February 2020 Review

I feel I must have missed something as the last month feels like it has been rather quiet. However, there is never a month goes by without some news and for me the most exciting element has been that every pipe in Salisbury Cathedral has now been voiced and it is hoped work will soon be finished.

Congratulations go to Alexander Hamilton for his appointment as Assistant Director of Music at Wells Cathedral and to Rachel Mahon for her appointment as Director of Music at Coventry Cathedral. Both start their new roles in September as does Sam Bristow as the William and Irene Miller Organ Scholar at St Paul’s Cathedral. Also, congratulations to Joshua Stephens who becomes the Master of Music at Sheffield Cathedral in March. When it comes to new roles, there have been many organ scholarship vacancies advertised this month including Chelmsford, Dublin, Isle of Man and Edinburgh. Good luck to all those who are applying for these and other roles.

Of course this month many will have received results from the RCO exams. Very many congratulations to all those who were successful, commiserations to those who weren’t this time round. I am sure all readers join me in wishing those who attend the Confinement of Diplomas on 7 March a wonderful, memorable day. Perhaps those who aren’t attending might be at the RSCM Conference in Derby, which promises to be an interesting day for church musicians of all levels and genres. I have been invited to attend by the RSCM as a Pipeline Organ Scholar and of course will take the opportunity to tell people of The Organ Manual!

img_0332-1This month I attended a PipeUp event at Wimborne Minster. Thirteen children from 8 to 18 attended from never having played before to grade 8 level. It was a superb morning. Two of those who attended are writing an article for The Organ Manual, about their experience. I’d love to share more of these experiences with readers, so please do get in touch if you’d like to write a piece – it could be anything from attending a recital, a first lesson, buying an organ. I did publish a piece last month, quite quietly about a Makin Organ Open Day just in case there were no other volunteers to write another piece. However I hope you have read that and also the piece published this month, written by Edmund about his Organ Tour. The big piece I have written this month was my latest article for Church of England Newspaper and my thoughts on the unity an organist can bring to a community as well as the support we offer each other. This is something I value very much and I am sure others do as well. Perhaps it’s one of the bonuses of playing an unusual instrument!

This month saw the first anniversary of the publication of my report, ‘Inspiring Organists of the Future…does more need to be done?’. Never did I think it would have received the attention it has, but I am delighted to have used my conclusions to create a useful resource for organists in the form of The Organ Manual. Over half term I have spent some time looking at the use/referrals to some pages on and removed or developed them further. I have also added new pages. Some have little information thus far, but they will develop in due course. I have also approached writers for feature blogs and have been overwhelmed by the kindness and willingness of all those I asked to put something together. Over the next year there are some really big names in the organ world writing articles on their area of expertise for us all to benefit from. I am very excited to be sharing their pieces each month. For now, I hope you will have had time to read the superb piece by Hugh Morris, Director of the RSCM, ‘Ooops….I did it again’. It has been well received and offers some valuable advice for all those who get frustrated trying again and again to get things right. The feature for March is written by the President of the RCO, Gerard Brooks and offers a superb insight into his role.

April sees the RCO National Organ Day take place. I shall be in Bridport for a PipeUp morning of ‘Pipes and Pizza’. It was a similar event at Edington Priory that inspired me to take up the organ so it will be special to be there. I hope you have something exciting organised for the day and whatever you are up to, I look forward to celebrating the King of Instruments with you.

Best wishes


The following pages have been added or removed (as detailed) with additions only to these areas this month:

Area Action
For Interest
For Friends Schemes Added
For Gifts Added
For Watching Added
For Research Removed
For Owners
Fundraising Added



Categories: Uncategorized

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