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St Michael's, Tenbury


Guest Andrew Butler
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Guest Andrew Butler

After listening to last Wednesday's broadcast from St Michael's, Tenbury, by Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum, I have tried to find the organ on the NPOR but searching for "Tenbury" only brings up St Mary's Tenbury. At least it does for me......... Any ideas? ......... Tony........? <_<

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After listening to last Wednesday's broadcast from St Michael's, Tenbury, by Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum, I have tried to find the organ on the NPOR but searching for "Tenbury" only brings up St Mary's Tenbury. At least it does for me......... Any ideas? ......... Tony........?  <_<

 

Try searching under the place name St Michaels which is the tiny village that bears the same name as the church in county of Hereford & Worcester (as was). Tenbury is the nearest recognisable place of any size.

 

This worked for me.

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Interesting point; perhaps someone can enlighten me why- a 32' Sub Bourdon AND a Quint 10.2/3................. ?

 

 

The independent Quint 10.2/3 rank in a scheme such as this is generally voiced to be used in conjunction with the Open Wood to create a more substantial 32' effect than the Sub Bourdon.

 

A

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Guest Andrew Butler
The independent Quint 10.2/3 rank in a scheme such as this is generally voiced to be used in conjunction with the Open Wood to create a more substantial 32' effect than the Sub Bourdon.

 

A

 

Thank you - I wondered if that were the case.

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I raised a topic entitled "St. Michael's, Tenbury" on these discussion boards in 2005 - but it received very little interest. This is a shame because in my opinion this organ is both a fascinating historical artifact and a national treasure. It sounds superb too!

 

A word of warning to anyone visiting though - the approach roads either side of Tenbury are popular targets for speed traps.

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I raised a topic entitled "St. Michael's, Tenbury" on these discussion boards in 2005 - but it received very little interest. This is a shame because in my opinion this organ is both a fascinating historical artifact and a national treasure. It sounds superb too!

 

My father was a chorister at St. Michael's c.1935-1940 and he has a story about some birds nesting in the tuba pipes. Anyone care to confirm or deny that the tuba was in regular use in the 1930s? Also, he remembers Sydney Nicholson taking over as organist and director of music when war was declared and Nicholson having a very poor sense of pitch when singing.

 

Michael

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After listening to last Wednesday's broadcast from St Michael's, Tenbury, by Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum, I have tried to find the organ on the NPOR but searching for "Tenbury" only brings up St Mary's Tenbury. At least it does for me......... Any ideas? ......... Tony........?  <_<

 

Hi

 

Exactly what Vox Humana says. One of the problems with finding things on NPOR is that computers don't have the intelligence to look for anything other than exactly what you ask them, and as St. Michael's isn't actually in Tenbury but in a village that's identifiable in the OS gazeteer, it's listed there. We know that it can be a problem when looking for buildings that are often erooneously described (and sometimes leads to duplicate surveys being entered on the system, which subsequently have to be sorted out when someone finds them). One possibility in this situation would be to try "Michael" and the County name as search keywords (that's assuming you know which county the place is in!)

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Andrew Butler
Hi

 

Exactly what Vox Humana says.  One of the problems with finding things on NPOR is that computers don't have the intelligence to look for anything other than exactly what you ask them, and as St. Michael's isn't actually in Tenbury but in a village that's identifiable in the OS gazeteer, it's listed there.  We know that it can be a problem when looking for buildings that are often erooneously described (and sometimes leads to duplicate surveys being entered on the system, which subsequently have to be sorted out when someone finds them).  One possibility in this situation would be to try "Michael" and the County name as search keywords (that's assuming you know which county the place is in!)

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Thanks Tony - I wasn't criticizing the search facilities in any way, but was being a victim of my own ignorance in not knowing that St Michael's College, Tenbury isn't in, er, Tenbury..! <_<

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Once again this topic has failed to excite popular interest. What a shame, it bodes ill for this wonderful and unspoilt example of Willis's work that it is so little known of cared about. Anyone who visits perhaps performs in, the old college chapel will doubtless be left with the impressions that:-

- the chapel itself is unloved and uncared for, a most cold and unwelcoming place

- the organ has little chance of survival in this dire situation

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Perhaps you are right that the organ is little known - in which case it is difficult to say anything meaningful other than that we perhaps ought to get to know it before it is too late. Personally I cannot remember ever having heard it.

 

I assume your reference to Willis was a slip for H&H.

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  • 1 month later...
Ah yes. Sorry. I didn't track back properly on the NPOR entries.

 

I was there a couple of months ago - not to play, but as part of a recording session. There will be a couple of CDs coming out soon with Clare College choir singing Ouseley and someone else (can't now remember!). The organ was playable but not in brilliant condition and I completely agree with a previous post - the place does feel unloved. It is now simply the village church since the college closed and it is a huge place for a handful of parishoners to upkeep. Terrible shame really.

A friend of mine was singing on the recent broadcast and enjoyed the organ and the acoustic.

Lastly, should the place ever be made redundant - what a perfect location for an organ museum!

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  • 10 months later...
Once again this topic has failed to excite popular interest. What a shame, it bodes ill for this wonderful and unspoilt example of Willis's work that it is so little known of cared about. Anyone who visits perhaps performs in, the old college chapel will doubtless be left with the impressions that:-

- the chapel itself is unloved and uncared for, a most cold and unwelcoming place

- the organ has little chance of survival in this dire situation

 

Perhaps you are right that the organ is little known - in which case it is difficult to say anything meaningful other than that we perhaps ought to get to know it before it is too late. Personally I cannot remember ever having heard it.

Does anyone know if the authorities would be open to the idea of having this organ sampled for Hauptwerk, as an historical archive document?

 

Notwithstanding the wide selection of instruments already available, one outstanding omission so far is any example of a H&H or Willis cathedral-style organ.

 

I have been asked by one of the best sample-set producers (a university professor in Reutlingen) to identify one or more suitable organs, and he would be very happy to supply references from other church authorities with whom he has dealt.

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Might be of interest, I video'd John pryer improvising at the end of choral evensong at St. Micheals Tenbury last Sunday.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=G162YxDiQuM

 

I can see the trench coat, so it's certainly John! Seriously though, and as I think I've said before on here, John (a retired schoolmaster) is one of the best - unsung - exponents of the art, known to the cognoscenti. He was assistant at Birmingham Cathedral when David Briggs was but a chorister. The young David used to run to the console after a service to watch and soak it all in. The rest is history...

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Does anyone know if the authorities would be open to the idea of having this organ sampled for Hauptwerk, as an historical archive document?

 

Notwithstanding the wide selection of instruments already available, one outstanding omission so far is any example of a H&H or Willis cathedral-style organ.

 

I have been asked by one of the best sample-set producers (a university professor in Reutlingen) to identify one or more suitable organs, and he would be very happy to supply references from other church authorities with whom he has dealt.

Bearing in mind Ouseley's direct involvement with the instrument (I think it replaced the first instrument built for the church as he wasn't happy with it) I would agree that St Michael's would be a prime candidate for sampling.

 

My father was a chorister there, as was my organ teacher. There must be many interesting stories similar to my Dad's, eg singing madrigals after Founder's Day dinner from the original song books with an aged Dr Fellowes and a younger Watkins Shaw and daily sung matins with the Purcell Te Deum split over two consecutive mornings on account of its length. Sidney Nicholson was organist/choirmaster there for a time after the previous organist went to fight in WWII; my Dad said Nicholson had a terrible singing voice.

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