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Richard McVeigh

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Hello! I'm new!

 

I'm Matthew. I'm 15 years old, and play the organ in various local churches. I live near Tadcaster, in North Yorkshire. :rolleyes:

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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.

 

Good idea, Andrew.

 

Thursday evening cantors' practice 7.30 - 8.15 - I have a rota of 5 cantors - all women - who take it in turns to sing the paslm, gospel greeting and sometimes lead the Kyrie, Sanctus or what might be necessary depending on the setting. This is done from the sanctuary thoiugh the choir (and organ) are in ther west gallery. Every few weeks we have a "choir only" psalm where a 4-part setting is sung from the gallery. At each cantors' rehearsal there are two present - the cantor for the following Sunday and an "understudy" in case of sickness &c. Beer.

 

Friday evening full choir from 8.oo - 9.00 or later depending on time of year. Estra rehearsals at Holy Week/Easter and Christmas. Beer.

 

Sunday morning "run through" 10.15 - 10.40, then Mass at 11.00.

 

Sunday evenings Mass at the University chaplaincy (giving up soon Deo Gratias!).

 

Weddings and funerals as and when. Quite often called to otjher churches and places to play/accompany. For example this week I am at the RC cathedral tomorrow for an afternoon service (rite of election) and on Tuesday a rehearsal at Llantarnam Abbey for a BBC recording being done a week tomorrow.

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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.

Good idea!

 

At my 'home' church:

1st Sunday of month 9.30 reh & 10.00 choral mattins; 5.45 reh & 6.30 choral communion

2nd, 3rd & 5th 5.45 reh & 6.30 choral evensong

1st & 3rd Weds 6.30 reh 7.30 choral evensong (except in Advent/Lent when we sing compline instead)

Fri (except Fri before 4th Sun) 7.50-9.20 reh.

Plus the usual extras: Ash W, M Thurs, G Fri, Easter Eve etc

 

I usually play at one of a number of other churches on the 2nd 3rd & 5th sun ams and have the 4th weekend off completely.

 

the rest is a mixture of teaching (organ, piano, paperwork & aural), playing (Recitals, funerals, weddings, university degree ceremonies) and some web-editing (relic of previous IT career).

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Hello to you all.

With much trepidation, even fear and trembling, do I venture a toe into this sea of the great and good.

Being of lowly talent, no formal training and possessed of the skills which might, perhaps, qualify me to hand pump the Positive Organ Company whistle box in a wayside chapel, I feel distinctly out of place here. In the main therefore I will continue to read all your postings with a sort of detached but intense fascination.

 

That aside, I do really enjoy reading about those thing for which I can have only a watcher's role. My own part in the field of those who refuse to breathe air which hasn't been round a Discus, is to pilot a H&H octopod (8848,8884,& Bourdon) at Chiton, in the Land of the Prince Bishops.

 

It was built in the 1930s, so not one of their best, dare I say, and had some alterations in 1955. NPOR makes a complete dog's breakfast of their description of the instrument. I keep meaning to write in and give a true spec. of the thing, but keep getting diverted into more important matters like cleaning my glasses, burying the dog, and wishing the wedding party who want 'The Vidor' would just b****r off. ( I can't play it, the nearest I have to anything over 4' is a Swell Octave acoustic-mud-creating-device, my pedal technique is an abstract concept, and there's a perfectly good version on cd which the verger can stuff into the thing at the appropiate moment).

 

Here I pause whilst a corporate cringe and shudder runs through the list - cries of "get 'im out of there, he's a disgrace", "they'd be better off with a digital organist", ect., etc..

 

I suppose the truth is that at the small parish end of the calling, there are a great many of us basically- incompetent- but-able -to- get- by organists, with our Langley editions, our 80 Chorale Preludes, our Gabriel's Oboe, our two-stave 'busker' versions and so on. On the whole, I manage to bluff out a reasonably acceptable performance, and knowing that if I wasn't shining up my trousers on the bench, then it would remain empty.

 

It seems true that wherever there is a decent organ, then a decent organist is never far away. But there are now so many unmanned consoles at the bottom end, (if I can put it that way), that I think even the less able of us, if we have basic ability, have a role to play.

 

I think I will finish here before I am persuaded that <alt.goldfish breeding> might be better home for my postings.

 

Regards to all and thanks for some really fascinating threads.

 

Chris Baker

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I've discovered that i've never written in this thread. so here goes.

 

David Ballard, 17, from 30 miles out into the north sea (alá near Norwich)

Presently doing A-level's inc music, Grade8 playing in the summer.

Hopeing to do UEA music degree

 

Presently, Ass. Organist at St. Nicholas, North Walsham (Town of about 12,000) with Men and boys choir, singing every sunday morning, and 1 or 2 full evensongs a month. (especially festivals)

 

Hopeing to move onwards in the organ world , slowly but surely!

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Hello to you all.

With much trepidation, even fear and trembling, do I venture a toe into this sea of the great and good.

Being of lowly talent, no formal training and possessed of the skills which might, perhaps, qualify me to hand pump the Positive Organ Company whistle box in a wayside chapel, I feel distinctly out of place here. In the main therefore I will continue to read all your postings with a sort of detached but intense fascination.

 

That aside, I do really enjoy reading about those thing for which I can have only a watcher's role. My own part in the field of those who refuse to breathe air which hasn't been round a Discus, is to pilot a H&H octopod (8848,8884,& Bourdon) at Chiton, in the Land of the Prince Bishops.

 

It was built in the 1930s, so not one of their best, dare I say, and had some alterations in 1955. NPOR makes a complete dog's breakfast of their description of the instrument. I keep meaning to write in and give a true spec. of the thing, but keep getting diverted into more important matters like cleaning my glasses, burying the dog, and wishing the wedding party who want 'The Vidor' would just b****r off. ( I can't play it, the nearest I have to anything over 4' is a Swell Octave acoustic-mud-creating-device, my pedal technique is an abstract concept, and there's a perfectly good version on cd which the verger can stuff into the thing at the appropiate moment).

 

Here I pause whilst a corporate cringe and shudder runs through the list - cries of "get 'im out of there, he's a disgrace", "they'd be better off with a digital organist", ect., etc..

 

I suppose the truth is that at the small parish end of the calling, there are a great many of us basically- incompetent- but-able -to- get- by organists, with our Langley editions, our 80 Chorale Preludes, our Gabriel's Oboe, our two-stave 'busker' versions and so on. On the whole, I manage to bluff out a reasonably acceptable performance, and knowing that if I wasn't shining up my trousers on the bench, then it would remain empty.

 

It seems true that wherever there is a decent organ, then a decent organist is never far away. But there are now so many unmanned consoles at the bottom end, (if I can put it that way), that I think even the less able of us, if we have basic ability, have a role to play.

 

I think I will finish here before I am persuaded that <alt.goldfish breeding> might be better home for my postings.

 

Regards to all and thanks for some really fascinating threads.

 

Chris Baker

 

Hi Chris

 

Kepp up the good work - and keep practicing. (And please do send the correction to NPOR!)

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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My own part in the field of those who refuse to breathe air which hasn't been round a Discus, is to pilot a H&H octopod (8848,8884,& Bourdon) at Chiton, in the Land of the Prince Bishops.

 

 

Here I pause whilst a corporate cringe and shudder runs through the list - cries of "get 'im out of there, he's a disgrace", "they'd be better off with a digital organist", ect., etc..

 

I suppose the truth is that at the small parish end of the calling

 

 

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

 

 

Well I can absolutely identify with this.

 

I recall vividly being 11 years of age and part of an excellent school-choir, and not being from a church-going family, I recall being enthralled by the large 3-manual organ in the local Methodist Church: so much so that I wanted to learn to play, there and then, without a moment of hesitation.

 

I therefore had six months of piano lessons, but my parent's business was failing rapidly due to the boom in supermarkets, and the lessons had to go.

 

Completely undaunted by this minor inconvenience to my ambitions, I worked out that Rembrandt probably didn't go to art-college, and thus set out to teach myself. Then someone told me that Bach had been discouraged, and that he silently swotted away during the night by candle-light, and so I thought, "Well if he could do it, anybody can do it!"

 

On the back of this great wisdom, I continued, and when they finally told me that I was the new organ-scholar at Uni, I thought to myself, "Huh! I've got this far without them, why do I need to be a scholar now?"

 

The point it, we all get there differently, and if that means teaching oneself, or being a pupil of the greatest and finest the world has to offer, it really doesn't matter. (The self-tution method is MUCH harder, I can tell you!)

 

Enjoy the discussion, and I'm sure that if there is anything you don't understand, I'm sure there are many of us who would be happy to responded privately to your queries.

 

As for your little H & H of the 1930's, well one of the first churches to which I was appointed had something similar. Now you tell me if you can think of another builder who could make a small organ so perfect for accompanying hymns and psalms, whatever the shortcomings for the repertoire.

 

The wonderful thing about organs and organ-discussion, is that it works at so many levels, and even the finest musicians can be totally in awe of an organ-builder who doesn't play a note, or at best, could just about scrape through a hymn. Rather like Formula One, the world of the organ is a team-effort, which involves musicians, technical people, historians, composers and, hopefully, those who just enjoy listening.

 

You can always ask questions such as, "How many organists does it take to change a light-bulb?"

 

In fact, how many organists DOES it take to change a light-bulb? What fascinating thread that would make.

 

 

MM

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In fact, how many organists DOES it take to change a light-bulb? What fascinating thread that would make.

 

Just one, but they do it with their feet.

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MM says >As for your little H & H of the 1930's, well one of the first churches to which I was appointed had something similar. Now you tell me if you can think of another builder who could make a small organ so perfect for accompanying hymns and psalms, whatever the shortcomings for the repertoire.<

 

Hello MM

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

In the quoted extract above, I both agree and disagree with you.

My church, St Aidans, Chilton, Co Durham. is a big open 'barn' of a place, light and airy, well-maintained and decorated,(albeit simply and none the worse for it). The empty building has a five second acoustic, down to about three seconds with a few dozen in the pews. Just about perfect for music. The organ is in the usual place, a chamber on the south side of the chancel.

 

Behind me is something that the builders of the church and the purchasers of the organ could never have contemplated :- that there would come a time when the choir stalls would be unoccupied. If the photographs in the vestry could come to life and once again put 20 or so souls into the stalls, then I would agree with you that as a choir organ for hymns and chants it is not too bad at all.

 

For congregational accompaniment, it is less satisfactory. Without the Principal, it simply fails to bring along the people in the pews, and with it drawn nearly all the time, accompaniments are a bit umm.. plain. I accept that most grumbles about organ deficiencies are more to do with the organist than the instrument. I realise that much can be done to suggest a crescendo, using detatchment, or even none of it at all. But on the whole there is the slightly uncomfortable feeling of being at near full-chat all the time.

 

Alright, you win, now that I have done a few months there, I am discovering more about the instrument. The 8' Open makes a decent french horn, the Dulciana is a very reasonable pedal Violon, the Claribel is rather nice with the Swell string, the Principal is....umm .. handy for tuning. The Swell 4' Flute is a cracking little Flageolet at the octave, the Horn is quite tasty on the pedal, but absolutely disgusting with the octave coupler and to Great for a 'full works' interlude. Did it once, never again (Having to stand on the bench to push the keys down didn't help!).

 

Yes, fair enough, I regret suggesting that the organ is not from H&H's best period. Actually, I was probably reflecting the views of Bert Prested (deceased), who was a local organ builder with a seething hatred of that firm, and with whom I was in touch for a while.

 

Enough for now

 

Regards

 

Chris Baker

 

 

>Hi Chris

Keep up the good work - and keep practicing. (And please do send the correction to NPOR!)

Every Blessing

Tony<

 

 

Thanks Tony, I think you and I have met before haven't we? Organchat maybe, perhaps Pipechat. Unlikely to have been PIP/ORG, 'cos I got thrown off there for being rude to Cheryl Hart.

 

Best etc..

 

Chris

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Unlikely to have been PIP/ORG, 'cos I got thrown off there for being rude to Cheryl Hart.

 

 

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

 

 

I think most English people get thrown off Piporg-l.....something to do with American academia I think....no sense of irony.

 

At least you chose an electronics gal......I savaged Stephen Bicknell, but only after he had savaged me, so "aye" got thrown off. Delightfully, Stephen Bicknell never contributed again!

 

I love it when something backfires and becomes a home goal.

 

:)

 

MM

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Guest drd
===========================

 

 

Well I can absolutely identify with this.

 

I recall vividly being 11 years of age and part of an excellent school-choir, and not being from a church-going family, I recall being enthralled by the large 3-manual organ in the local Methodist Church: so much so that I wanted to learn to play, there and then, without a moment of hesitation.

 

I therefore had six months of piano lessons, but my parent's business was failing rapidly due to the boom in supermarkets, and the lessons had to go.

 

Completely undaunted by this minor inconvenience to my ambitions, I worked out that Rembrandt probably didn't go to art-college, and thus set out to teach myself. Then someone told me that Bach had been discouraged, and that he silently swotted away during the night by candle-light, and so I thought, "Well if he could do it, anybody can do it!"

 

On the back of this great wisdom, I continued, and when they finally told me that I was the new organ-scholar at Uni, I thought to myself, "Huh! I've got this far without them, why do I need to be a scholar now?"

 

The point it, we all get there differently, and if that means teaching oneself, or being a pupil of the greatest and finest the world has to offer, it really doesn't matter. (The self-tution method is MUCH harder, I can tell you!)

 

Enjoy the discussion, and I'm sure that if there is anything you don't understand, I'm sure there are many of us who would be happy to responded privately to your queries.

 

As for your little H & H of the 1930's, well one of the first churches to which I was appointed had something similar. Now you tell me if you can think of another builder who could make a small organ so perfect for accompanying hymns and psalms, whatever the shortcomings for the repertoire.

 

The wonderful thing about organs and organ-discussion, is that it works at so many levels, and even the finest musicians can be totally in awe of an organ-builder who doesn't play a note, or at best, could just about scrape through a hymn. Rather like Formula One, the world of the organ is a team-effort, which involves musicians, technical people, historians, composers and, hopefully, those who just enjoy listening.

 

You can always ask questions such as, "How many organists does it take to change a light-bulb?"

 

In fact, how many organists DOES it take to change a light-bulb? What fascinating thread that would make.

 

 

MM

 

Hear, hear - absolutely applaud everything you've said.

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I’m David Harrison, nearly 70, and a retired schoolmaster. I had a conventional education: Bishop Wordsworth in Salisbury; Brentwood, where I first learnt the organ with Edgar Brice, and the Royal College of Music which was combined with a residential course at the RSCM HQ in Addington. There I came into contact with such luminaries as Gerald Knight, Cyril Taylor and Sidney Campbell. Contrary to ubiquitous perception any sign of current schizophrenia was probably not down to my RCM teachers - Ralph Downes and Harold Darke; instruction from them both was memorable though I have always regretted not taking better advantage of their justly fabled skills and scholarship; no, I was just too dammed idle.

 

A short spell as assistant at Manchester Cathedral is a period of my life of which I am not particularly proud, having lasted there only six months; at the time there was a potential wife to be courted in London. I chose a wife over a potentially glittering and star studded career and eventual marriage to her brought the curse and necessity of regular and steady employment. I spent the rest of a very happy working life teaching music in prep schools such as Brambletye, Sandroyd, Craigflower near Dunfermline, where I was for 4 years organist of the Abbey Church, and finally Papplewick in Ascot. There I found a school that took its church music seriously: a fine chapel, a brilliant Percy Daniel organ and a full time organist; in latter years an outstanding player, Gareth Price, who was both a Durham organ scholar and an FRCO. In addition I inherited a very high musical standard that had been set by my predecessor, Geoffrey Morgan. Following such as he was an unenviable task; whether or not I managed it is not mine to judge, but I did make a good friend for life and I much enjoy reading his contributions to another organists’ chat room to which many of you contribute.

 

Retirement has brought us to an idyllic village near Worcester so that my wife and I can be close to our eldest daughter, one Mrs Lucas by name, whose husband is, she tells me, an organist somewhere in the vicinity. He and I avoid talking shop and almost always discuss other matters of mutual interest such as food, alcohol, motor cars, hi-fi, photography, anything scientific and, of course, our favourite subject – computers: nerds of the world, unite. In fact, I did act for a few traumatic weeks in early 1998 as his assistant at the cathedral just before Daniel Phillips arrived; I was very relieved to hand my keys over to Daniel. Was it not Beethoven who said to a less than expert lady pupil: ‘Madam, you will have to practise long and faithfully before you realise that you can’t play’? I did and I couldn’t.

 

I managed somehow to scramble an FRCO in ‘younger and happier days’, winning, very incidentally, the Dick Turpin prize for Highway Robbery; now I while away my time dribbling in my bathchair and playing a small 2 manual Nicholson at a nearby village church, St Edburga’s, Leigh, where we have an equally small but enthusiastic choir, most of whom are on the PCC (sic), together with a vicar who understands the enhancement that choral music can bring to the church services. They all know that no one is going to be remotely interested in my job if I left and while no one is bullet proof, I do feel the weight of the ball and chain on my ankles. However, it doesn’t make the slightest difference to my pedal technique; I can still get the boxing gloves and skis on for each service.

 

I am sorry if this epistle makes Mr Blunkett’s Memoires seem, in comparison, like a thoroughly riveting read (no, I haven’t, though Private Eye rates it very high), but if you’ve managed to hold on as far as this, you, too, deserve a prize.

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

I think most English people get thrown off Piporg-l.....something to do with American academia I think....no sense of irony.

 

 

MM

 

Really? I never have been. Makes me feel a bit left out.

 

But then, I'm not properly English, am I, being a colonial. Perhaps theymake exceptions.

 

:rolleyes: B

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Really? I never have been. Makes me feel a bit left out.

 

But then, I'm not properly English, am I, being a colonial. Perhaps theymake exceptions.

 

:rolleyes: B

 

 

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

 

 

That's because you're a cathedral organist rather than a good human-being. You could be as rude to people as you like, and still stalk the hallowed pixels of Piporg-l.

 

The Americans are such academic snobs: God knows, I lived with one for four years! You know the sort....fluent in 14 languages, but eloquent in none.

 

:)

 

MM

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

That's because you're a cathedral organist rather than a good human-being. You could be as rude to people as you like, and still stalk the hallowed pixels of Piporg-l.

 

The Americans are such academic snobs: God knows, I lived with one for four years! You know the sort....fluent in 14 languages, but eloquent in none.

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

 

 

<chuckle>

 

And some of us 'Murrikans miss you on piporg-l, MM

 

I'm pleased and humbled that you fine chaps have kindly welcomed me to your discussion - it has been very fun getting to see an inside look at English organ culture.

 

We're not really that different, I just have to agree that some Americans will never appreciate nor understand your sense of humour.

 

Their loss! :D

 

Cheers,

 

-G

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<chuckle>

 

And some of us 'Murrikans miss you on piporg-l, MM

 

I'm pleased and humbled that you fine chaps have kindly welcomed me to your discussion - it has been very fun getting to see an inside look at English organ culture.

 

We're not really that different, I just have to agree that some Americans will never appreciate nor understand your sense of humour.

 

Their loss! :D

 

Cheers,

 

-G

 

 

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

 

 

 

The English, as a breed, have been voted as the funniest people in Europe, and whilst I would generally agree with that, our humour delights in put-downs and class snobbery. Our saving grace, is that we do not take it too seriously, and we can laugh at ourselves. Oddly enough, our most closely related fellow humourists are the poeple of India, who can be exquisitely funny.

 

French humour is quite different, and often revolves around bad manners and social gaffs.

 

German humour is a bit strange, and they would never laugh at a cartoon of an old lady falling out of a wheel-chair; but use a REAL old lady, and they would need oxygen.

 

American humour can be very funny and not a little anarchic, whereas Jewish humour is quite different, often quite dark and often rib-ticklingly sardonic. Unfortunately, the less inspired American humour tends to rely on the visual slapstick or the one line gags, which possibly explains why the Americans laugh so much at the old Benny Hill shows, when we have moved into an altogether more cynical phase.

 

I suppose we should try and keep this on topic, so how about a Mae West parody?

 

"Honey, that's the biggest organ I've ever seen! Did I ever tell you about my experience of the West Point chamades?"

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

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Jenny Setchell, on-off organist from early school days in North Island of New Zealand. Became parish organist when married to a Presbyterian minister and learned great deal about getting most out of little organs and choirs composed of sheepdogs, Australasian heavyweight champs playing xylophones and sawmillers, in wooden churches without electricity. Unsurpassable experience.

 

Studied organ performance at Canterbury University, although one unit away from completion as decided could not afford fees (besides giving up battle with hideous pre-concert nerves). As my tutor needed a page turner, we came to a reciprocal agreement and got married. Works very well. He doesn't dare annoy me before a concert. Have been a journalist for past 30 years, as a writer, then graphics journalist and ending as senior sub-editor with metropolitan daily, the Christchurch Press. Had to give that up to go touring with husband Martin as his "nave ears" when registering, but am not complaining in the least. Equally unsurpassable experiences and I count myself hugely fortunate. Just wish my tomatoes would ripen and that I could get a decent autumnal shot of the colours down in Queenstown right now...

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Hi everybody!

 

I chose the name Contrabombarde, not because I'm contrary (most of the time) or bombastic (hope not), but I have to confess it is my favourite stop on organs that have one (used in moderation of course!) In reality my name is David (Pitches); I originally studied organ at Manchester Grammar under Andrew Dean, then was an organ scholar at King's College London where I studied medicine.

 

For the last seven years I've been living and working as a doctor in Birmingham, during which time I've seen the demise of no fewer than two church organs. Firstly Christ Church Sparkbrook, which did have a rather nice if dilapidated 3-manual Bishop of 1877 untill two summers ago when a tornado literally raised the roof. Lots of frantic emailing around the world led to a Dutch firm who bought the organ from us to save, restore and relocate. I made a valedictory recording of the instument before the rains came, with part of the organ chamber open to the sky and me having to wear a hard hat for safety.

 

Having moved up the road to St Christopher's, the organ there recently died too - this time due to building works next the the church that evidently required the demolition of the blower house. I just wish somebody had told me before I started to play the first hymn on Easter Sunday... The instrument in question is a small Ingram with some Hill pipework; once again I'm trying to get it rehoused.

 

For practice I have a three manual Johannus at home (complete with 32 foot reed of course). I'm not sure that on these forums it's considered polite to mention electronic organs but I wouldn't swap it for anything...

 

Contrabombarde

 

Later this year I expect to be moving abroad to work with a medical charity (to central Africa - anyone know of any decent organs there?) but while I'm able to I'd like to be able to join in the chat on these forums - thanks for welcoming me!

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Hi everyone.

My name is Josh Anderson (14), from Timaru in New Zealand.

My musical history: started learning piano when I was 5yrs, but then stopped when I was 10yrs and played around on the church organ quite a bit. Then when I moved to Timaru in 2004 I started getting pointers from the church organist, and then at the start of last year I started having lessons from John Hargraves (organist / organ builder). Have been playing once a month at my church (on a digital sadly) since last year and once a month playing for John's choir at his church from this year. My interest in Pipe organs has been going since I was about 4 or 5, and have started working at the South Island Organ Company (http://www.sioc.co.nz) in Timaru after school on Fridays, where I have been doing odd jobs that come up and going on tuning trips around Timaru, and I hope to learn to tune at some point.

 

Josh

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
Hi everyone.

My name is Josh Anderson (14), from Timaru in New Zealand.

My musical history: started learning piano when I was 5yrs, but then stopped when I was 10yrs and played around on the church organ quite a bit. Then when I moved to Timaru in 2004 I started getting pointers from the church organist, and then at the start of last year I started having lessons from John Hargraves (organist / organ builder). Have been playing once a month at my church (on a digital sadly) since last year and once a month playing for John's choir at his church from this year. My interest in Pipe organs has been going since I was about 4 or 5, and have started working at the South Island Organ Company (http://www.sioc.co.nz) in Timaru after school on Fridays, where I have been doing odd jobs that come up and going on tuning trips around Timaru, and I hope to learn to tune at some point.

 

Josh

 

 

Good to hear about you Josh. Very best of luck with everything.

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Hello all,

 

My name is Michael Hedley. I was born in Northumberland, and as a schoolboy was organ scholar at Newcastle Cathedral. (They still had a choir school and daily Evensongs in those days).

I then studied with Nicholas Danby at the Guildhall, and after a few years in London came to Holland for postgraduate studies with Bernard Bartelink, and have been here ever since. It's a priviledge to live in a country with so many historic instruments, and i've been lucky in being invited to give concerts on many wonderful instruments.

Until 1999 I was organist of a beautiful 18th. C. instrument in Amsterdam, but moved to St. Nicholas Church (Nicolaaskerk) in 2000, where I am director of music and organist.

 

We have three choirs, weekly Choral Evensong on Saturdays, Sunday Mass with plainchant in Dutch and Latin polyphony and Latin Vespers. The church stands opposite the central station in Amsterdam city centre, and we welcome more than 150,000 visitors each year.

 

The organ is one of the last mechanical cone chest organs with Barkers (1889) by Wilhelm Sauer, and was recently restored by organ builder Verschueren. A five stop box organ stands in the choir.

 

I have certainly met some of you here, (at least MM and PCND I think), and look forward to welcoming more of you if you're visiting.

 

Michael

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I have certainly met some of you here, (at least MM and PCND I think), and look forward to welcoming more of you if you're visiting.

 

Michael

 

I am impressed that you remembered!

 

How did you know?

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I am impressed that you remembered!

 

How did you know?

 

 

Easy! I've been a lurker for some time, and you mentioned it yourself.

 

Michael

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Easy! I've been a lurker for some time, and you mentioned it yourself.

 

Michael

 

Ah - once on the RCO thread, I believe.

 

Welcome, Michael!

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Afternoon all!

 

I thought maybe it was about time I added something here by way of introduction (nothing whatever to do with being at a loose end at home after surgery!).

 

My name is Cameron Luke and come from West Cornwall, from a village called Gulval just outside Penzance. My schooling was there and was a chorister at the village church where I first learned to play the organ-alone-accompanied to the church religiously every Saturday morning to "have a go" by a stalwart lady of the church who would deputise as organist from time to time. The church is only small, seating about 200 but beatifully restored 1892 and no expense was spared. The organ is a 3man Willis/N&B/Hele and very lovely...treasured memories of countless hours (take a look on BIOS).

 

Penzance too had some good instruments: again take a look at BIOS. The old St Mary's was beautiful (the present a BIG mistake), St Paul's was a good clear speaking instrument though somewhat hampered from its buried position; the church is now closed and I am told that the pipework is at St Mary's awaiting some future project to swap some pipework and tame the big beast. St John's has the best instrument in the town: lovely clear diapasons, slightly quirky-but good-2rk celeste on unenclosed choir, and a ringing tuba (9" wind if memory serves) full of "clang" and no "honk"!

 

As for me I left, and for a couple of years was assistant verger at Tewkesbury Abbey, organ lessons and sang in the choir-a great experience, all pre-Milton rebuild. then a couple of years at the RNCM, some private teaching and the a period of 5-6years as "kantor" in Norway. What a great place! A full-time job practising! Well, not quite but make of those jobs what you will. I was at Nesbyen first, where we installed the new organ by K. Tickell and then further north in Somna. Picked up the language and had a great-though exhausting time!

 

All in the "wrong"(?) order, but THEN I went to university gainning the organ scholarship at Worcester College, Oxford. There we have two chapel choirs (men and boys/mixed) with four sung services a week. A major point in my musical life combining pressure with high standards. During this time gaining ARCO and the DipCHD (no, don't start tha RCO thing up again!!).

 

And so to the present. I was to have completed FRCO last week, but, on Monday evening was taken into hospital with acute abdominal pain. Left for several days while the consultants needed to be sure they knew what was goin on they removed my appendix on Thursday evening and so I am now home relaxing...or something. Ah well, those keyboard tests will just have to wait until January!

 

But on a better note, last Sunday I was offered the position of Director of Music at All Saints' Church, Cheltenham (which is where I now live) here is the Holst connection, Adolph being the first organist and Gustav having been a chorister and played occasionally also havig written some juvinalia for organ. So I look forward to getting stuck in with that in September and its small adult choir which offer TWO fully choral services every week! (I just wonder how many churches actually do this these days...? answers on a postcard please!).

 

I hope that's an interesting enough introduction for our musical organists/organist musicians! B)

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