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Richard McVeigh

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Neil Shepherd - presently Organist and DofM at Standish Parish Church, Lancashire. Previously DofM at Cirencester Parish Church. Other past appointments include St. James, Daisy Hill (1984-9), St Thomas, St Annes on Sea (1989-94), St John Great Harwood (1994-8) and Keynsham Parish Church (1999 -1992). Interests include theatre-pipe organs, cathedral music and single malts! I had a career change recently and am now working in the travel industry based in Whalley, Lancashire, specialising in tailor made tours to the Baltics and Russia, as well as running a specialist music tours arm of the company. Not missing the hypocrisy and politics of large Anglican churches in the slightest!

 

Hello Neil, welcome aboard! I knew our paths would cross again sooner or later :rolleyes:

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Thank you Paul (@Serena) and also Steve (D)

 

 

Yes - life goes on and a small part time church post is not too bad! The Ciren rebuild still hasn't happened although I understand that things are slightly nearer now. I took the challenge of Ciren knowing that that there had been a record number of musicians in the past - I was probably the longest surviving! Simply, the low salary and endless hours of private teaching to make ends meet was not ideal and I decided to do other things. I suppose if I'd have been a member of the brickies, I may have got on better with a couple of church officials who were a constant pain in the **** , although the Vicar was a tremendous support (he was rewarded by becoming Precentor of Winchester and we both left on the same Sunday). It is a known fact that at Ciren, the churchwardens are in charge, not the Vicar (or even God!). Say no more.....................

 

Warmest regards

 

Neil

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I suppose if I'd have been a member of the brickies, I may have got on better with a couple of church officials who were a constant pain in the **** ,

Neil, what is/are the brickies? The Freemasons? Aren't they meant to practise charity and believe in the brotherhood of mankind?

 

Michael

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Neil, what is/are the brickies? The Freemasons? Aren't they meant to practise charity and believe in the brotherhood of mankind?

 

Michael

 

 

One wonders. However, am I not right in thinking that the House of Bishops several years ago denounced the brotherhood as being "incompatible with Christianity"?

 

N

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Peter Godden

 

Only came across this site recently, not a frequent visitor.

 

Born Merseyside 1947.

Studied music at Leeds university, organ with Donald Hunt, was organist at the Hostel of the Resurrection Leeds. PGCE Cambridge.

14 years teaching music & being organist at successively St Augustine's Edgbaston, St Peter-in-Thanet Broadstairs, St Andrew's Cathedral Inverness.

2 years at Lincoln Theological College.

Since then I haven't really been able to escape from the Diocese of Lincoln. Now looking after 5 tiny country parishes with a variety of organs, 2 of which hold BIOS Historic Organ Certificates. One (Spridlington) about to be restored next year.

Still play - have an R+D Apollo reed organ languishing in the garage - it's too big to get indoors - and a secondhand Viscount Jubilate indoors in the warm.

My wife Alison sings (especially Faure) & we do quite a few joint recitals out here in the potato fields.

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Hello

 

I'm Barry Thain. I'm not an organist; not even a musician really which is proved by the fact I sing first bass in a choral society. But I also act as occasional registrant, page turner and chauffeur for my son, Lawrence. He's 16, in the lower sixth at school, is organ scholar at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace with Carl Jackson, and organ scholar elect, New College, Oxford (2008). He's taking his ARCO exams next July.

 

If anyone is interested I have a clip of him playing Langlais' Incantation pour un jour saint, in Exeter College, Oxford. PM me if you'd like to see it.

 

I have read many of the threads here and am in awe of the depth of knowledge shown by the contributors. I hope you will not mind me asking the occasional ignorant question or expressing an opinion or two.

 

Thank you for having me.

 

Justadad

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Hello

 

I'm Barry Thain. I'm not an organist; not even a musician really which is proved by the fact I sing first bass in a choral society. But I also act as occasional registrant, page turner and chauffeur for my son, Lawrence. He's 16, in the lower sixth at school, is organ scholar at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace with Carl Jackson, and organ scholar elect, New College, Oxford (2008). He's taking his ARCO exams next July.

 

If anyone is interested I have a clip of him playing Langlais' Incantation pour un jour saint, in Exeter College, Oxford. PM me if you'd like to see it.

 

I have read many of the threads here and am in awe of the depth of knowledge shown by the contributors. I hope you will not mind me asking the occasional ignorant question or expressing an opinion or two.

 

Thank you for having me.

 

Justadad

 

Not at all!

 

Welcome, Barry.

 

I shall endeavour to contact you by PM later - between lessons.

 

I should also be interested to know what your son thinks of the chapel organ, since I believe that the late Gordon Reynolds had a few electronic stops added at the last rebuild.

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Not at all!

 

Welcome, Barry.

 

I shall endeavour to contact you by PM later - between lessons.

 

I should also be interested to know what your son thinks of the chapel organ, since I believe that the late Gordon Reynolds had a few electronic stops added at the last rebuild.

 

Gordon Reynolds personally designed the Hampton Court Palace organ specifically for Choir Accompaniment - he was not interested in having a recital organ saying that was a sufficient amount of organ music that could effectively be performed on his scheme anyway.

 

He said that he thought this was the last accompaniment organ that would ever be designed for church choral music and wondered how long it would be after his death before it was re-modelled with the recital repertoire in mind.

 

FF

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Lawrence thinks he's very lucky to have grown up with the Chapel Royal HCP organ as his 'home' instrument. What I'm about to say will doubtless be a bit basic for the aficionados here who could comment on the finer points of the reed voicing, or whatever, but having three manuals, some 32's, a good action and plenty of registration aids since he began to learn aged 11 has not only been very useful, but I think it's had a considerable influence on the way he plays.

 

He's a good sight-reader, and that helps, but I think he spends more time registering his pieces than working on the notes themselves. Of course, that's silly to say as both things happen at the same time but, hmmm, well mostly he can play the notes so spends more time reworking and reworking the sound to get that just the way he wants it.

 

He played for the Stainer Crucifixion at Easter and I remember one place where I think the lyric was about darkness across the face of the earth (or something equally grim) and he managed to squeeze a desolate growl out of the organ that drew audible shivers from the audience. He likes to get the atmosphere right.

 

Being a chorister at the CR for over six years before becoming organ scholar was also significant. He is very much more a liturgical accompanist, I think, than a recitalist. He plays two or three voluntaries a month but prefers (and is good at) accompanying the psalms, canticles and anthems and as Frank said, the organ is a fine accompanying instrument.

 

Last Sunday the organist was absent and L had all of Evensong to himself. As the choir began to enter the chapel for practice he was working on the anthem, Insanae et vanae curae. After the first page and a bar of organ intro some of the Boys could not resist joining in. Soon they all had, and the Gentlemen decided to pitch in too. There was something magical about that; as if no one had to be doing it, there was no conductor or congregation, and everyone was just doing it because they loved it.

 

Thrilling!

 

 

 

 

Gordon Reynolds personally designed the Hampton Court Palace organ specifically for Choir Accompaniment - he was not interested in having a recital organ saying that was a sufficient amount of organ music that could effectively be performed on his scheme anyway.

 

He said that he thought this was the last accompaniment organ that would ever be designed for church choral music and wondered how long it would be after his death before it was re-modelled with the recital repertoire in mind.

 

FF

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"14 years teaching music & being organist at successively St Augustine's Edgbaston, "

 

Hello Peter, iam the assistant organist at St. Augustine's. I include the our website address www.staugustines-edgbaston.org

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Have finaly plucked the courage to introduce my self, after reading this forum for a long time.

My name, John Sheppard originaly from London. Have been residing in Cornwall for the past thirty four years.

Worked for Henry Willis for eight years, in London before moving to Rushworths London and Home counties branch.

Am organist of a parish church in Carbis Bay (nr St Ives) with the most fantastic accoustics. The Sweetland pipe organ was removed in 2001, and replaced with a toaster. The beast was totally unreliable and was almost beyond repair. We were looking at seventy plus thousand for a rebuild. The powers that be at the time decided to get rid of said monster and replace with the toaster. It is a large 2m and ped with 44 speaking stops. Must be honest, tonally I am impressed,obviosly not as good as the real thing. the decision to replace the Sweetland was purely economics. It was made by Content Organs in Holland. Anyone ever down in this part of the world is most welcome to "have a go"

My thanks to the Mander team for this forum. Have spent many interesting hours reading the comments.

Before I finish Hi Neil!!

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Have finaly plucked the courage to introduce my self, after reading this forum for a long time.

My name, John Sheppard originaly from London. Have been residing in Cornwall for the past thirty four years.

Worked for Henry Willis for eight years, in London before moving to Rushworths London and Home counties branch.

Am organist of a parish church in Carbis Bay (nr St Ives) with the most fantastic accoustics. The Sweetland pipe organ was removed in 2001, and replaced with a toaster. The beast was totally unreliable and was almost beyond repair. We were looking at seventy plus thousand for a rebuild. The powers that be at the time decided to get rid of said monster and replace with the toaster. It is a large 2m and ped with 44 speaking stops. Must be honest, tonally I am impressed,obviosly not as good as the real thing. the decision to replace the Sweetland was purely economics. It was made by Content Organs in Holland. Anyone ever down in this part of the world is most welcome to "have a go"

My thanks to the Mander team for this forum. Have spent many interesting hours reading the comments.

Before I finish Hi Neil!!

 

 

Welcome, John!

 

I was interested to read about the toaster at Carbis Bay. This is, as you are no doubt aware, not that far from Newquay. Is there still a toaster here, too? One of my regrets is that, whilst I saw the old Nicholson organ, I never got to play it before its demise.

 

Pity that FHW* cancelled the insurance on the organ not long before the conflagration.

B)

 

* No, not that FHW....

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Yes, the toaster is still the P.C. in Newquay St. Michaels.

I know from a former vicar at Newquay, and Carbis Bay ( Canon Michael Fisher now retired) that they had a lot of problems when it was first installed. It was not unsual during services, to have the emergency services radios coming through the speakers as the vehicles drove past the church. This I understand is now a thing of the past. I did have the priviledge of playing the old organ before the fire. One of the best organs in the west country.

There was a lot of talk of the toaster being replaced with a pipe organ, but still using the toaster's console. Sheffield Cathedral I think??

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Yes, the toaster is still the P.C. in Newquay St. Michaels.

I know from a former vicar at Newquay, and Carbis Bay ( Canon Michael Fisher now retired) that they had a lot of problems when it was first installed. It was not unsual during services, to have the emergency services radios coming through the speakers as the vehicles drove past the church. This I understand is now a thing of the past. I did have the priviledge of playing the old organ before the fire. One of the best organs in the west country.

 

I also played it a few times back in the late 80's, when I was first starting out on the organ. It was not only a lovely instrument, as I recall, but a rare treat for someone who was more used to 1 or 2m Hele organs around the place - my main practice instrument was a tiny tiny tiny 1m thing in St. Eval church, and occasionally the 2m Hele in St. Columb Major (Ivan Rabey was the organist there at the time).

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I also played it a few times back in the late 80's, when I was first starting out on the organ. It was not only a lovely instrument, as I recall, but a rare treat for someone who was more used to 1 or 2m Hele organs around the place - my main practice instrument was a tiny tiny tiny 1m thing in St. Eval church, and occasionally the 2m Hele in St. Columb Major (Ivan Rabey was the organist there at the time).

 

It was the pride and joy of the late Denis Osborne - organist at St Michael's - he opened the instrument up at 10.00 one morning and showed me where to leave the key when I had finished. I was there till early afternoon!

The Wyvern there now is almost the same spec. as the Nicholson which incidentally was voiced by Roger Yates with John Dykes Bower as consultant - I seem to remember.

 

AJJ

 

PS Sorry - this is off topic!

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Guest Cynic

Due to the fact that I have handed over sole charge for the music at Holy Trinity Hull to my wife as of this evening, never intending to darken that particular door again after my little patience has been exhausted, I thought a re-name was called for.

 

'Cynic' is the new handle for what used to be the reasonably optimistic Paul Derrett (or paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk).

 

I will probably be pontificating somewhat less in future - so that's good news!

Expressions of sympathy are not required: so many things in my life are my own fault that I have no doubt at all that I have (as usual) been my own enemy over the last few months. I think I am about to give church duties a miss for a very, very long time.

 

I have however not entirely given up interest in playing the organ. Fortunately I have instrument(s) of mine own.

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This is a great idea, Richard. My background, however, is vastly different from many of you. My name is Eugene Chan, born and raised in Hong Kong until I was 16.

 

I started my music education with violin lessons in grade 2. (Although my Mother has a Performer's Diploma in Piano from the ABRSM, she refused to teach me the piano because raising me was enough work for her.) In grade 4 I joined the school choir, and the church choir (baptist), both for a year.

 

In secondary school, I was part of the school's treble choir for two years, until I left HK for Canada. Without a violin teacher in Toronto, I started to lose interest. At the same time, the house where we were staying had a piano, on which I started to teach myself. Throughout the next few years, I was a member of the school's mixed voice choir and violinist for the completely extra-curricular chamber orchestra.

 

By the time I graduated, I was a fairly good self-taught pianist. Once I entered university, I was recruited for my talents by the chaplain of the anglican college, where I was living. At first, I played on the piano, then I started to play on the one-maual digital organ from Rodgers. It was my first exposure to anglican worship, service accompaniment and organ playing. Throughout the next five years (I changed my major part way through), I would hone my skills in each of these areas.

 

Eventually, I finished my BA (Hons.) in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Waterloo. Since September 2006, I have been working in beautiful Banff, Alberta at the historical Banff Springs Hotel. At the same time, I have been the backup musician at the only anglican church in town. As the current DOM will be leaving in the middle of January, I have been offered, and accepted, the position.

 

The church currently has a two-manual and pedal electronic organ. It is made by a firm called Eminent, which I believe is from the Netherlands. It is old but playable and adequate. I am hoping to have some funds to install new external speakers because the internal ones currently in use are just not up to standard for modern ears.

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Due to the fact that I have handed over sole charge for the music at Holy Trinity Hull to my wife as of this evening, never intending to darken that particular door again after my little patience has been exhausted, I thought a re-name was called for.

 

'Cynic' is the new handle for what used to be the reasonably optimistic Paul Derrett (or paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk).

 

I will probably be pontificating somewhat less in future - so that's good news!

Expressions of sympathy are not required: so many things in my life are my own fault that I have no doubt at all that I have (as usual) been my own enemy over the last few months. I think I am about to give church duties a miss for a very, very long time.

 

I have however not entirely given up interest in playing the organ. Fortunately I have instrument(s) of mine own.

 

Please don't stop 'pontificating', Paul! Your insights, anecdotes, wisdom etc. are a highlight of the board. I'll stop crawling now.

 

All best wishes,

 

Matthew

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Guest Andrew Butler

Rather than start another topic, i wonder whether this is the place for this......?

 

It is interesting to know what other people do musically (and otherwise) in a little more detail, if they are prepared to share it.

 

My two penn'orth is:

 

Sunday: Every week 8.30 & 10.30 RC Mass. Plus 1st Sun: 3.00pm Unitarian Chapel service; 4.30 RC Benediction. 2nd & 4th Suns 6.30pm Anglican evensongs

 

Mon-Fri Peripatetic piano teaching, plus funerals as required (74 last year!!) Weds evening choir practice

 

Sat 8.15 Reherasal with "8.30 Mass" Cantor; 6.00 Mass. Weddings as required (1 last year!!!)

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It is interesting to know what other people do musically (and otherwise) in a little more detail, if they are prepared to share it.

Sunday morning: Every week 9:30 Family service (organ/piano, cantor); 11:00 "off-site" Family service (piano, occasional trumpet, clar/sax, guitar, cello)

The rest of the time: Chiefly music for theatre (West End, National Theatre etc.). Various bits of classical keyboard work, sessions, cabaret gigs, continuo.

Weddings and funerals when asked.

 

Michael

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It is interesting to know what other people do musically (and otherwise) in a little more detail, if they are prepared to share it.

 

Sunday Mornings: 9:30 Sung Eucharist twice a month (middle of the road C of E, organ, occasionally wave hands at ad-hoc choir), one Sunday of the month a family service (piano/organ), and I take one sunday off every month.

 

Some Thursday evenings - choir practice for the ad-hoc choir (7:45-9pm)

 

Saturday before family service (i.e. once a month) - practice band (5- 5:45pm) and family choir (6:00-6:30).

 

We get some weddings at the church - I think I've got about 14 this year, which is quite a lot by my standards.

 

The rest of the time - 9 to 5 as an IT consultant! I try to get a bit of practice in most evenings (preparing for ARCO) but this week is quite normal: the last time I did any meaningful practice was Monday night (it's Friday today)... I'm also getting back into having singing lessons after a year off...

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It is interesting to know what other people do musically (and otherwise) in a little more detail, if they are prepared to share it.

 

Sunday: 1030 Eucharist (Sundays 2-4) playing/conducting

6.30 Evensong singing at Romsey

Occasional Mondays - teaching organ

Tuesday - taking church choir rehearsal

Wednesday - taking rehearsals for my chamber choir (http://www.laudachoir.org)

Thursday - Romsey Abbey choir rehearsal

 

And this is the cut back schedule, on top of working 9-5.30, commuting 100 miles a day, and having a 5 month old baby!

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It is interesting to know what other people do musically (and otherwise) in a little more detail, if they are prepared to share it.

 

Regular playing once a month - 10.00 Communion - also High Days when required/available. Other than that - 'peripatetic' mostly allowing me to pick and choose. During the day a full time teaching job. More time to practice now - family duties permitting - with an instrument now installed in front room.

 

AJJ

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