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Appointments 2


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33 minutes ago, David Cynan Jones said:

Simon Johnson from St Paul's to Westminster Cathedral

Another former Rochester Organ Scholar made good.¬†ūüėÉ

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the Cathedral facebook page 

Many congratulations to Oliver Waterer, whose appointment as the next Director of Music at Selby Abbey was announced this morning.
Oli will be leaving us over the summer - and while we shall miss him very much, we are glad to see that the Abbey houses a very fine organ indeed, which now awaits him!
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1 hour ago, Choir Man said:

The application pack ( https://cvminder.com/cvmdata/documents/35/4079/Director of Music 18May2021 FINAL.pdf ) has much more detail and I am particularly excited by the cathedral's vision statement. It is bold and forward looking as well as maintaining the traditions of the choral liturgy.

I quickly read the application pack too and thought it was bold, imaginative and exciting. There was lots there for a person of considerable musicianship but also of vision and commitment to a wider brief as well as, as you say, to maintaining the high standard of music within the liturgies of the Cathedral.

If I had been 30 years younger I might have read the application pack a good deal more carefully!!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

News of an appointment at Llandaff Cathedral

The Cathedral Chapter are delighted to announce the appointment of Aaron Shilson as the new Assistant Director of Music.
Aaron joins us from Ely Cathedral where he is currently Assistant Organist for the Girls' Choir. He has previously held posts at the Cathedrals in St Davids, Manchester and Leeds.
 
Click the link to read more about the appointment

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2F3w8BbFR%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR3v3AdkLFZxP_jBzhhb5vZxeXN4t2wOnQcC57WNOOxIKTMJLWPtqX8nD_w&h=AT0PMV6U5n7LtsFLa2NYU1p5T4cJrWb-MQKVypjceo9POYkj6k2lkzbZGg_b5gjfzqyvuPOnadMVNuOIS7HmNMTPfTN5BgLPtrrUb641byHmssdkjXKlJUIyMUk9m8RYCgUNLeqSF_z59fbWyOAS9Eg&__tn__=-UK-y-R&c[0]=AT2MpXOa85K4k0b6CLdVS9LkNG2gNkmLDxSizqQQY9mWTSYoZCOt36KwWZmNEOj3RZV08F3L7ysI_p9m9c2iGqHrPDuxj3FMEHrAPxuKFsgrY-mOWCQD_A2C2RPQkNZYqyr4XO1x0VYMiNLt-QzuQHbWlRxXSVg37TKw6gfRGB_qlnWfuPJwG1YuQVLTRG7A6KmcIFUvXTG5oZNxDnE12xDE0a2myEc_L4C7

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some news from Sheffield Cathedral which emerged today, 29th June.

Many members may recall the fiasco which broke out when the previous Dean of Sheffield, the Very Rev. Peter Bradley, decided to dispense with the choral provision at the Cathedral there back in July 2020.

https://www.sheffieldcathedral.org/news/2020/7/21/sheffield-cathedral-choir

The arguments went on for slightly over 3 months until Dean Bradley announced his resignation from the office of Dean of Sheffield on 04th October 2020.

https://www.sheffieldcathedral.org/news/2020/10/4/announcement-from-the-dean-of-sheffield-cathedral

There was also this:

On 09/04/2021 at 07:02, S_L said:

I see, in the 'Church Times' today there is an advert for Dean of Sheffield.

"Previous Cathedral experience is not essential"

Anyone who might have wondered what the implications might have been of appointing someone not used to Cathedral life need not worry however: the announcement has now been made today, 29-Jun-2021, that the next Dean of Sheffield is to be Rev. Canon Abigail Thompson who is currently Acting Dean and Sub-Dean of St. Albans Cathedral but is no stranger to the Diocese of Sheffield or the cathedral there. In his introduction, which can be found on YouTube, the Bishop of Sheffield describes Canon Thompson as "an accomplished musician with a particularly strong track record for developing choirs." The introduction can be found at

https://www.sheffieldcathedral.org/news/2021/6/29/new-dean-of-sheffield-announced-and-welcomed-to-cathedral

Sorry this post is perhaps a bit long but HTIOI,

Dave

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Canon Abi Thompson

"She graduated in Music at Kings College London and in Theology at Westcott House Cambridge. Abi holds both ABRSM Grade 8 Piano and ABRSM Grade 8 Singing and before ordination was a youth worker and freelance professional singer."

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I saw a tweet yesterday announcing Imogen Morgan as the new Assistant DoM at St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh. She is presently Organ Scholar at Peterborough Cathedral having been ORgan Scholar at Durham University and Durham Cathedral.

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It is so good to see more and more ladies appointed to Cathedral positions. My own grandmother was a fine player and, and I may be wrong about this, was one of the first women to be appointed FRCO. Of course, in those days, ladies were barely allowed past the Chancel arch let alone in the exalted position of Master or the Choristers - or whatever!!

Of the 43 (?) Church of England Cathedrals in England, even today, only four have ladies at the helm of the Music Department (Coventry, Guildford, Peterborough & Rochester) whilst, to my reckoning only four have female Assistants. 

One could go further and ask how many Cathedral's have a DoM who isn't  product of a Public School - or Oxbridge - or from an 'Ethnic Minority' but, perhaps I better not go there!!!!

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36 minutes ago, S_L said:

IOne could go further and ask how many Cathedral's have a DoM who isn't  product of a Public School - or Oxbridge - or from an 'Ethnic Minority' but, perhaps I better not go there!!!!

Of the 6 DoMs I served under since 1970...
One had only "external" degrees (BMus & DMus);
One was not public-school educated, and had no degrees at all (but was the unanimous choice for the job);
One was neither public school nor Oxbridge.

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1 hour ago, bam said:

In Wales, Emma Gibbins is at Newport: https://www.newportcathedral.org.uk/whos-who-2021/

 

The Church in Wales is clearly doing better than its English counterpart - with 16% women as DoM - as opposed to 9.5% in England!!

Considering that the female sex makes up 51% of the population I would suggest that neither are doing particularly well!!!

Mind you, the same could be said of High Court Judges (W16, M91) and 'Circus Judges' (W87, M513) 

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46 minutes ago, S_L said:

Mind you, the same could be said of High Court Judges (W16, M91) and 'Circus Judges' (W87, M513) 

Far, far too many in total (not discussing gender!) in both categories S_L!  In my lifetime there were eighteen High Court Judges assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division (then King’s Bench - the real meat of the law) and except in places like Manchester and Liverpool, County Court judges around the country dealing with small civil claims doubled-up as chairmen of Quarter Sessions, taking the less serious criminal cases.  Abolition of the latter, and creation of Circuit Judges led to the astonishing increase in numbers …  And the High Court has kept it up as well. Agreed there are lots of reasons, as diverse as divorce and invention of the photocopier. The latter was responsible for greatly extending trials with avalanches of documents - which they managed without when there were only 18 QBD judges! Now the internet in all its ramifications is playing its part.

Now we ought to return to discussing matters musical and organic!

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2 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

Now we ought to return to discussing matters musical and organic!

 

Sorry Rowland - it was just an off the cuff comment at the end of a post. I didn't expect anyone to comment on it!!

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7 hours ago, S_L said:

One could go further and ask how many Cathedral's have a DoM who isn't  product of a Public School - or Oxbridge - or from an 'Ethnic Minority' but, perhaps I better not go there!!!!

Perhaps that begs questions about current attitudes to music tuition in state schools in our governments and to church-going and choirs amongst the general public. A complicated picture, I suspect. The days when ordinary parish church choirs had large enough top lines to breed a steady trickle of organists seem long over.

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7 hours ago, S_L said:

One could go further and ask how many Cathedral's have a DoM who isn't  product of a Public School - or Oxbridge - or from an 'Ethnic Minority' but, perhaps I better not go there!!!!

I think you should definitely go there!  I notice looking at my colleagues in professional orchestras that those of my generation are quite likely to be, like me,  from state-school backgrounds, whereas the younger ones are much more likely to have been privately educated.  The trend for organists is a more extreme reflection of that - the route of starting off playing the organ at your local church is increasingly rare, leaving the field to those lucky enough to be at schools which have organs.  Hence the need for all the brilliant outreach programmes run by the RCO and places like the Diocese of Leeds which are valiantly trying to bridge the gap - and doing a fantastic job.

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1 hour ago, DariusB said:

I think you should definitely go there!  

 

I'm not sure that is a good idea. It's too complicated, too many different factors involved but something desperately needs doing about it!!. 

I'm the product of a state school followed by the RCM and Cambridge. I remember the college, in the late 60's, had a lot of students from state schools. Cambridge Music faculty less so.

An ex-student of mine read Music at Oxford (and got a first!). At one point he told me that he was the only student in the faculty who had been to a state school. One product of the Public school system asked how he managed to get into Oxford from a state school as if it, almost, wasn't allowed! The fact that he was the only state school student in the faculty is either a terrible condemnation of state school music or of Oxford - and I'm not entirely sure which!!!

 

 

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On 01/07/2021 at 09:26, S_L said:

One could go further and ask how many Cathedral's have a DoM who isn't  product of a Public School - or Oxbridge - or from an 'Ethnic Minority' but, perhaps I better not go there!!!!

I think you will find that in 2021, the number of DoMs not from a public school or Oxbridge is certainly higher than it was, say, thirty years ago. As for ethnic diversity, we saw the sad death in February of one former cathedral organist from what was then Ceylon; his son now directs the choir of a Cambridge college. By a happy coincidence, the DoMs of two discrete choirs of HM Chapels Royal should not be overlooked. The assistant of Portsmouth Cathedral, the organ scholar of Leeds Minster (formerly in that role at Guildford Cathedral) and the Asst at St George's, Hanover Square (formerly ADoM at Birmingham Cathedral) are quietly forging successful careers.

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13 hours ago, wolsey said:

I think you will find that in 2021, the number of DoMs not from a public school or Oxbridge is certainly higher than it was, say, thirty years ago. As for ethnic diversity, we saw the sad death in February of one former cathedral organist from what was then Ceylon; his son now directs the choir of a Cambridge college. By a happy coincidence, the DoMs of two discrete choirs of HM Chapels Royal should not be overlooked. The organ scholar of Leeds Minster (formerly in that role at Guildford Cathedral) and the Asst at St George's, Hanover Square (formerly ADoM at Birmingham Cathedral) are quietly forging successful careers.

I did a quick tally late last night. And I think, on one side, that you are right. Of the 36 Cathedral DoM's, I was able to quickly look up, 17 went to Cambridge, 8 went to Oxford and 11 went to 'other places' - which were mostly London Conservatoires. I think that your being able to list three from 'ethnic minorities' and none, at the moment working in a Cathedral and me being able, without much thought, to list the number of female Cathedral DoM's is testament to the sad state of affairs.

Darius. I don't have an answer and I don't know the questions to ask either. I don't think it is to do with the standard of music in our state schools, which is higher now, I suspect, than it has ever been - but it may be! Is it to do with the organ being seen as a stuffy, middle-class, public school domain? Is it the way we present it - or ourselves?   

Perhaps this all belongs in a new thread!! Time for me to be quiet - for a change!!

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1 hour ago, S_L said:

Of the 36 Cathedral DoM's I was able to quickly look up 17 went to Cambridge, 8 went to Oxford and 11 went to 'other places' - which were mostly London Conservatoires. 

I'll come back to the reason I have quoted from S_L's point in the moment.

The other relevant point here, I would have thought, is experience as a chorister at a high level. In terms of the food chain, as it were, 'cathedral etc' choristers are good candidates for music scholarships at senior independent schools and bring with them masses of experience and skill. For the individual chorister, they have been steeped in the world of fine things - music, architecture, and beauty - including the sound of, in most cases, wonderful organs. Many independent schools boast at least one good organ, and Bob quickly becomes your uncle as they wend their happy ways back toward the cathedrals and other top choral places whence they came, when the time comes. I wonder what the percentage of DoMs and ADoMs is that served as choristers? 

S_L's point above... something that has changed fairly recently is for DoMs and ADoMs to have been at one university for their first degree (possibly as an Organ Scholar) but then move on to the RCM, RAM or other conservatoire to do an MMus. The old pattern for many, right up to the John Scott/James Lancelot era, was to follow the BA with the Oxbridge BMus/MusB - and thus become MA, BMus, FRCO.  The BMus at Oxford and Cambridge seems to be in some sort of abeyance - (we have covered this ground before and mourned the consequent loss of two beautiful hoods) - and the alternative seems to be an MPhil or a Master of Studies. I am not fully up to speed on this and would welcome correction or updates! Later, upon retirement, many DoMs became MA, DMus, FRCO, courtesy of Lambeth, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside now... as,  of course, has the ADCM for 'FRCO (CHM) only' candidates. Roy Massey has one of these, as did, to my knowledge, Gerald Knight and I remember observing Dudley Holroyd's blue velvet (lined white) hood hanging at the bottom of the organ stairs in Bath Abbey back in his day.

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