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Where Have All The Women Gone?


parsfan
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The 'introduce yourself' topic has revealed rather depressingly a lack of female contributors to the discussion board.

 

Why is this? Are we really just a bunch of anorak wearing 'Billy-no-mates'?

 

They are out there. Louise Reid, Sarah Balock, Katherine Diennes and Sarah MacDonald.

 

I wonder who will break the concrete ceiling and become the first female DOM at an English Cathedral?

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They are out there: ... Sarah Balock ...

 

I wonder who will break the concrete ceiling and become the first female DOM at an English Cathedral?

Well it doesn't help if you get their name wrong, for starters. The 'd' in Sarah Baldock is most certainly not silent! B) And my money would be on Sarah to TNT her way through that concrete ceiling - she's more than made a dent already at Winchester.

 

Other organists of the female persuasion working within the liturgical framework include:

 

Julie Ainscough - St Mary the Virgin, Ewell, Surrey

Claire Alsop - St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol

Catherine Ennis - St Lawrence Jewry, City of London

Julie Ann Tanner - Leeds Cathedral

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The 'introduce yourself' topic has revealed rather depressingly a lack of female contributors to the discussion board.

 

Why is this? Are we really just a bunch of anorak wearing 'Billy-no-mates'?

 

They are out there. Louise Reid, Sarah Balock, Katherine Diennes and Sarah MacDonald.

 

I wonder who will break the concrete ceiling and become the first female DOM at an English Cathedral?

 

 

Don't you think the organ is a male thing? Men outnumber women in the audience at most of the organ recitals I go to. For orchestral music it's invariably the other way round.

 

When I went to Die Walkure at Covent Garden last year, the lady sitting next to me (who was one of the regulars, and a Friend) commented that for the Ring, audiences are about 50-50, but for other opera, women significantly outnumber the men.

 

What is is about organ music and Wagner's Ring?

 

Sorry about the double entendres. I am reminded of a line from Round the Horne spoken by Kenneth Williams: "Second meaning? Them?? Most of 'em won't get the first meaning!" Thank goodness Leathered Lips isn't around any more.

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I think that Australia has, in relative terms, a slightly stronger tradition of women moving onwards and upwards at our cathedrals than is the case in the UK. More notable examples are June Nixon at St Paul's in Melbourne and Annette Goerke at St Mary's in Perth. Annette retired about five or six years ago, and has been succeeded as organist (but not DoM) by Jacinta Jakovcevic.

 

I attended Jacinta's recital at St Mary's on Sunday, and was pleased just how well she was able to cajole quite reasonable sounds from what is imho a quite mediocre instrument. It's a 1910 Dodd (of Adelaide), greatly extended (quite literally) in the 30s and 60s to provide a large paper stoplist, but with not much in the way of substance. It's now being taken down, to be worked over by the South Island Organ Company of New Zealand. It will be interesting to see what eventuates.

 

In fact, St Mary's totally closed immediately after the 5pm service for 18-24 months of refurbishment and partial rebuilding, the congregation spontaneously bursting into applause once the final benediction had been given. I'd never experienced this in a church before, but somehow it seemed quite appropriate. Has anyone else come across this sort of thing?

 

Rgds,

MJF

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Guest Barry Oakley

I believe there are quite a number of women organists about. Or is this topic really about women organists of the calibre of Weir, Parker-Smith and Bate?

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Looking through Frederick W. Thornsby's 1912 'Dictionary of Organs and Organists', I find very few lady organists.

 

Alma Shuttleworth, of Morton Parish Church in Dumfriesshire, interestingly lists her recreations as shooting, cycling and photography.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Barry Williams

June is a pipe organ enthusiast. We had an acceptable electronic instrument that served us well for practise, but she insisted on disposing of it and replacing it with a real one. Having made that decision (on behalf of us both) she promptly took early retirement from the RSCM and worked with professional organ builders to construct our house organ, which is a great joy to us both.

 

My wife is also a great steam enthusiast - low pitched rumblings or high pitched sounds are mistaken as either steam trains or organs at a distance. She is always very happy chatting about technical matters to organ builders, especially at IBO meetings.

 

Barry Williams

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The 'introduce yourself' topic has revealed rather depressingly a lack of female contributors to the discussion board.

 

Why is this? Are we really just a bunch of anorak wearing 'Billy-no-mates'?

Could be... I reckon the ratio in our local organists' association is about 50:50. The ladies' absence here probably just reflects the fact that they have a life.

 

Or maybe they're actually doing some organ practice!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 years later...
While we're on the subject - does anyone know what became of Claire Hobbs (Clifton RC/Manchester)? She was an awesome player and personality and I thought would have been No 1 material. I heard she had gone into music therapy.

 

While looking for something entirely different I discovered myself..... Thanks for this! I do still play - amongst lots of other things. I'm wondering who you are - we've obviously met sometime!

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