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sbarber49

David Drinkell RIP

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Very sad to report the death of David Drinkell. Formerly organist of Belfast Cathedral, and later at Christ Church Cathedral, Frederikston. A frequent contributor here.

From the cathedral's Facebook page:

Christ Church Cathedral is today mourning the death of a dear friend and member of Cathedral staff, David Drinkell. David's talent, his wit and friendship are among what we are remembering today. We are also praying for Elspeth as she navigates this loss. "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace ..."

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I am truly shocked and very sad indeed to hear this. I didn't know David except that in 1970, aged 14, he and I did a composite recital in St Martin's, Ludgate Hill. It was obvious at the time that he was destined for much greater things, musically, than I. I have not seen him since, but we corresponded from time to time openly on this forum and through the occasional email - usually when I was soliciting one of his excellent arrangements. I have used his Henry Wood Fantasia on British Sea Songs, and I also have a copy of his transcription of the Vaughan Williams Thomas Tallis piece, though have not given the attention it deserves. I am sure that his loss will be very keenly felt in the cathedral community in Fredericton and everywhere else that he served with such obvious success and distinction.

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A great loss! We corresponded on occasions and he was always a great source or advice, anecdote and information.

A

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An absolute fount of knowledge. A great help to me personally over the years. I shall need a while to absorb this sad news.

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What terrible news. I’m sure we’ve all had an interesting conversation with David on this forum and I myself spent a very informative evening at the H&H in Christ Church Skipton four years ago when he was over in the UK for a family occasion. He relished the instrument and rather put me on the spot when he asked me to ‘play something’ as he wandered around listening intently to the organ. I needn’t have worried, he was very complementary and I left with my nerves intact.

A sad loss and a very friendly, interested and well-connected musician. 

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Such a sad loss indeed. David was so very helpful to me in finding obscure organ music and sharing his interpretations of pieces. A man of many talents and much knowledge who will be greatly missed. I send my love to all his family and friends.

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What terribly sad news. I didn't know David, but he always came across here as a thoroughly nice person and I always enjoyed reading his posts. His apparently encyclopaedic knowledge of British organs will be keenly missed.

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I am very sad to hear this news. I didn't know David but did have a couple of very kind PMs from him via this forum offering advice on music choice for an organist of limited skills. His depth of knowledge about organs of all types was both staggering and hugely interesting and I shall miss his contributions enormously.

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I too was very saddened by this news.  David was one of those whom I never managed to meet but wish I had, and he was one of the members who made it so worthwhile belonging to this forum.  It's certainly true that his knowledge of the instrument was encyclopaedic as others have said above, and I thought it might be worthwhile posting this link describing his researches into the organs of East Anglia where he obviously had a special interest:

http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/norfolkorgans1.htm

His family and friends are in my thoughts.

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I am very shocked to hear this news.  I only knew of David through this forum but, without doubt, he was a source of exceptional knowledge.  My heart and my prayers go out to his family and friends.  

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From the FB page of Belfast Cathedral, along with a photo of David:

"Belfast Cathedral is saddened to announce the passing of David Drinkell, a former Organist and Master of the Choristers here at St Anne’s Cathedral, making a wonderful contribution to the music and worship. Our thoughts and prayers are with Elspeth his wife at this very sad time."

Very sad news, not only for us on this forum but also for all who knew him personally. Like many of us I only knew David through his posts on these forums but his posts were always an enjoyable and informative read. He also once told me on the lines of this forum that, as a student, he used to use the organ of my local church (St. Mary Magdalene, Stoke Bishop - NPOR D07728) for practice.

Two verses that spring to mind:

"Laudate eum in tympano et choro; * laudate eum in chordis et organo" ("Praise him with timbrel and choir: praise him with strings and organs.") (Psalm 150, v4)

"So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house [.....] Therefore I will play music before the Lord" (2:Samuel 6:21, NKJV)

In relation to the second part of that bible verse (which is only quoted in part) we may safely assume - with no doubt at all - that David is now doing exactly that. May he rest in peace.

Dave

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I will always be grateful to David for pointing me (via a Forum post) to the Musescore software, which has been invaluable in letting me produce playable versions of 'guitar hymns' and more recently a couple of scores for the village choir. 

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I met David once and corresponded with him a number of times. I enjoyed his posts on this forum which were always informative. He had an encyclopedic knowledge and shared it with humanity and modesty.

May he rest in peace.

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David's funeral is on Tuesday October 8th at 14h00 (19h00 UK time) at Christ Church Cathedral, Fredricton. The preacher will be the Rector of Rothesay, the Revd. Paul Rideout and the organist Dr.  Willis Noble.

A brief obituary:

BA, FRCO(CHM), ADCM, ARCM
Director of Music, Christ Church Cathedral, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
 
 
It is with sadness we announce the death of David Leonard Drinkell on September 26th, 2019. He was born on December 10th, 1955, to the Leonard and Nora Drinkell in Colchester, Essex, where he attended Colchester Royal Grammar School. He studied music at Bristol University, and upon graduation completed a Certificate in Education at Cambridge.
 
In 1979, he moved to Orkney as an itinerant teacher of music, and was appointed as Assistant Organist at St. Magnus Cathedral, taking over as Organist and Choirmaster in 1983. In 1988, shortly after his marriage to Elspeth, he was appointed as Organist and Master of the Choristers at St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, and in 2003 took up the post of Organist and Choir Director at the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 2016, he was appointed as Organist and Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Fredericton.
 
He was an accomplished recitalist, and gave recitals all over Ireland, the British mainland, and in Canada and Norway.
 
David is survived by his wife Elspeth; his mother Nora; sister and brother-in-law Clare and Andrew Tate; as well as a niece and nephew-in-law Eleanor and Lewis Harratt.
 
By request there will be no visitation. A memorial service will be held at Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 2pm. For those who wish, memorial donations may be made to the Christ Church Cathedral Organ Restoration Fund.

 

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I've just read this, and it is terribly sad news.  I feel that I've lost a friend, with whom I have shared a great deal over the years. David was quite the enthusiast and very knowledgeable about organ matters.

We will miss him.  I would also join in offering sympathy to his family and close friends.

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Like others here, I did not know David Drinkell but I did enjoy his contributions to the forum. These characteristically were interesting, demonstrating a wealth of knowledge which he was happy to share with us.  A sad loss.

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David must have been the automatic choice to be the recitalist for the Inaugural Recital of Colchester’s restored Moot Hall organ, in May 2015. To a packed (invited) audience, he brilliantly displayed all the marvellous qualities of this important and historic instrument, which was built for that lovely Town Hall. 

Local lad made (very) good, he grew up and was educated in the Town (at the Royal Grammar School), before moving away to attend Bristol University. He was one of Colchester’s most distinguished sons yet, to use that cliché, he never forgot his roots. 

He was a fount of knowledge of all things ‘organ’, particularly those of his native East Anglia; each instrument, however small, contained some item of interest to him.

We benefitted greatly from his erudition, always proffered modestly, on this forum.

 

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