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Richard McVeigh

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Greetings Timothy. One thing that I think went unremarked on this forum is that Malta lost its leading composer, Charles Camilleri, just a few months ago. He wrote music for the organ such as the Invocation to the Creator.

 

Peter

I don't know that one, but if anyone wants a piece by Camilleri that is actually playable, I can recommend his Wine of Peace. I found it recently in some boxes of music that Michael Farley was turning out. Really atmospheric and really simple - anyone could play it. Needless to say it's out of print.

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I don't know that one, but if anyone wants a piece by Camilleri that is actually playable, I can recommend his Wine of Peace. I found it recently in some boxes of music that Michael Farley was turning out. Really atmospheric and really simple - anyone could play it. Needless to say it's out of print.

 

Hello,

 

Charles Camilleri died January, 3rd 2009.

My standard internet shop says, that Wine of Peace and Invocation to the creator is in stock.

 

Cheers

tiratutti

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I don't know that one, but if anyone wants a piece by Camilleri that is actually playable, I can recommend his Wine of Peace. I found it recently in some boxes of music that Michael Farley was turning out. Really atmospheric and really simple - anyone could play it. Needless to say it's out of print.

 

Very glad to hear that Camilleri's music is played more than I thought!

 

'Wine of Peace' is wonderful - incredibly slow but intensely beautiful - I last played it the Sunday following the death of Charles Camilleri. On a recent visit to Bath, I nipped into Duck Son and Pinker, and found a rather ancient but intact copy of his 'Battalja'. Priced at about three pounds, I bought it out of curiosity, but have never got round to learning it properly - on paper it would appear to have a semi-Langlais/Messiaen style to it. I believe that Kevin Bowyer has also recorded some of these organ works.

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Hello,

 

Charles Camilleri died January, 3rd 2009.

My standard internet shop says, that Wine of Peace and Invocation to the creator is in stock.

 

Cheers

tiratutti

Ah, see what happens when you don't check your facts? Glad I was wrong about that! :D

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Wine of Peace always gets the question 'what was it?' whenever I play it down here - 'very simply constructed but highly effective.

 

A

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Hello

 

Introducing myself to the forum, I'm Stephen Austin from Poulton-le-Fylde, near Blackpool (well, someone has to be), Lancashire.

 

Since a very early age, the organ has fascinated me - my earliest, if hazy recollection is going to church, right across the road from our house in Yiewsley, and sitting in the front pew, in front of which sat "the organist" screened from view by a blue curtain hung on a brass rail. My parents did not quite how to handle this child's desire to play an organ, and imagine my disgust when for my tenth birthday, I was given a Magnus Reed Organ - 12 chords !!! :huh: It was NOT the Hammond Organ I had hoped for from the Ideal Home Exhibition, the one which Ena Baga allowed me to play.

Piano lessons were a must, said the local organ teacher, so off I set on the road that would hopefully lead me to organ lessons, which they did eventually with Roy Wise of Ingatestone and later Shenfield achieving Grade 8 with Distinction at the age of 19, by which time I had left school with Music A level and not much else, and started immediately as assistant to the Musical Director of Hammond Organ UK - George Blackmore FRCO. As I started the Grade 8 syllabus, I also commenced theatre organ lessons with John Stewart, house organist at the Gaumont State Theatre, Kilburn.

On being transferred (to my delight) to Boosey & Hawkes' Cavendish Organ Centre in Margaret Street, West End, I was appointed organ demonstrator and first "in-house" tutor for B & H's organ and piano customers, teaching among others a Saudi princess, Anne French journalist, the daughter of the Secretary to the US Ambassador and giving Roy Castle a few organ lessons - enough for him to be asked to launch a new range of Lowrey Organ (I think)

SInce moving "oop North" in 1974 to run in partnership my own organ retail shop, time have changed, and the retail business has gone (our decision) and now teaching privately - full time, thankfully - piano, organs electronic and pipe, theory and (gulp!) home keyboards, including two full Adult Education classes per week.

In 1992 I decided to become a pupil once again, and over the next few years, studied with a local organist and took Grade 4 - 8 all over again, gaining Merit at Grade 5 and Distinction in all the rest.

Although I have various diplomas for piano, I would dearly love to study for similar in the organ - anyone out there willing to take on a "mid-50's" student in this area?

As active on the theatre organ concert scene as time will allow - as well as playing in various churches combining the playing of their church organ and our electronic organ with whistles and bells!

Secretary of the local organ society, good cook, model railway enthusiast, avid sheet music collector, gardening when I have to (leave that to partner) and currently trying to prove that a cousin (long departed) was an organ builder working for Compton in the '30's......more of that in another thread.

 

That's me!

 

Thanks for reading.

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Stephen

 

Just browsing on here as I often do in my lunchbreak, I came across your introduction. It brought all sorts of memories flooding back.

 

As a student in London in the late 60s (although not a music student I hasten to add - I wasn't good enough!) and one addicted to the organ in all its guises, I knew John Stewart well and spent many happy hours in his company at the Gaumont State and at other consoles in the South East. I lost touch when I graduated and moverd North sadly.

 

I see now you are near Blackpool - did you ever come across Raymond Wallbank? As a young mad teenager, my first introduction to the cinema organ was at the Ritz/ABC Warrington where Ray was in charge of the 3/6 Compton on a Saturday morning. He guided my first tentative efforts in attempting to master the beast. He and his wife were very good friends to me in those early days. I, too , came from a family with hardly any musical interest although my father sold electronic organs as part of his business. The family were totally mystified by my obsession!

 

Since this is probably too public a forum for this sort of exchange ( and anyway I'm sure most people aren't interested!) please feel free to email me at tony_edwards13@tiscali.co.uk

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Hehe! The same redundant Brindley & Foster in Sheffield that provided the pedal reed had been rebuilt some years ago by Conacher, so the Tierce came from the same instrument. Christopher and I donned overalls and spent several days salvaging what we could from the wreckage of the redundant B & F. We then hired a van and brought the stuff back to base. We still have a Tromba and its chest in our church cellar, waiting for a good home.

 

It was heart-breaking to see what had happened to that organ. It would not be diplomatic of me to say where it was - suffice to say it was in a significant building in Sheffield and had been replaced by a 'toaster' whose installers had done a LOT of damage inside the B & F in order to make room on the rackboards for their speakers. (Great pipework pulled out and just chucked back on to the pipes behind, for example). Discerning readers may be able to work out which instrument I am writing about. The 'owners' were, I think, very embarrassed about what had been done and in offering us anything we could salvage, were probably trying to make up in some small way for the vandalism that had taken place.

J.

Sheffield Cathedral?

 

Dave

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Wine of Peace always gets the question 'what was it?' whenever I play it down here - 'very simply constructed but highly effective.

 

A

I learnt that one once. Nice piece.

 

Dave

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Just realised that I had never added to this topic before today. So here goes:

 

My name is David Harries (but most people call me Dave, hence my username). Age 27 na dhave lived in Bristol all my life.

 

I took up the organ while I was a pupil at Clifton College Preparatory School (1990 - 1995) where I first learned under Robert Fielding (now at Romsey Abbey, Hampshire). I was, at the same time, learning the piano with Anthony Pinel who was, until a few years ago, at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. After finishing at Clifton I went onto another school but carried on under Robert Fielding until he left for Hampshire. I then carried on the organ and was taught first by Ian Ball and then by Richard Jeffrey-Gray and had lessons under both of them on the splendid 1973 Rieger organ at Clifton Cathedral, Bristol.

 

While still under Robert Fielding I gained permission to practice on the organ in my local church at St. Mary's, Stoke Bishop (1905 Hele & Co., Plymouth // 1979 Daniel of Clevedon) but a few years ago it got difficult to practive here due to two thefts in quick succession (speaker equipment) and the PCC decided that the church should mostly be kept locked. My practice suffered and progress was minimal so I packed it in.

 

During the time I was learning I did get to play music during services on two occasions: the first was at Brompton Regis, Somerset (nice TC Lewis organ of 1890) when I put the opening and closing music for the service in for which I used a couple of pieces by John Stanley. The second was in my local church when Boxing Day was a Sunday and the 26th December was the birthday of the organist's daughter so the organist - the late John Gadsden - asked me to cover. He gave the choir a day off.

 

I still have an interest in organs. My Dad has an interest in church architecture so we make occasional journeys out of Bristol to look at a few. He looks at the churches (with reference to guidebooks by Pevsner) and I look at the organs in those churches. It has been during these trips that many of the photos on my church organ site - see link below - have been taken.

 

Job-wise I am stuck working in some hole of a convenience store in Backwell, North Somerset but trying desparately to find a job elsewhere.

 

My non-musical interests include European holidays, computing, buses - for which I have another photo site: 1400+ photos), digital photography (including other things besides buses and organs) and sometimes a few other things as well. I also enjoy spending time with my 1 year-old nephew, Ben, when I see him: his Mother is Polish and his father - my older brother - is English and they live in Poland.

 

Dave

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Having made a few contributions to the Forum in the past I thought that I, too, should introduce myself. Musical family. Piano lessons from age 7, violin from 8. Became a chorister at St Peter's Harrogate under the stern (but benevolent) eye of the late, great Jack Spencer FRCO (a former assistant at Leeds Parish Church). He had moved to the Harrogate job in (I believe) 1935 and had a wonderful all-male choir with 3 weekly practices and full choral matins and evensong each sunday. Cathedral standard. After Jack's death (c 1970) he was succeeded by his pupil, Harry Hodgson, who did a great job keeping the Spencer tradition alive, despite the travails of working with a barking-mad vicar. The organ was a huge 4 manual Walker which incorporated some Schulze ranks, rebuilt in 1952 and opened by William McKie. Harry started a series of celebrity organ recitals during my period as a chorister and this opened my ears to the potential of the organ. I met Francis Jackson, Guy Bovet, Douglas Hollick and Graham Steed.

 

In 1976 I started organ lessons with the newly-appointed organist and choirmaster, Adrian Selway. He quickly pushed me up to ARCO standard and also suggested that I have a go for a Cambridge organ scholarship.

 

I ended up at Christ's College, Cambridge in 1978, first as assistant scholar to Martin Ennis, and then for the next two years on my own. In my final term we made a choral/organ LP (with Michael Woodward) - something of an historical document - since the 1909 H N & B was shortly to disappear and be radically rebuilt by John Budgen. I took my FRCO in 1980 having a had a few lessons with Arthur Wills at Ely Cathedral. In my final year at Christ's I had keyboard harmony lessons with Charles Spinks, the renowned harpsichordist, organist and improviser. Charlie was a fund of tales about his teacher, Dupre.

 

After a PGCE at Homerton College (no pipe organ there, only a '30s Hammond which lay sulking silently in the Hall) I was appointed Assistant D or M at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Bristol, a Blue-coat school with a small (but effective) 2 man Percy Daniel in the Hall. I also took up the post of O and CM at The Lord Mayor's Chapel on College Green (another 2 man). My assistant there was Walter Gulvin (then recently retired as MD of Percy Daniel). Walter was a fantastic support. I stuck this for about a year and a half. Malcolm Archer had recently taken over from Clifford Harker at the Cathedral and I was lucky enough to play for Evensong there on the restored organ (having got to know the old organ quite well in the summer of 1978 during a 'visiting choir residency' with the St Peter's Harrogate choir). Clifford succeeded me at the Lord Mayor's Chapel.

 

Since then I have not had a regular organ post. The day job (Director of Music at Cranbrook School in Kent), and family life keep me busy enough and I am fortunate in having access to the 3 man Willis/Nicholson in St Dunstan's PC, Cranbrook.

 

The past 30 or so years have also been spent researching the music and work of Percy Whitlock. This has resulted in 2 books, a host of CD liner notes, articles, lecture-recitals etc. and the opportunity to play some very nice instruments, including York Minster, Derby Cathedral, Southwell Minster (Nave), Birmingham Town Hall, Leominster Priory, Leeds PC, St Bride's Fleet Street and St Stephen's, Bournemouth.

 

I've also dabbled with composition and am now working on some ideas for a Grand Overture, commissioned by Maidstone Symphnony Orchestra to open its Centenary Season next Autumn. Alas, there won't be an organ part!

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Guest Roffensis
Very glad to hear that Camilleri's music is played more than I thought!

 

'Wine of Peace' is wonderful - incredibly slow but intensely beautiful - I last played it the Sunday following the death of Charles Camilleri. On a recent visit to Bath, I nipped into Duck Son and Pinker, and found a rather ancient but intact copy of his 'Battalja'. Priced at about three pounds, I bought it out of curiosity, but have never got round to learning it properly - on paper it would appear to have a semi-Langlais/Messiaen style to it. I believe that Kevin Bowyer has also recorded some of these organ works.

 

 

For the record, KB did indeed record Camilleri-on the Organ in Ely Minster. Very good.

 

R

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Guest Roffensis
Having made a few contributions to the Forum in the past I thought that I, too, should introduce myself. Musical family. Piano lessons from age 7, violin from 8. Became a chorister at St Peter's Harrogate under the stern (but benevolent) eye of the late, great Jack Spencer FRCO (a former assistant at Leeds Parish Church). He had moved to the Harrogate job in (I believe) 1935 and had a wonderful all-male choir with 3 weekly practices and full choral matins and evensong each sunday. Cathedral standard. After Jack's death (c 1970) he was succeeded by his pupil, Harry Hodgson, who did a great job keeping the Spencer tradition alive, despite the travails of working with a barking-mad vicar. The organ was a huge 4 manual Walker which incorporated some Schulze ranks, rebuilt in 1952 and opened by William McKie. Harry started a series of celebrity organ recitals during my period as a chorister and this opened my ears to the potential of the organ. I met Francis Jackson, Guy Bovet, Douglas Hollick and Graham Steed.

 

In 1976 I started organ lessons with the newly-appointed organist and choirmaster, Adrian Selway. He quickly pushed me up to ARCO standard and also suggested that I have a go for a Cambridge organ scholarship.

 

I ended up at Christ's College, Cambridge in 1978, first as assistant scholar to Martin Ennis, and then for the next two years on my own. In my final term we made a choral/organ LP (with Michael Woodward) - something of an historical document - since the 1909 H N & B was shortly to disappear and be radically rebuilt by John Budgen. I took my FRCO in 1980 having a had a few lessons with Arthur Wills at Ely Cathedral. In my final year at Christ's I had keyboard harmony lessons with Charles Spinks, the renowned harpsichordist, organist and improviser. Charlie was a fund of tales about his teacher, Dupre.

 

After a PGCE at Homerton College (no pipe organ there, only a '30s Hammond which lay sulking silently in the Hall) I was appointed Assistant D or M at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Bristol, a Blue-coat school with a small (but effective) 2 man Percy Daniel in the Hall. I also took up the post of O and CM at The Lord Mayor's Chapel on College Green (another 2 man). My assistant there was Walter Gulvin (then recently retired as MD of Percy Daniel). Walter was a fantastic support. I stuck this for about a year and a half. Malcolm Archer had recently taken over from Clifford Harker at the Cathedral and I was lucky enough to play for Evensong there on the restored organ (having got to know the old organ quite well in the summer of 1978 during a 'visiting choir residency' with the St Peter's Harrogate choir). Clifford succeeded me at the Lord Mayor's Chapel.

 

Since then I have not had a regular organ post. The day job (Director of Music at Cranbrook School in Kent), and family life keep me busy enough and I am fortunate in having access to the 3 man Willis/Nicholson in St Dunstan's PC, Cranbrook.

 

The past 30 or so years have also been spent researching the music and work of Percy Whitlock. This has resulted in 2 books, a host of CD liner notes, articles, lecture-recitals etc. and the opportunity to play some very nice instruments, including York Minster, Derby Cathedral, Southwell Minster (Nave), Birmingham Town Hall, Leominster Priory, Leeds PC, St Bride's Fleet Street and St Stephen's, Bournemouth.

 

I've also dabbled with composition and am now working on some ideas for a Grand Overture, commissioned by Maidstone Symphnony Orchestra to open its Centenary Season next Autumn. Alas, there won't be an organ part!

 

 

Ah yes. Maidstone. Good to hear of it on the musical map. The Choir of All Saint's made a LP record years ago, on the Abbey label. It is one of the glories of English Choral Tradition. The singing reduced me to tears, and even my mascara ran.

 

R

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Should really have done this sooner, as I've been skulking around under a pseudonym for too long!

 

I'm Duncan Courts, age 28 and live in Bournemouth. My parents attribute my lifelong fascination with churches to a year (at age two) spent in Beverley, home of two of the country's finest parish churches. They were convinced from my reaction to seeing these churches that I was going to become 'either a vicar or an architect'. They obviously didn't think about the organ. I was started on piano lessons aged four, and moved to the organ on starting secondary school at Kelly College in Tavistock, studying with Andrew Wilson. I worked through Grades 4 to 8 at school and went on the 1998 Oundle summer school, the highlight of which was having a lesson on Alain's Litanies with Olivier Latry, and the low point being the discovery that there were a lot of players there who were both younger and far better than me - it was then that I made the decision not to pursue music to degree level or professionally.

 

I went to Birmingham University in 1999 to study Computer Science and ended up as organ scholar, studying with Ian Ledsham and taking lessons from Marcus Huxley and Andrew Fletcher. I 'dropped out' at the end of the second year, realising that I probably should have read music after all, and applied successfully to train as an air traffic controller (aviation having been another long-term interest). While working at various airports in the South West, I was organist at churches in Bickleigh (in Plymouth), Penzance, and Plympton before moving to Bournemouth in 2007. I now sing (and play occasionally) at Christchurch Priory, direct the Birmingham-based Fountain Singers (inherited from Ian Ledsham and comprising mostly of friends from my time at Birmingham), accompany the Bristol-based Cantores Literati on occasion, and - after a gap of eight years - have restarted organ studies with Margaret Phillips, working toward the ARCO. I'm also planning to do the ACertCM over the next couple of years, time permitting. My wife is the 'proper' musician in our house, a soprano in the very early stages of a career in opera. We both live and breathe church music, something which no amount of depressing experience in 'average' parish churches has managed to diminish! I have a soft spot for the mainstream twentieth-century French school (Tournemire, Vierne, Dupré, Duruflé, Messiaen, Cochereau and others) but also less well-known works by the likes of Thierry Escaich, Hugo Distler, Hermann Schroeder and Eugene Reuchsel.

 

I proposed to my wife in the organ loft at Gloucester Cathedral after a late night practice session prior to a weekend with a visiting choir. It was dimly lit, silent and eerily beautiful. I told Andrew Nethsingha this story a couple of years ago, and he stared at me with disbelief. Perhaps he misheard me...

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I proposed to my wife in the organ loft at Gloucester Cathedral after a late night practice session prior to a weekend with a visiting choir. It was dimly lit, silent and eerily beautiful. I told Andrew Nethsingha this story a couple of years ago, and he stared at me with disbelief. Perhaps he misheard me...

 

 

I must try this one on my wife - I don't know how she would react to being described as silent and eerily beautiful - dimly lit or not - seriously though - I wonder how many others here have gained 'significant others' via the choir stalls or console enclosure - we met on an RSCM Summer School - with some influence from another contributor on here too who actually persuaded me to go in the first place!

 

A :D

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I must try this one on my wife - I don't know how she would react to being described as silent and eerily beautiful - dimly lit or not

 

:D

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I must try this one on my wife - I don't know how she would react to being described as silent and eerily beautiful

 

I worry if Mrs Handsoff is silent....... :D

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I worked through Grades 4 to 8 at school and went on the 1998 Oundle summer school, the highlight of which was having a lesson on Alain's Litanies with Olivier Latry, and the low point being the discovery that there were a lot of players there who were both younger and far better than me - it was then that I made the decision not to pursue music to degree level or professionally.

 

Almost every organist I have ever heard has been better than me, and this is deeply discouraging especially as no matter how bad I am no one will sack me - pity when there are many more skillful and worthy people who would probably like the job.

My main qualification is ability to read music, having a pulse and the kind of rude health which means I never have an excuse not to turn up. As a sub, I have been covering sick-leave and this now appears to be indefinite so I have been left holding a very heavy, bawling baby.

 

Applications on a postcard; 2-manual Rushworth +Dreaper that usually works- choir of 2.

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Guest Cynic
Almost every organist I have ever heard has been better than me, and this is deeply discouraging especially as no matter how bad I am no one will sack me - pity when there are many more skillful and worthy people who would probably like the job.

My main qualification is ability to read music, having a pulse and the kind of rude health which means I never have an excuse not to turn up. As a sub, I have been covering sick-leave and this now appears to be indefinite so I have been left holding a very heavy, bawling baby.

 

Applications on a postcard; 2-manual Rushworth +Dreaper that usually works- choir of 2.

 

 

This sounds as if you're feeling a bit depressed about the situation!

 

Several thoughts:

1. there is a shortage of organists willing to serve week in week out

2. playing hymns properly is more important than having an impressive list of voluntaries

3. more-or-less anything can be improved with effort

4. I went to college with lots of talented folks, I was sure they'd all make it. They haven't. What counts is sticking at it!

 

Raw talent can be extremely impressive and exceptional talent in others can certainly lower one's own self-image. I had a teaching colleague a few years ago who once came out with 'I wish I could do what you do'. My response was, 'I have done practically nothing else since I was 12.' He'd chosen Maths and I'd been chosen by Music - largely because I couldn't do anything else and I was hooked on organs.

 

Over the years I have taught all ages, my oldest beginner was in his mid-70s. The truth is, we have a wonderful instrument with wonderful repertoire, by no means all of which is in any way difficult. What counts is sensible choice of targets and intelligent application. A tale I often tell (so forgive me if I've written it here before) is of my friend Eric Shepherd the organ-builder. Some of you will know of the Shepherds - a pair of brothers in North London who between them nurse most of the ailing organs in the metropolis and many decent organs too. They are some of the quickest (and neatest) tuners I know and they'll repair almost anything, unlike firms who like faults to stack up and wait for a rebuild commission. Anyway, one day I watched Eric sit down and play. He doesn't play, I thought. I know he doesn't play! He can't read music.

 

What he'd done: sick of being unable to demonstrate an organ and needing little pieces to try stops, he'd picked two very short pieces (very carefully) and learned them at the rate of about a bar per week, I think by writing all the letters in. At the end of this exercise, he'd got a lesser-known Bach chorale prelude and a sweet piece of Jongen always at his fingertips. He played them very well too...good taste, good ears, sensible registration - that's what did it.

 

If you are bored, there's plenty of repertoire you've not yet found. If your joints hurt, there is still wonderful music that you can learn to play without physical effort. From that point of view, the organ beats the piano every time. I could name you 100s of gorgeous pieces that don't need large instruments to sound terrific. Choose new pieces carefully, work steadily at a small number of them, try to play them through to someone you trust (just so you know you're not getting away with musical murder) and you'll get your love for the organ back.

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This sounds as if you're feeling a bit depressed about the situation!

 

Several thoughts:

1. there is a shortage of organists willing to serve week in week out

2. playing hymns properly is more important than having an impressive list of voluntaries

3. more-or-less anything can be improved with effort

4. I went to college with lots of talented folks, I was sure they'd all make it. They haven't. What counts is sticking at it!

 

Raw talent can be extremely impressive and exceptional talent in others can certainly lower one's own self-image. I had a teaching colleague a few years ago who once came out with 'I wish I could do what you do'. My response was, 'I have done practically nothing else since I was 12.' He'd chosen Maths and I'd been chosen by Music - largely because I couldn't do anything else and I was hooked on organs.

 

Over the years I have taught all ages, my oldest beginner was in his mid-70s. The truth is, we have a wonderful instrument with wonderful repertoire, by no means all of which is in any way difficult. What counts is sensible choice of targets and intelligent application. A tale I often tell (so forgive me if I've written it here before) is of my friend Eric Shepherd the organ-builder. Some of you will know of the Shepherds - a pair of brothers in North London who between them nurse most of the ailing organs in the metropolis and many decent organs too. They are some of the quickest (and neatest) tuners I know and they'll repair almost anything, unlike firms who like faults to stack up and wait for a rebuild commission. Anyway, one day I watched Eric sit down and play. He doesn't play, I thought. I know he doesn't play! He can't read music.

 

What he'd done: sick of being unable to demonstrate an organ and needing little pieces to try stops, he'd picked two very short pieces (very carefully) and learned them at the rate of about a bar per week, I think by writing all the letters in. At the end of this exercise, he'd got a lesser-known Bach chorale prelude and a sweet piece of Jongen always at his fingertips. He played them very well too...good taste, good ears, sensible registration - that's what did it.

 

If you are bored, there's plenty of repertoire you've not yet found. If your joints hurt, there is still wonderful music that you can learn to play without physical effort. From that point of view, the organ beats the piano every time. I could name you 100s of gorgeous pieces that don't need large instruments to sound terrific. Choose new pieces carefully, work steadily at a small number of them, try to play them through to someone you trust (just so you know you're not getting away with musical murder) and you'll get your love for the organ back.

 

Reply sent by e-mail.

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What counts is sensible choice of targets and intelligent application.

 

Paul's advice to Whistlestop is (as one would expect from so distinguished a performer) most sound. I would like to add something however from my own experience. I have always considered myself a competent player, able to accompany most of the standardliturgical literature and capable of presenting an adequate, if not mind-blowing, recital. But I like to pirch my next or current project just that little bit beyond what I am presently capable of. As an example, 6 months ago I would not have beleived I could give a persuasive account of Dupre's Cortege at Litanie, which is what I have been working on since about January. (My parents bought me the score as a Christmas present.) Now I am at the stage where I still can't give a public performance of it, but I know I will be able to in a few weeks. Slaving away at it, asking other organists for advice and. most importat of all, loving playing it despite all the mistakes I currently make, has given me a new found confidence. Obviously I haven't neglected other music and regularly play through pieces with which I am wholly familiar and confident. But that reaching out beyond what I thought possible and really wanting to attain it, that has been a great learning experience.

 

Best as ever to all

 

Peter

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[... lots of wisdom...]

So right. I find that I'm my own worst enemy. When my own efforts fall short of what I expect of myself (or suppose others to expect of me), I find it difficult to face the whole thing altogether. More often than not, it's an inspiring recital, a fantastic CD (the Briggs improvisation on the Hommage a Cochereau disc recently released was the last to have this exciting effect) or an unexpected and encouraging bit of news that fires my determination again, and off I go. Keeping at it and plugging away is harder, and more courageous, than it might seem, but it's definitely the best way.

 

That said, recently I suggested that I might be allowed to help out with playing from time to time in a local parish church with professional music direction and organist. It was suggested that, if I was unable to make it into work for my day job, the last person I would call upon to push planes round the sky was he, the organist, therefore why would I expect to do the same for his job. This doesn't help :(

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That said, recently I suggested that I might be allowed to help out with playing from time to time in a local parish church with professional music direction and organist. It was suggested that, if I was unable to make it into work for my day job, the last person I would call upon to push planes round the sky was he, the organist, therefore why would I expect to do the same for his job. This doesn't help :(

 

Crass insensitivity on that organist's part.

 

Peter

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Crass insensitivity on that organist's part.

 

Peter

...not to say a grossly over-inflated sense of his own importance. Does he really think that a parish organist having a bad day is as significant as an air traffic controller having a bad day?

 

If, during my time as organist at a parish church with a strong musical tradition, someone who was preparing for ARCO had approached me with an offer to do some depping, I would have been delighted!!

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I was unable to make it into work for my day job, the last person I would call upon to push planes round the sky was he, the organist, therefore why would I expect to do the same for his job.

Simple. He has no qualifications to cover your job, but you are qualified by skill and experience to cover his.

 

He probably knows this. Why it would lead him to make remarks like that is anybody's guess.

 

Even if what he really meant was that he had a couple of other deps available, he could simply have said so. Compare that with Cynic's attitude to those less skilled than himself, cf above, (and in many other threads).

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