming retirement (a better verb to use) has been known to the cognoscenti for some time. Since the summer, it's been a case of when, precisely, the post would be advertised.

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As one of the 'unintelligent', 'uninformed' but yet a surprised suppporter of David Lumsden, his choir and the GDB he commissioned, and who is outside the charmed circle of the cognoscenti, I hope his replacement is chosen purely on merit

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I am sure it will be. However I have just suggested elsewhere that, while we of the hoi polloi might have a very narrow view of the possibilities, the tentacles of those inhabiting the highest intellectual planes reach far and wide. University careers are often inter-continental. Is there any reason why the job must go to someone from Britain?

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Merit is possibly not sufficiently nuanced a term. It would be appropriate to appoint someone who, as a choir director, is in sympathy with the style of the previous two holders of the post and, as an organist, is in sympathy with the GDB. To appoint someone who wishes to replace the instrument according to current thinking would be a mistake, whatever their strengths as a musician and academic.

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To appoint someone who wishes to replace the instrument according to current thinking would be a mistake, whatever their strengths as a musician and academic.

 

To be fair, this is arguable.

 

For one thing, there may be no financial provision for any work on the instrument - much less full replacement*. Secondly, it is not as if this type of thing has never happened before. (It is possible that there have been at least two cathedrals in which this has happened during the last twenty years.) In any case, some Oxbridge colleges seem to change or alter their instruments rather more frequently than many other places. Perhaps this is indicative of the environment. (Many opposing ideas and strong personalities, substantial money available or even a desire to 'make a statement' - or simply to have something new.)

 

I do not necessarily condone such a course of action - I merely offer the above as an observation.

 

 

 

* Although this hardly ever seems to be a problem at either Oxford or Cambridge.

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Whilst I would not for a moment argue that the New College organ is an easy instrument on which to accompany an Anglican choral service, it is nevertheless GDB's magnum opus. Whilst I have little doubt that there are many who would gladly consign all of GDB's work to the skip and regard the world as a better place for it, I think this would be very short-sighted. To the unprejudiced, it is a superbly musical (albeit uneclectic) instrument and it would be a shame if it were lost.

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Whilst I would not for a moment argue that the New College organ is an easy instrument on which to accompany an Anglican choral service, it is nevertheless GDB's magnum opus. Whilst I have little doubt that there are many who would gladly consign all of GDB's work to the skip and regard the world as a better place for it, I think this would be very short-sighted. To the unprejudiced, it is a superbly musical (albeit uneclectic) instrument and it would be a shame if it were lost.

 

As I wrote, I would not necessarily condone this course of action. However, it appears that ample precedent for the replacement of existing instruments has been set amongst the Oxbridge colleges. In reality, this organ may well be there for another fifty years.

 

For the record, although I suspect that I would not particularly care for the New College instrument*, the Degens and Rippin (as they were then) additions at Christchurch Priory were and are some of the most exciting sounds on this instrument.

 

 

 

* Visually, I cannot do other than to regard it as a serious impediment in this otherwise beautiful chapel. Some may consider the concept and execution of the case to be striking or even exciting. But it is difficult to deny that it is at odds with its surroundings. It has been said that contrast alone can allow an object to sit comfortably within a particular environment . To my eyes, the contrast here is too great to be effective.

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Listening to the webcasts of New College services, it sounds as if the organ does its job very well, and I thought the same on the few occasions I heard it live. I like the look of it, too, but I am something of a George Pace fan. Whatever one thinks of GD&B organs tonally (I usually like them, although my tastes tend not to be towards the neo-classical), they seem to be well-built and finished.

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I'm glad that some distinction is being drawn between the sound (GBD mollified by John Bailey in th early 80's) and the appearance (pure George Pace especially the west 'back').

 

To my ears it sounds a much lesser instrument than in its original guise which so stimulated my ears in the early '70s (and the choir matched). I remember many occasions when a simple combination supported a verse anthem or illuminated a psalm in a way that differed so markedly from the equally colourful but oh so different Willis/Harrison in Durham (1935 & 1970 incarnations).

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Another appointment released via Social networking

 

In this case, by the appointee himself.

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Jonathan Hope (organ scholar at Winchester) is to be ADoM at Gloucester.

 

Oh - does anyone know to where Anthony Gowing (the present holder of the post at Gloucester) has been appointed, please?

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In this case, by the appointee himself.

 

The point I was attempting to make was that even though the appointee had posted - "Stunned and thrilled to have been appointed Assistant Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral." he may have allowed his employers the opportunity to announce it to other employees of the establishment he was joining first and through the appropriate channels. Mr Hope's enthusiasm is to be applauded, but just another case in point about the perils of using social networking in the establishment.

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Why? Are the other employees going to be so upset by this appointment that its announcement needs careful management?

 

I agree that it shouldn't be announced by a third party, but surely it's his news as much as it's his employer's, and he is as entitled to make an announcement as they are.

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I note that the post of Director of Music at Shrewsbury Abbey is advertised.... I wonder if anyone has any further information about this appointment....

 

Two pieces of overlooked news: congratulations to Duncan Boutwood who began in September as Organist and Master of Music, succeeding Tom Edwards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrewsbury_Abbey#Organists_.26_Masters_of_the_Music

 

Meanwhile congratulations to Tom Edwards who has made the move to New South Wales:

http://www.stjohnsdeewhy.org.au/people/clergy-staff/

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Why? Are the other employees going to be so upset by this appointment that its announcement needs careful management?

 

I agree that it shouldn't be announced by a third party, but surely it's his news as much as it's his employer's, and he is as entitled to make an announcement as they are.

 

However, one does hope that he waited until the unsuccessful candidates had been notified by the cathedral.

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Following on from sad news at Llandaff it is good to be able to record a new post for Gloucester. Details taken from their website.

 

Gloucester Cathedral Job Vancancy

New Post
Employer: Gloucester Cathedral
Location: Gloucester
Contract: Permanent
Salary: £25,813 (April 2013)

Gloucester Cathedral is seeking to appoint a Singing Development Leader
Working to the Director of Music: Adrian Partington
Primary role:
To develop singing in the Cathedral for the wider community and develop the outreach aspirations of the Cathedral’s Vision and Strategy document.
To direct the Cathedral Youth Choir and Cathedral Junior Choir.
To have pastoral care of the choristers and assist the Director of Music in their training.

The Singing Development Leader will be passionate about making music with young people and will have the ability to enthuse singers from all age groups. The Singing Development Leader should hold a singing diploma or similar qualification, have some experience as a solo and/or consort singer and have considerable experience of conducting and working with children’s choirs and youth choirs. The successful applicant will be a team player within the music department, and also have the initiative to work on their own looking for opportunities within the City and Diocese to help the Music Department realise the aims of the Vision and Strategy document.

Start date: by agreement, but ideally 1st April 2014

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I understand Neil Page is shortly to retire as DoM at St Barnabas RC Cathedral in Nottingham, to be replaced by the current ADoM, Alex Patterson.

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