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Rochester Appointments


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Congratulations to Scott Farrell (currently DoM at Newcastle Cathedral) on his appointment as DoM at Rochester from August 2008.

Roger Sayer will stay as Cathedral Organist after 14 years as DoM.

Dan Soper stays as Asst DoM and Director of the Girls Choir.

Next year's Organ Scholar is Tamsin Brown, currently Organ Scholar of Carlisle.

The Cathedral Special Choir will metamorphose into the new Cathedral Voluntary Choir, and its Director will become an extra part-time member of the Music Department.

Next Sunday we will install Neil Thompson (formerly Rector of Limpsfield) as our new Canon Precentor.

 

Douglas.

[senior Lay Clerk & Director of the Cathedral Special Choir, Rochester.]

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Congratulations to Scott Farrell (currently DoM at Newcastle Cathedral) on his appointment as DoM at Rochester from August 2008.

Roger Sayer will stay as Cathedral Organist after 14 years as DoM.

Dan Soper stays as Asst DoM and Director of the Girls Choir.

Next year's Organ Scholar is Tamsin Brown, currently Organ Scholar of Carlisle.

The Cathedral Special Choir will metamorphose into the new Cathedral Voluntary Choir, and its Director will become an extra part-time member of the Music Department.

Next Sunday we will install Neil Thompson (formerly Rector of Limpsfield) as our new Canon Precentor.

 

Douglas.

[senior Lay Clerk & Director of the Cathedral Special Choir, Rochester.]

 

Quite a few places seem to be doing this sort of thing (previous DOMs becoming the main organist) - Lincoln, Norwich, Liverpool - to name but three in the more and less recent past. That along with a choral specialist i/c at St Pauls. is this to be a continuing trend and what has changed (and where) to prompt this seeming realignment of roles? First thoughts seem to indicate that it is a forward move but has it come from clergy wanting things different or resident organist/DOMs feeling like a change and more 'console work'? from a personal point of view (and in a much more lowly situation) as mainly a 'choir type' who also plays the organ I really enjoy my current role which involves playing only with nothing whatsoever to do with recruiting and training singers. My Rector does that - he is mercifully very musical and the choir, though small manages to achieve much.

 

AJJ

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I'm interested in the idea of an organ scholar doing more than one year at different venues. What is the justification for this? Does it not take away opportunities from 'first timers' who would benefit from the appointment? Shouldn't an organ scholar who has 'had their turn' simply bite the bullet and get on with finding a proper job instead of cuckooing around the organ scholar system? This is a general observation rather than one relating to Rochester specifically...

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I'm interested in the idea of an organ scholar doing more than one year at different venues. What is the justification for this? Does it not take away opportunities from 'first timers' who would benefit from the appointment? Shouldn't an organ scholar who has 'had their turn' simply bite the bullet and get on with finding a proper job instead of cuckooing around the organ scholar system? This is a general observation rather than one relating to Rochester specifically...

 

Quite a few do seem to 'do the rounds' so to speak - maybe if any on here have done this they could chip in with their experiences.

 

AJJ

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  • 2 years later...

I thought I might make a comment on this post as it is quite an interesting topic despite the fact it's been a long time since anyone else posted.

 

The idea behind organ scholarships is essentially training on the job. One cathedrals needs in an organ scholar is quite different from another and it's similar for the candidates concerned. Some cathedrals require an organ scholar to just play a service occasionally whilst other cathedrals expect the a high standard of playing for numerous services a week. I started my cathedral training at a less well known cathedral and did 3 years there whilst studying at university in the same city. I essentially picked up all of my skills there playing once or twice a week for evensong, but at the end of my time there I desired a busier post with more responsibilities though I still wasn't ready for a cathedral assistant post. My second organ scholarship was at one of the more established historic cathedrals and my one year there proved most useful in my musical development. Therefore I would say that is can be very useful to move from one cathedral to another in this way.

 

The problem is.... there are some people who do a cathedral scholarship, complete their time without gaining a great deal of experience or improvement and move on to another cathedral when they should perhaps have considered doing something else as a career that suites them better. There are some serial offenders around for doing this and most places are getting wise to it now! Quite why anyone would want to be a professional organ scholar I don't know - the balance of money, hours, and accommodation is really awful and frankly in some places just takes advantage of peoples fine skills with little or no reward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quite a few do seem to 'do the rounds' so to speak - maybe if any on here have done this they could chip in with their experiences.

 

AJJ

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