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Guest Cynic
Just seen the funniest ever comment in a tuner's book while playing for a funeral......

 

"Stop called voix celeste sounds as though it is a little bit out of tune with all the others"

 

Oh dear! :lol:

 

:lol:

 

 

The writer seems to have missed the shocking fact that said stop did not play in the bottom octave either!

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In fact I had it from Sidney himself that it had also happened at Ely. One of the weekday 'standby' anthems was a piece entitled "I will arise" by Robert Creyghton. Usually SSC would put this one down when he was away and it would be rehearsed and directed by the assistant (possibly Dr Wills - I don't know). It seems likely that whoever it was preferred to conduct the piece in 4 rather than the 2 indicated; Campbell was, presumably, unable to rehearse the piece beforehand and began it in 2, assuming . . . . The trebles were fine but altos, tenors and basses quickly found themselves in a parallel universe and despite several restarts were unable to rescue the disaster. Campbell turned to the precentor, growled "we've had the anthem", tore up the music, scattered it as the hoar frost twixt the choir stalls and walked out. Apparently the bishop was present and asked SSC afterwards," What happened in the anthem?" "Nothing," was SSC's succint and factually accurate reply.

 

David Harrison

This is interesting. I could have sworn that SSC said he had done it at Canterbury, but I am beginning to wonder whether I misremember. Or maybe his own memory was faulty - though I find that difficult to believe.

 

What sets me wondering is that, in his autobiography, David Gedge recalls Campbell tearing up a Tudor anthem during a service at Southwark.

 

As for Ely and Creighton's I will arise, Arthur Wills (who sang as a tenor lay clerk as well as being Campbell's assistant organist) mentions this in his own autobiography. But his version differs slightly. After Campbell had made three unsuccessful attempts to start "I will arise", he barked "Sit down!" and returned to the loft leaving many red faces behind him. No mention here of tearing up the music, though it is entirely possible that Dr Wills was just being discreet - he is generally quite circumspect when discussing other people.

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
This is interesting. I could have sworn that SSC said he had done it at Canterbury, but I am beginning to wonder whether I misremember. Or maybe his own memory was faulty - though I find that difficult to believe.

 

What sets me wondering is that, in his autobiography, David Gedge recalls Campbell tearing up a Tudor anthem during a service at Southwark.

 

As for Ely and Creighton's I will arise, Arthur Wills (who sang as a tenor lay clerk as well as being Campbell's assistant organist) mentions this in his own autobiography. But his version differs slightly. After Campbell had made three unsuccessful attempts to start "I will arise", he barked "Sit down!" and returned to the loft leaving many red faces behind him. No mention here of tearing up the music, though it is entirely possible that Dr Wills was just being discreet - he is generally quite circumspect when discussing other people.

 

I have heard a very similar story concerning Dr Slater at Lincoln........

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I've just recalled a delightful story, after mention of the name Allan Wicks.

 

There is the celebrated story of Dr.Francis Jackson bumping into Allan Wicks on the streets of Leeds.

 

"Hello Allan, what are you doing here?"

 

"Hello Francis, I'm just enjoying my day off."

 

"Oh dear! Isn't Wednesday my day off?"

 

"No Francis, it's my day off."

 

"Oh dear! So who's playing at the Minster this afternoon?"

 

"I don't know Francis."

 

"Oh well, never mind! I expect someone will be playing Evensong."

 

:lol:

 

MM

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This is interesting. I could have sworn that SSC said he had done it at Canterbury, but I am beginning to wonder whether I misremember. Or maybe his own memory was faulty - though I find that difficult to believe.

 

Talk of Campbell reminds me of a story I heard. It concerns the fact that SSC was not an especially religious or even believing man, and someone once asked him, when he was at Souithwark, "but what's the cathedral for?" to which he replied;,"to keep the organ dry."

 

Peter

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A friend of mine was a choral scholar at a cathedral that shall remain nameless.

 

One evening after a few jars and a curry, a number of the choral scholars and others decided to have a swim in the school pool on the way back to the house... For some unknown reason, someone decided to take a picture of all these lads, tackle out, as it were.

 

They had a copy printed off and slipped inside page 2 of the vicar who was precenting's (not the precentor) copy of the Elizabethan Responses...

 

The intonation "Praise ye the Lord" was indeed preceeded by much choking and surprise.

 

End of the service, the whole choir processes back to the vestry, said clergyman rips off his dog collar, says "b**tard, b**tard, b**tard" in a stern voice at each of the possible culprits, put his collar back on sharpish, bows his head and says "Let us pray"...

 

Hmm, doesn't sound so funny now I've written down!

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Guest Cynic
Hmm, doesn't sound so funny now I've written down!

 

 

It is, though.

 

 

Imagine anyone doing anything like that today? No chance!

There are not enough eccentrics around.....

if anyone knows better, please post evidence here.

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It is, though.

 

 

Imagine anyone doing anything like that today? No chance!

There are not enough eccentrics around.....

if anyone knows better, please post evidence here.

 

This was only 6 years ago! These same guys had a blow up doll, called 'Phyllis (you can work out what it was short for), which they put inside various members of clergy and vicar choral's robe cupboard - imagine the dean being surprised by a 5ft inflatable woman leaping out at him, lips pursed, ready for action! She was last seen run up the cathedral flagpole.

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It is, though.

Imagine anyone doing anything like that today? No chance!

There are not enough eccentrics around.....

if anyone knows better, please post evidence here.

 

I'll tell you what I'll miss when he retires -

 

Vestry prayer on gents returning to procession late because toilets were locked - "And, Lord, for all the waters above AND BELOW the earth, we give our humblest thanks..."

 

Midweek Evensong after all the lights got switched off by mistake by the sparkies - "Bah. Well, we'll take the lesson as read because I want to go home for my tea. Tsk. Now, the prayers. What's this? A DOG? Lord, we pray for those who think pets are more important than humans. And also while we're about it SAVE US FROM THE POWERS OF DAAAARRRRRK-NESSSSSSSS!!!!!! Amen."

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It is, though.

Imagine anyone doing anything like that today? No chance!

There are not enough eccentrics around.....

if anyone knows better, please post evidence here.

 

==================

 

 

I've known a few eccentric and egocentric people in my time, but I think my "best" story concerns a clergyman who had been in the navy, and quite a hard-man in many respects.

 

He nevertheless had a certain dark-humour, and when, at a rather large church with a musical tradition, the unfortunate curate tripped over his cassock and muttered, "Bugger me," under his breath, the Vicar replied, "Not at the moment dear. I've got a migraine!"

 

Unfortunately, he had overlooked the fact that both he and the curate were wearing lapel radio-microphones, and this was heard loud and clear at the far west-end of the nave!

 

MM

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==================

I've known a few eccentric and egocentric people in my time, but I think my "best" story concerns a clergyman who had been in the navy, and quite a hard-man in many respects.

 

He nevertheless had a certain dark-humour, and when, at a rather large church with a musical tradition, the unfortunate curate tripped over his cassock and muttered, "Bugger me," under his breath, the Vicar replied, "Not at the moment dear. I've got a migraine!"

 

Unfortunately, he had overlooked the fact that both he and the curate were wearing lapel radio-microphones, and this was heard loud and clear at the far west-end of the nave!

 

MM

 

 

There are quite a few "radio microphone" stories around. There is the one of the priest who got caught short as it were in the middle of Mass and nipped off to the loo but forgot to turn off his microphone ... I'll leave the rest to your imaginations. Another is of a bishop who muttered at the beginning of Mass "is this microphone working" to which the congregation responded "and also with you".

 

Peter

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There are quite a few "radio microphone" stories around. There is the one of the priest who got caught short as it were in the middle of Mass and nipped off to the loo but forgot to turn off his microphone ... I'll leave the rest to your imaginations. Another is of a bishop who muttered at the beginning of Mass "is this microphone working" to which the congregation responded "and also with you".

 

Peter

 

A few years ago, someone was having a childrens party/disco in the church hall on a Sunday evening around the time of Evensong... at the beginning of the Creed, the Rector began "I believe in God..." to which the response through the sound system was "Do you?!"... apparently there are a limited number of frequencies for radio mics!

 

Steve

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A few years ago, someone was having a childrens party/disco in the church hall on a Sunday evening around the time of Evensong... at the beginning of the Creed, the Rector began "I believe in God..." to which the response through the sound system was "Do you?!"... apparently there are a limited number of frequencies for radio mics!

 

Steve

 

Hi

 

There are currently 8 radio mic frequencies for general (licence free) use in the UK. 4 in the VHF band & 4 in the UHF band - pro users have access to several other licensed frequencies. This could all change for the worse with the current government plans to auction off air space to the highest bidder.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
Little Story I had:

 

Every now and again, the Sunday school (or Children's Church as it is known, in fairly well-heeled Twyford) come up to the front at the end of the service after communion to show what they've been upto behind the sound proofed doors. One day, they had been writing prayers to thank God for all he had created and done for us. It was Christian Aid week and we had been praying for people suffering from drought. I will never forget one of the prayers one little boy of 7 came up with:

 

"Dear God, Thank you for the gift of water ... so I can sail my yacht. Amen"

 

How our Vicar kept his composure, I will never know. The congregation cooed nicely. I nearly fell off the bench and there were almost tears of laughter in the vestry afterwards.

 

Our children's liturgy prayer board sprouted a "prayer" a week or so ago... "dear grandpa, sorry you died"

To which some wag has added "don't suppose he was too happy about it himself" ! B)

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I love these tales!

 

May I add an anecdote about the worst wedding I ever played for? It was on a very dilapidated 1930s Rushworth that clearly hadn't been played for a very long time. A few weeks before the wedding I met the couple (friends of mine) in the church to demonstrate different possible voluntaries etc. Apart from intermittent ciphers, at one point the organ suddenly developed the most remarkable banshee wail that initially I thought must be a treble tromba ciphering - but it continued with all stops in and was out of tune with the Great tromba. I discovered on entering the organ that a flap of reservoir leather was torn and every so often popped out under wind pressure causing the shrill noise.

 

More problems developed on the morning of the wedding whilst rehearsing with the choir, until in despair I dispatched a bass to go off to the local B&Q with a shopping list of emergency repair items such as duck tape and superglue. Thus in the interlude before the start of the wedding I found myself crawling arond the inside of the organ in my best suit taping over the cracked leather of the Great reservoir and hoping it wouldn't pop out again during the service. (Note: if any organ builders are watching this forum, could you please let me know if what I did was unforgivable vandalism or heroic salvage? I'd hate to think I caused expensive damage to the instrument wth a botched repair).

 

Five mintes before the bride was due, horror of horrors, the ivory of the Great Middle C fell off. I found it too difficult to play without an ivory (the bride was coming in to the Hallelujah Chorus and exiting to Widor) so I decided to liberally apply the remaining superglue to the underside of the ivory and stick it back on again.

 

Except that I put a bit too much on and found that not only was Middle C now stuck to B and D, but my left hand was stuck to Middle C.

 

I managed to unstick it all eventually and the wedding passed off, mercifully, without any further embarressment. But I've never been back to the church again and hope I never have to.

 

 

 

Oh rats, I just discoved our curate's been posted there and wants us all to come to his induction service...

 

Contrabombarde (new to the forums - I've posted a bit about me on Introduce Yourself).

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Heroic Actions, I would say - the show must go on. Sod the organ! If it was in that state, it would be very unlikely that it mattered what you used to repair it!

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Sounds similar to an experience I had...

 

I got a phone call early one Saturday morning (6.30am) from a friend. Please bear in mind that I was a student at the time, and was probably still drunk from the night/morning prior.

 

Could I please please please come to London (from Stoke on Trent) and play for a wedding? If I got the 720 train, I'd make it in time to practice.

 

So, off I trot. Still inebriated.

 

Turn up to some random RC church in Chiswick, organ console in gallery at west end, pipework detached but in same place.

 

Had a bit of a play, found my way around, went for a pizza and a beer, came back for the wedding.

 

First hymn - praise my soul. Somehow, halfway through the 3rd verse, on comes the pedal trombone bottom B flat. No amount of stop jiggling (stop was in) nor note slapping would clear it. Friend dives into the organ proper, can't find the correct pipe before the end of hymn, so I just turn the thing off. Cue long long long death stare from clergyman and couple until the wind finally plays out.

 

Some minutes later, I turn on the blower again ready for the Schubert Ave maria for the singing of the register.... Bbbbbarrrrrp... Click. Blower off.

 

We did the whole remainder of the service unacc, with my friend singing the most haunting Ave Maria I've ever heard, absolutely bang in tune.

 

Post service, we found the offending pipe plus size 12 boot imprints across a number of smaller pipes... Apparently the church had been too tight to pay for the organ to be covered during the re-leading of the windows and rebuilding of the window frames, plus the builders only route to the windows was through the pedal division.

 

I got paid £230 for playing 4 verses of Praise my soul, and the organ got a refurbishment fund started.

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Had a new one on Saturday last. The driver of the Wedding Car used Sat Nav to find the hotel he was picking the Bride up from. He got the post code wrong and went to the wrong place - she was 29 minutes late. Thank goodness for Mobile Telephones at least the congregation did not have to sit through 29 minutes off `Jesu Joy'.

 

FF

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There are quite a few "radio microphone" stories around. There is the one of the priest who got caught short as it were in the middle of Mass and nipped off to the loo but forgot to turn off his microphone ... I'll leave the rest to your imaginations. Another is of a bishop who muttered at the beginning of Mass "is this microphone working" to which the congregation responded "and also with you".

 

Peter

 

Wasn't it : "There's something wrong with this microphone...." "and also with you!"

 

:)

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Had a new one on Saturday last. The driver of the Wedding Car used Sat Nav to find the hotel he was picking the Bride up from. He got the post code wrong and went to the wrong place - she was 29 minutes late. Thank goodness for Mobile Telephones at least the congregation did not have to sit through 29 minutes off `Jesu Joy'.

 

FF

 

Not an organ tale as such, as I discovered the church didn't actually have an organ so I was left playing a ropey old piano, but I once played for a wedding for which the bride was forty five minutes late. I'd not brought much music with me, principally the ubiquitous Favourite Wedding and Funeral Tunes ilk, and having already played each of the wedding themes at least twice over, with a deep sigh and improvisation block that day, delicately launched into a Funeral March.

 

During which the bride showed up.

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