Choir & Organ, cover from current issue

November/December 2015 on sale now

Choir & Organ is the leading independent magazine for all professionals and amateurs in the choral and organ worlds – whether you are an organist, choral director or singer, organ builder, keen listener, or work in publishing or the record industry, Choir & Organ is a must-read wherever you live and work.

Every two months our expert contributors bring you beautifully illustrated features on newly built and restored organs, insights into the lives and views of leading organists, choral directors and composers, profiles of pioneering and well-established choirs, and topical coverage of new research, festivals and exhibitions. In keeping with our commitment to music at the cutting edge, we commission a new work from a young composer in every issue, making the score freely available for download and performance.

Our international news and previews, with breaking stories, key awards and forthcoming premieres, combine with reviews of the latest CDs, DVDs and sheet music, and listings of recitals, festivals and courses, to keep you up to date with events and developments around the world.

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The Neoclassical Organ and the Great Aristide Cavaillé-Coll Organ of Saint-Sulpice, Paris


Maggie Hamilton, editor Choir & Organ

Maggie Hamilton - Editor
From the current issue of Choir & Organ


Which of us can go through the approaching Advent and Christmas season without remembering Sir David Willcocks? Whether we’re listening to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge on Christmas Eve, singing or accompanying one or more of his arrangements, or performing from volumes that he edited of Carols of Choirs, he will be very present in our minds and hearts. Although he lived to a good age, we are still saddened by the loss of him; truly, hearing the news of his death on 17 September felt like the end of an era.

Sir David’s sphere of influence was not limited to the UK, nor even to the English-speaking world – I remember, for example, Scandinavian choir leaders at a Swedish Choral Directors convention recounting how, as students, they had made the pilgrimage to Cambridge. They did this not only for the practical purpose of witnessing Willcocks in action and learning from him how to draw the best out of a choir, going beyond the limits of what they thought possible; but also, in the process they found that they were making contact with the numinous.

I was similarly struck by one of the tributes to John Scott we have received in recent weeks identifying him as ‘one of Saint Thomas’s [Fifth Avenue] best evangelists’ through his music-making. John’s faith was important to him; but whatever one’s beliefs, religious or otherwise, it does seem that music has the power to take us to another plane, to put us in touch with something that is both beyond ourselves and a part of ourselves at a deep level; and however we engage with it – whether listening, or performing, or quietly creating instruments in the background, as did the gifted organ builder Martin Goetze – we are contributing towards something positive in the cosmos which helps to counterbalance the many negative forces. For that our thanks go to David, John and Martin, who may have left the world as we know it, but who live on in the many thousands of people whose lives they have touched.

In The Next Issue of Choir & Organ: JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 ISSUE On sale from 28 December

ANDOVER ORGAN COMPANY Exploring the work today of this early US pioneer in reviving mechanical action organs. 

BALTIC EXCHANGE The Grammy Award-winning Latvian Radio Choir ranks among the top professional chamber choirs in Europe. 
SALLY BEAMISH With her first organ work about to be premiered at the RFH, the British composer talks about what motivates her. 
KEEPING THEIR HEADS… It is 50 years since a choral foundation was established to secure music for the Tower of London Chapels Royal. 
MAFRA MAGIC A unique collection of 19th-century organs in Portugal is the focus of our last European Cities of Historic Organs feature.
Plus…The latest international news, specialist reviews, recitals, competitions focus, and a directory of digital organ builders. 

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