The organ builder William Drake has died
22 January 2014
The organ in Christ Church, Spitalfields, currently being restored
William Drake, organ builder, died on 11 January. He leaves an opus of notable organs, including recently the organ in the OBE chapel of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. His colleagues are continuing his work, including the restoration of the important 1735 Richard Bridge organ in Christ Church, Spitalfields, London.
Llandaff Cathedral music cuts
7 January 2014
Just five days before Christmas, Llandaff Cathedral carried out its threat to make five professional part-time lay clerks, a part-time choral scholar and the assistant organist redundant, in order to save £45,000 of a projected budget deficit of £80,000.
Chilcott writes memorial carol
12 December 2013
Composer Bob Chilcott has written a carol in memory of church organist Alan Greaves from Sheffield who was murdered last Christmas while on his way to Midnight mass.
Chilcott has generously allowed Oxford University Press to make the sheet music available free of charge.
OUP has been inundated with requests to perform it this Christmas and has made Chilcott's carol available to download from the OUP website.
LLANDAFF – STAY OF EXECUTION FOR CHOIR
9 December 2013
Llandaff Cathedral Choir
Following the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ decision to go public in condemnation of Llandaff Cathedral’s plans to sack all the adult members of its Choir due to a budget deficit, it has now reported that an extension to the period of consultation for those at risk of redundancy has been granted. Choir members were originally told they might be made redundant as soon as 6 December 2013.
The Cathedral had proposed to slim down the Choir in order to save nearly £50,000 against an anticipated deficit of £81,000. Seven men – five lay clerks, one choral scholar and the assistant organist – are at risk of redundancy and will be invited to take part in consultation meetings over the next few weeks. The move provoked outraged reactions from former choristers and the Friends of Cathedral Music, which had awarded substantial grants to the Cathedral in the past, and which had not ruled out further financial support in the future.
A spokesman said, ‘It is proposed that a budget be kept to pay adult choristers on an occasional basis for weekend services and special seasons, such as Advent and Christmas, to sing with the boy choristers in order to keep a choral tradition in the cathedral.’
The ISM, the professional body for musicians, led a campaign in response to the plans. Head of legal affairs, David Abrahams, told C&O, ‘This is great news. The ISM has been calling for an extension to the consultation period and this now gives the Chapter more time to consider the alternatives to redundancy as put forward by the ISM and others.’
FULL STORY IN THE JAN/FEB 2014 ISSUE OF CHOIR & ORGAN, ON SALE LATE DECEMBER.
AWARD FOR ALKMAAR DVD
22 November 2013
Fugue State Films’ DVD on the historic organs in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, has won the prestigious Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Prize), one of the most respected and important German prizes, with an independent jury of high-class journalists.
Alkmaar – The Organs of the Laurenskerk celebrates the world-renowned Van Hagerbeer/Schnitger and Van Covelens organs of the Dutch town, introduced by the church’s two organists, Pieter van Dijk and Frank van Wijk, alongside cameos of the instruments in Leiden’s Pieterskerk and Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Kerk. Our reviewer described it as a ‘unique collection [that will] reward many hours of watchcing and listening.’
The award marks a second win for Fugue State Films, whose previous DVD collection, The Organs of Cavaillé-Coll, also received the prize. www.fuguestatefilms.co.uk