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Mixed Choirs


DaveHarries
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Hi,

 

Has anyone here on this board been to services where the normal choir has combined with the choir of another church to sing the services? I only wonder because the Choral Evensong at Bristol Cathedral today, 22nd June, featured the choir of Bristol Cathedral and the choir of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol and the music for the service was this:

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Responses: Shephard

Psalm: 46

Setting: Stanford in B-flat

Anthem: Let All The World (Vaughan Williams)

Hymns: 431, 392, 458

 

Organist: Graham Alsop (Asst. organist, St. Mary Redcliffe)

Master of the Choristers: Mark Lee (Bristol Cathedral)

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

A superb conbination and one which, I heard from the organist, takes place yearly: the cathedral choir goes to Redcliffe on alternate years and the Redcliffe choir comes to the cathedral on alternate years. I then suggested that it should happen each way on a yearly basis.

 

I did employ the video mode on my camera to record part of the Anthem (didn't get the first verse and tried sucessfully not to make to too obvious). I had the camera on me to try and record the Voluntary at the end (Final Movement from Vierne's 3rd). I will put the links here later when they turn up in the obvious location (ie. YouTube).

 

Dave

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Guest Patrick Coleman

I attended CE at Saint George's Windsor on Pentecost Sunday 2006, where the choir was combined with the choir of Eton College.

 

It was very loud! But thankfully no less musical for it.

 

The seeting was Mathias's Jesus Service; the Preces and Responses were Rose; and the Anthem was Elgar's The Spirit of the Lord. Perhaps it needed to be loud?

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At parochial level, in an area where Evensong in any form and, indeed, choirs capable of singing anything, has largely died out, some colleagues and I have got together and we do things similar to the events described above. My own choir, Good Shepherd, Brighton - where our vicar spent 18 years as an RC priest in Aprillia, Italy before converting to Anglicanism - sings choral Evesnong once a month. Singers from St Botolph's Heene (Worthing) come to help at these services and we try to go to help them at their, more occasional, choral Evensongs. Twice a year the choir of Hove Parish church (All Saints') join us for our choral Evensong and twice a year we go to sing choral Evensong with them at their church. This initiative works really well (so long as we don't have too many singers and we are careful to exclude less capable choirs/singers) and it enables our choirs to sing - and enjoy singing - music that they probably wouldn't be able to do on their own. Like all Anglican churches, some people will complain about anything but the vast majority think this is an excellent arrangement.

 

Malcolm Kemp

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....I did employ the video mode on my camera to record part of the Anthem (didn't get the first verse and tried sucessfully not to make to too obvious). I had the camera on me to try and record the Voluntary at the end (Final Movement from Vierne's 3rd). I will put the links here later when they turn up in the obvious location (ie. YouTube).

 

I hope you got permission to record this!

 

Slightly off-topic, I know, but after one of my monthly organ recitals last week I heard a few seconds' playback of the recital I had given which had obviously been recorded. I was saying good bye to people at the door when I heard this and tried to identify who in the audience had made the recording. I think I know, but am not 100 per cent sure. The person I suspect has already made a sound recording of a choral concert I conducted a few months ago, without seeking permission first.

 

I'm not very happy about this. Not only was I not asked, but I am slightly put off by the idea that a regular attendee seems to be in the habit of recording my organ concerts. I know that it's going to be off-putting for me in the future knowing that any tiny slip will be recorded, and I shall be aware of this at each of the monthly recitals and will find it somewhat off-putting.

 

Am I being unreasonable?

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Guest Cynic
I hope you got permission to record this!

 

Slightly off-topic, I know, but after one of my monthly organ recitals last week I heard a few seconds' playback of the recital I had given which had obviously been recorded. I was saying good bye to people at the door when I heard this and tried to identify who in the audience had made the recording. I think I know, but am not 100 per cent sure. The person I suspect has already made a sound recording of a choral concert I conducted a few months ago, without seeking permission first.

 

I'm not very happy about this. Not only was I not asked, but I am slightly put off by the idea that a regular attendee seems to be in the habit of recording my organ concerts. I know that it's going to be off-putting for me in the future knowing that any tiny slip will be recorded, and I shall be aware of this at each of the monthly recitals and will find it somewhat off-putting.

 

Am I being unreasonable?

 

 

No you're not.

If someone wishes to make a recording of your performance they should have the decency to ask your permission first.

Legally they are infringing your rights otherwise.

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Whoops. Seems like I dropped a clanger here in respect of asking permission. I have, since that first post, put both videos online.

 

I am not sure wether a performance can be copyrighted though, unless it is recorded. Or am I making a mistake with that train of thought? Anyway, for those who are interested in the music rather than the issues, here are the clips:

 

"Let All The World" (Vaughan-Williams): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du-102sHRbE

Final movement, Vierne's 3rd Symphony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF01ay5mWH8

 

I had long planned to make a YouTube-able clip of the Cathedral organ anyway. Incidentally, I did say to Mr. Alsop that "I recorded that piece at the end, so you will be famous later!" to which he merely laughed.

 

Enjoy the music, and apologies for missing out the first verse of the Vaughan-Williams: I had primarily recorded that clip for my Dad, for whom that anthem is a favourite but he couldn't attend the service as he was busy elsewhere.

 

Dave

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Gareth,

I do't think you are being unreasonable at all

as one of those people who does quite a bit of recording recitals, I would always ask the recitalist, and for whatever reason, I would respect that. Just to be sure, I would ask a couple of weeks ahead, and then on the day. If you ask and they say yes, well the recording goes to myself only, and a copy sent to the recitalist. Last week was a prime example, Mr Philip Rushforth at Southwell Minster, no one will ever hear the fine performance of the whitlock sonata apart from him and I.

you never know, in 30 years time, some one will say, oooo, can you remember that whitlock recital a long time ago? and you say "yes", and you have a bit of history on your PC

Regards

Peter

 

 

I'm not very happy about this. Not only was I not asked, but I am slightly put off by the idea that a regular attendee seems to be in the habit of recording my organ concerts. I know that it's going to be off-putting for me in the future knowing that any tiny slip will be recorded, and I shall be aware of this at each of the monthly recitals and will find it somewhat off-putting.

 

Am I being unreasonable?

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I hope you got permission to record this!

 

Slightly off-topic, I know, but after one of my monthly organ recitals last week I heard a few seconds' playback of the recital I had given which had obviously been recorded. I was saying good bye to people at the door when I heard this and tried to identify who in the audience had made the recording. I think I know, but am not 100 per cent sure. The person I suspect has already made a sound recording of a choral concert I conducted a few months ago, without seeking permission first.

 

I'm not very happy about this. Not only was I not asked, but I am slightly put off by the idea that a regular attendee seems to be in the habit of recording my organ concerts. I know that it's going to be off-putting for me in the future knowing that any tiny slip will be recorded, and I shall be aware of this at each of the monthly recitals and will find it somewhat off-putting.

 

Am I being unreasonable?

 

Not at all, personally I find the use of any recording intrusive to my performance, and consequently it makes me nervous and affects that performance. I don't like videoed weddings for the same reason (except the extra money that is!). My last lunchtime recital at Rugby Parish Church some years ago, shortly before I moved on, was interrupted by three students who came into the church with a video camera, and wandered around during the recital. I challenged them, as did several other people, and they were very abusive, saying I had no right to stop them. To be honest, that incident, way back in 2001, has affected my recitals ever since.

 

Jonathan

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It is not unreasonable to include on all recital &c., printed programmes something along the lines of "electronic recording of this recital without the express permission of the recitalist is illegal." You could, at the same time, remind people to switch off their mobile phones! A year ago a member of our local organists' association was noticed recording an impromptu (and very inaccurate) performance by the resident organist of a church where I had just given a recital. I don't know whether or not he had recorded my recital. As a result of this the secretary of our organists' association agreed to put a reminder in his next monthly encyclical that sich recording is illegal.

 

Malcolm Kemp

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I totally agree with the other comments above. There is also the issue that whilst someone may be happy to give permission for a private recording, they may not be at all happy about it subsequently being put online - though in this day and age you should probably expect that to happen.

I am not sure wether a performance can be copyrighted though, unless it is recorded. Or am I making a mistake with that train of thought?

You have recorded it, Dave. And, yes, the performance is copyright.

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Back on the original topic, the Norfolk Diocese has a yearly 'choral festival' service (on a tri-annual basis of Evensong, Eucharist and 'other') which features the boys, girls and men of norwich cathedral, as well as all singer from within the Diocese. Though the result may not always be the best musically, it is certainly very enjoyable to participate in.

 

Music this year included harwood in a flat and Finzis' God is gone up.

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I totally agree with the other comments above. There is also the issue that whilst someone may be happy to give permission for a private recording, they may not be at all happy about it subsequently being put online - though in this day and age you should probably expect that to happen.

 

You have recorded it, Dave. And, yes, the performance is copyright.

Even with the performer's permission to record you might still be in breach of the composers' copyright. It would appear that both Vierne and Stanford are out of copyright in the UK but these things aren't always clear-cut.

 

I can see a large axe about to fall on YouTube.

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Hi,

 

Has anyone here on this board been to services where the normal choir has combined with the choir of another church to sing the services?

 

Dave

 

Yes. Rochester and Canterbury sing a joint Evensong every year in alternate venues.

 

Douglas.

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Even with the performer's permission to record you might still be in breach of the composers' copyright. It would appear that both Vierne and Stanford are out of copyright in the UK but these things aren't always clear-cut.

 

I can see a large axe about to fall on YouTube.

 

Performing rights are separate to copyright. I hope that Barry Williams will see this thread and provide legal chapter and verse. A possible response of his would be to consult his book Everything Else An Organist Should Know, co-written with Robert Leach. In the meantime, my understanding of performing rights as covered by the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 is that someone may record your performance (though you have the right to forbid it) if the recording is for "private and domestic use".

 

Placing a recording of a performance, made without the performer's/performers' consent, on a site such as YouTube, surely, is illegal.

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Performing rights are separate to copyright. I hope that Barry Williams will see this thread and provide legal chapter and verse.

 

Unfortunately Barry has resigned his membership and says that he will not return.

 

Thank you to everybody for your advice. I'm glad I'm not being unreasonable in not wanting covert recordings being made of my performances. I think that I will follow the advice to print something on the programme about not making recordings without the performer's consent.

 

Much appreciated. Thanks. :)

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I had quite a long and detailed conversation about this with the on-line department of the MCPS-PRS Alliance a couple of years ago. As it was explained to me then ...

 

The person who makes the recording owns the copyright of the recording.

The performer's rights are not infringed if the recording is for domestic use only and if it is not exploited commercially.

Where clips are published on You Tube without the performer's consent, and where they believe their rights have been infringed, their argument is with YouTube, being the publisher, but not with the contributor. This, it was explained to me, is a simple matter of practicalities; it would be impossible to police the posting of video clips to You Tube and other such on-line media hosts, so the MCPS-PRS was, at that time, in negotiations with You Tube, trying to arrange a fee to be paid to the MCPS-PRS as an acknowledgement of all the infringements that might be assumed to be made.

 

I do not know whether any such agreement was ever arrived at, nor how any such fee might be distributed.

 

Moving on from Wolsey's point, a degree of realism is desirable here, I think. Nowadays almost everyone carries a still or video camera and MP3 recorder with them in their mobile phone. If you play you should expect to be recorded and charge for it accordingly. I understand that wedding fees have largely moved from £x unrecorded, £x+50% for an audio recording and £x+100% for a video recording, to a composite rate that assumes recording because, frankly, it's bound to happen. If we know that, it shouldn't surprise us. Of course, nice people will ask permission, but not everyone is nice and that shouldn't come as a complete shock, either.

 

There are many more soccer clips on You Tube than there are organ recitals but I have yet to see Wayne Rooney complain that no one asked his permission.

 

J

 

 

Performing rights are separate to copyright. I hope that Barry Williams will see this thread and provide legal chapter and verse. A possible response of his would be to consult his book Everything Else An Organist Should Know, co-written with Robert Leach. In the meantime, my understanding of performing rights as covered by the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 is that someone may record your performance (though you have the right to forbid it) if the recording is for "private and domestic use".

 

Placing a recording of a performance, made without the performer's/performers' consent, on a site such as YouTube, surely, is illegal.

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I had quite a long and detailed conversation about this with the on-line department of the MCPS-PRS Alliance a couple of years ago. As it was explained to me then ...

 

The person who makes the recording owns the copyright of the recording.

The performer's rights are not infringed if the recording is for domestic use only and if it is not exploited commercially.

 

Crumbs! :blink:

 

So, basically, anybody is entitled to record a concert without the permission of the performer(s) concerned as long as it's for their own use? This just doesn't seem right! :huh::)

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Guest Cynic
snip

 

There are many more soccer clips on You Tube than there are organ recitals but I have yet to see Wayne Rooney complain that no one asked his permission.

 

snip

 

 

Bet he doesn't play for as little as I do!

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Crumbs! :blink:

 

So, basically, anybody is entitled to record a concert without the permission of the performer(s) concerned as long as it's for their own use? This just doesn't seem right! :huh::)

 

I think that there are lots of ways that you can deal with this.

 

While it may be correct (and I am not 100% sure that it is) that it is not "illegal" per se for someone to record a performance for their own personal use, that doesn't mean that there are not ways to prevent this from happening.

 

The easiest way would seem to be for the owners of the venue to simply make it a condition of attending the performance that members of the audience are not allowed to make recordings. This is normal practice at essentially all professional commercial theatrical and musical productions. In those cases it is usually part of the terms and conditions that you agree to that are part of the contract established when you buy a ticket.

 

Even at a free concert in the local village church where nobody has bought a ticket or paid for admission, I don't see why the vicar cannot establish a rule that says that recording without permission is not allowed. If people ignore this admonition then you could ask them to leave - or just stop playing ...

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Guest Cynic
I think that there are lots of ways that you can deal with this.

 

While it may be correct (and I am not 100% sure that it is) that it is not "illegal" per se for someone to record a performance for their own personal use, that doesn't mean that there are not ways to prevent this from happening.

 

The easiest way would seem to be for the owners of the venue to simply make it a condition of attending the performance that members of the audience are not allowed to make recordings. This is normal practice at essentially all professional commercial theatrical and musical productions. In those cases it is usually part of the terms and conditions that you agree to that are part of the contract established when you buy a ticket.

 

Even at a free concert in the local village church where nobody has bought a ticket or paid for admission, I don't see why the vicar cannot establish a rule that says that recording without permission is not allowed. If people ignore this admonition then you could ask them to leave - or just stop playing ...

 

 

Absolutely.

 

Justadad's report of MCPS and their comments is obviously important, but natural justice suggests something different. A MCPS opinion on what it can enforce is one thing, what anyone would expect as common courtesy etc. is something else. I don't expect someone to take my picture without asking, why should I expect them to come to one of my concerts and make a bootleg recording? What about intellectual property? In law, anyone's image is their own, as is anything that they create as an individual. There needs to be a test case, maybe? Surely there has been something of the kind in the pop music industry.

 

I do agree about the wedding situation as described. The time has definitely come where there is no alternative to assuming that it will be recorded in one way or another - on the other hand, an organist's fee for a wedding is respectable - he/she plays well-known, well-prepared pieces and works for an hour or so.

Comparatively, I have not yet played at a concert where I received anything like that rate of pay for the hours I have put in.

 

 

Caution: Off at a tangent!

I used to get asked to play for such and such a choral society 'do' and when I said £150 people would be surprised. If I said, £15 for each hour (which sounds cheaper) I could actually make quite a bit more. There's travelling time, sitting-around time, the rehearsal, the concert, and (one hopes) an hour or two spent looking through the accompaniment and learning it all!

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If you play you should expect to be recorded and charge for it accordingly. I understand that wedding fees have largely moved from £x unrecorded, £x+50% for an audio recording and £x+100% for a video recording, to a composite rate that assumes recording because, frankly, it's bound to happen. If we know that, it shouldn't surprise us. Of course, nice people will ask permission, but not everyone is nice and that shouldn't come as a complete shock, either.

 

I'm not sure I agree with this. Just because it has become common for people to record weddings without asking, and that they have the technology does not make it right. We run a strict video policy. We say they can have a video, professional or otherwise, but have to pay the fee (out of which we pay for their video licence), but if they do not want a video we ask them to make this clear to their congregation. We use two arguments for this, one is copyright, the other is child protection. We insist that we get specific permission to video the choir, so I can ask parents in advance. It generally works. Last year we had one incident where a member of the congregation used a video camera, and the grooms mother was very angry with him! They understood the reality of the situation. It still surprises me when people don't ask and try to video, but the verger puts them in their place! I now make this clear to couples when I play away from home, there is no issue, nor with my fee, which is quite high, another thing I have no qualms about since finding out one band who I enquired to play for a friends wedding reception said they charge £20,000!

 

Jonathan

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I used to get asked to play for such and such a choral society 'do' and when I said £150 people would be surprised. If I said, £15 for each hour (which sounds cheaper) I could actually make quite a bit more. There's travelling time, sitting-around time, the rehearsal, the concert, and (one hopes) an hour or two spent looking through the accompaniment and learning it all!

 

This is also an interesting point, because I charge for admin time for seeing wedding couples, preparing scores if needed, etc. Until recently we had a flat rate. I asked the PCC to put this up to £35 (my hourly rate for teaching), and they said it was too much, so I agreed to charge a rate that reflected the hours spent, which is now £35/hour, they have to pay for the first hour, and after that in 15 min blocks. Needless to say they now pay more than I asked the PCC for! If you think this is mercenary of me, well maybe it is, however, I often spend a lot of time preparing wedding couples sometimes up to 4 hours, so I think it is reasonable to charge.

 

Jonathan

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on the other hand, an organist's fee for a wedding is respectable - he/she plays well-known, well-prepared pieces and works for an hour or so.

 

 

Actually Paul it's more like two and a half hours. The wedding itself lasts roughly an hour (longer than some celebrety marriages! :) ) bit I get there at least half an hour before. Start playing as guests come in about fifteen minutes before kick-off. Bride usually about 5 minutes late.... afterwards, help ageing sacristan tidy up the church ready for the next service which takes another half hour. You'd be surprised (or not, probably) how untidy wedding guests can be. Then of course there is the interview with the bride/groom/bride's mother - another half hour normally. And sometimes you do have to learn a new piece - I had to arrange and play from full score the first few minutes of the Eroica once for the bride's entrance! Then of course there is the rehearsal with the soloist (Ave Maria, one of the three)....

 

Peter

 

Another thread probably - but how many distateful objects have you discovered in church post-wedding? I've found cigarette ends, drinks cans, tissues, those plastic triangle containers for sandwiches, with half eaten sandwiches inside sometimes!

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The person who makes the recording owns the copyright of the recording.

The recording, but not the performance within it, of course.

 

The performer's rights are not infringed if the recording is for domestic use only and if it is not exploited commercially.

I didn't realise this was actually formalised.

 

Where clips are published on YouTube without the performer's consent, and where they believe their rights have been infringed, their argument is with YouTube, being the publisher, but not with the contributor.

Not exactly. YouTube do not check incoming clips, because then they would be a publisher, and liable for any clip they missed. By not checking they are managing to keep common-carrier status, with no initial liability (like an ISP), but they will take down material immediately at the request of the copyright holder (though not if someone else simply tells them it shouldn't be there) - there is no "argument" with them as they will simply do what they are told with appropriate authority. And of course you do have an argument with the contributor, being the one who published the material inappropriately.

 

Paul

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Peter Clark has touched on a matter which frequently exercises me; generally I try to provide any kind of wedding music that is feasible on the organ or the piano – it is their day, after all - and while I sympathise totally with colleagues on the question of illicit recordings, is there anyone out there who gets as irritated as I do by brides who are often considerably more than 5 minutes late? How often do we hear the plea that it is “traditional”?

 

When one of my daughters was to be married in one of our great English Cathedrals, I was instructed to get her to the church in time and be ready to step off from a prearranged spot at a specific point in Parry’s “I was glad”. This had been paced out by the groom to make sure the bride was in the correct place by the final chords. We managed it perfectly despite the bride’s mother having fallen in the cloisters five minutes beforehand and broken her ankle!

 

In one church where I used to deputise regularly, there were often weddings throughout the afternoon on the hour like a conveyor belt; the vicar would give the strictest instructions to the bride to be on time, because if she wasn’t she would miss her wedding; there was invariably another one, like the proverbial omnibus, right behind. Several got postponed in this way, I believe. Does anyone have a good way of dealing with bridal tardiness in a diplomatic manner?

 

David Harrison

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