Choir & Organ, cover from current issue

March/April 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.

Pull out all the stops

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


It’s not so long ago that in parts of Britain singing in a choir was regarded by many as, well, a little bit odd – it was definitely not a mainstream activity. Certainly the English, with the exception of on the football pitch, have tended to be rather embarrassed about singing, mumbling through hymns at weddings and funerals, and seemingly nursing a Hoffnung-inspired caricature of choirs peopled by warbling blue-rinse women and show-off men – all very entertaining, but by no means to be taken seriously, and certainly not what any self-respecting, let alone young person would wish to associate with.

So it was with considerable delight that I attended the Arts Foundation Awards in January for the presentation of their first ever award in Choral Conducting. Bob Chilcott, one of the judges, welcomed the award, pointing out that it signified an exciting change in attitude – conducting awards are usually given in the orchestral field. But a combination of exceptional heights of attainment in the choral field, increased training for choral conductors at every level up to Master’s in colleges and conservatoires, and most recently, increased positive media coverage and the ‘Gareth Malone’ factor has led to choirs becoming fashionable, evidenced not least by the number of community choirs that have sprung up in the last decade. My pleasure was increased on seeing the high standards of all four young conductors shortlisted for the award, and even more by the fact that it was given in the context of awards for other, non-musical art forms: when we’re focused on what we’re doing, we can forget we’re part of a bigger, fomenting arts forum, all sparking off each other and contributing towards creative change.

Bob Chilcott himself is no mean motivator of singers, whether conducting, workshopping, or through his composing; he talks about his St John Passion, just released on CD. And catching them young is Lissa Gray, whose National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, which she founded in 1998, is set to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe in the summer. And if you’d like to brush up your own choral conducting skills, there’s plenty to choose from in our Summer Schools supplement – it’s building for the future, regardless of trends.

In The Next Issue of Choir & Organ: MARCH/APRIL 2015 ISSUE On sale from 28 February


How did the Three Choirs Festival – now 300 years old – become a much-loved British institution? 

Harrison & Harrison’s restorations of the Willis organs in Exeter Cathedral and the Freemasons’ Hall, London. 

Explore fresh avenues of repertoire with a new anthology of Chinese choral music. 

Drop in on a century of recitals at St Michael’s Cornhill, and the tenth anniversary of the John Hill Memorial Series. 

David Hill gives pointers on conducting John Rutter’s poignant Requiem. 

Plus…The latest international news and previews, regular columns, specialist reviews, and our 2015 Festivals supplement.

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