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Durham Cathedral - situations vacant


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I was struck by the following juxtaposition on the Durham Cathedral website, regarding two very different job vacancies. Now we know that, pro-rata, organists are less valued than plumbing and heating engineers. Perhaps there are additional perks available to the organist, but the advert does not make that clear...

 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Assistant Organist

Location: Durham Cathedral
Hours: 18.75 hours per week
Contract: Permanent
Salary: £12,372.50 per annum

.....

Plumber and Heating Engineer

Location: Durham Cathedral
Contract: Permanent
Hours: 37.5
Salary: circa. £27,000

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If I earned as much per hour as the excellent guy who services my car, I would be a good deal better off than I am now, especially if paid by the hours I put in rather those for which I am contracted. Not that I'm complaining.....

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On the Cathedral website at www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/worshipandmusic/organists are full details of the team of four Organists, led by James Lancelot, the other three members are Sub-Organist, Assistant Organist and Organ Scholar. The Assistant Organist is David Ratnanayagam who was appointed in June 2012 having been Organ Scholar for two years and then Interim Assistant Organist.

 

RAC

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If I earned as much per hour as the excellent guy who services my car, I would be a good deal better off than I am now, especially if paid by the hours I put in rather those for which I am contracted. Not that I'm complaining.....

That is, I’m sure, true for you and many other church musicians, David. But the, I imagine self-employed sole-trader, motor mechanic will probably have some significant overheads included in his hourly rate.

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On the Cathedral website at www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/worshipandmusic/organists are full details of the team of four Organists, led by James Lancelot, the other three members are Sub-Organist, Assistant Organist and Organ Scholar. The Assistant Organist is David Ratnanayagam who was appointed in June 2012 having been Organ Scholar for two years and then Interim Assistant Organist.

 

RAC

ah ha, I see. I new James when he came to Durham, back in 1985/86. Very nice man, and his wife, Sylvia

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Amazing, how many organists does a cathedral really need, surely not four. How many hours a day are the pour dears working? A few years ago we were all being told that the cathedral tradition was under threat from lack of funds. That was when a cathedral organist and assistant did everything. Now we have sub-assistants, vocal coaches, organ scholars, music secretaries or administrators, nannies for the boys.....

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Amazing, how many organists does a cathedral really need, surely not four. How many hours a day are the pour dears working? A few years ago we were all being told that the cathedral tradition was under threat from lack of funds. That was when a cathedral organist and assistant did everything. Now we have sub-assistants, vocal coaches, organ scholars, music secretaries or administrators, nannies for the boys.....

 

 

Yes! - and the world has changed!

 

Now there is a higher expectation - vocal coaches, organ scholars and a department administrator are a necessity to assist in producing high quality performances day in and day out, week in week out! Repertoire is, I would suggest, more taxing now that it has ever been! Scholarship and performance standards are higher now than, possibly, ever before!

 

As for Nannies for the boys (and girls!) - also essential - because, unfortunately, we have evidence that, sometimes, children need to be protected from talented individuals who 'have a problem' - enough said! (I'm sorry - but I can't think of a more tactful way of putting it!!!)

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SL is right. Added to that, most cathedrals now have girls as well as boys and in some cases this means that more choral services are sung. In any event, a second treble line means that an extra member of staff is at least desirable. Most cathedral musicians (like most church musicians) do far more than they are contractually required to do anyway. Modern demands, musical, practical and legal, increase the burden - joyful though that burden might be.

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