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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

Latest News

New Resource Helps Lincolnshire Sing 

22 September 2014

A new mapping resource on the soundLINCS website helps people find community choral groups in their area.  

Lincolnshire Sings is a mapping tool which displays choral groups across the county, allowing people to filter and search for a group relevant to them and to discover more information, including contact details, rehearsal time and venue.   

The resource was put together by soundLINCS, working with the Lincolnshire Music and Arts Education Hub and Lincolnshire Music service.  The project received over 100 responses from all corners of the county, covering a diverse range of singing opportunities in Lincolnshire, from rock choirs to barbershop quartets, sea shanties to Gilbert and Sullivan.   

Allison Jackson, programme development manager at soundLINCS, commented: ‘Lincolnshire Sings will be a one-stop shop for aspiring singers or teachers wanting to find groups close to them that they can get involved with. We hope it will encourage and enable young people and adults who love to sing the opportunity to easily find out how and where to go to join others with a passion for singing!’   

The map can be viewed on the soundLINCS website at http://www.soundlincs.org/lincolnshire-sings-mapping/. If you know of any other singing or vocal groups in your area not on this map, please contact soundLINCS at info@soundlincs.org or call 01522 510073.

View the resource now

Hope-Jones’s scrapbook discovered

22 September 2014

Robert Hope-Jones, 'Father of the Theatre Organ'
Robert Hope-Jones, 'Father of the Theatre Organ'

The scrapbook of Victorian organ builder Robert Hope-Jones has been donated to the Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust’s Theatre Organ Heritage Centre, at Eccles, Manchester.   


This 190-page scrapbook was compiled jointly by Hope-Jones’s two Company Secretaries, Arthur Speed and Alfred Foxworthy, and Robert Hope-Jones himself, who has annotated many of the cuttings and letters. It passed from George Andrews, an organ builder (possibly for Norman & Beard in Norwich), to John Candor; Mr Candor has now donated it to the Theatre Organ Heritage Centre, where it is being studied and indexed by Roger Fisher with a view to a future publication.   

Hope-Jones (1859-1914) started work in Birkenhead, then went on to join the Wurlitzer Company in America, earning himself the title ‘Father of the Theatre Organ. The scrapbook covers Hope-Jones’s early period in Birkenhead, with newspaper, periodical clips and letters dating from the 1890s.  

The scrapbook will be on permanent display in the Museum alongside many other Hope-Jones related items, at the LTOT’s Theatre Organ Heritage Centre in Eccles, Manchester.   For more details call 0161 792-1836, or email rcfgroimit@btinternet.com.


Visit the LTOT's website

Composition Competition for 6 organs

22 September 2014

Georges Jansoone

Applications are open for the International Composition Award ‘Organs of the National Palace of Mafra’. The six organs of the Basilica of the National Palace of Mafra (Portugal), built by the two most important Portuguese organ builders of the early 19th century – António Xavier Machado and Cerveira and Joaquim António Peres Fontanes – form a unique set in the world, having been built at the same time and originally designed to be played together.   


The Competition aims to create a new repertoire for the instrumental ensemble, making use of its characteristics. The competition is divided into two categories, one for the composition of an original work (prize 10,000 Euros), and the other for transcription for the six organs (prize 5,000 Euros).   

The jury comprises Roberto Antonello (Italy), Sérgio Azevedo (Portugal), João Vaz (Portugal), and chaired by Bernard Foccroulle (Belgium).

Competition rules and guidelines at: www.cm-mafra.pt/premiocomposicaoorgaos.cfm. Deadline: April 10, 2015 

BBC launches Christmas carol competition 

28 August 2014

The shortlisted carols will be performed by the BBC Singers
The shortlisted carols will be performed by the BBC Singers

A nation-wide Christmas carol competition has been launched by the BBC. Applicants are being challenged to compose a brand-new carol which will be performed by the BBC Singers live on BBC Radio 3.

Entrants must set the words of specially commissioned poem ‘Can it be True?’ by acclaimed author Susan Hill. Entries can be written in any style, but must be either a cappella or with a piano accompaniment.

Judges among the competition’s panel will include Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music and Associate Composer for BBC Singers, and David Hill, Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers. The judges will shortlist six carols to be performed live on Radio 3 on 16 December by the BBC Singers.

Listeners will then be invited to vote for their favourite carol, with voting closing on 22 December. The entry receiving the largest number of votes will be performed live on Radio 3’s Breakfast show on 23 December and a recording played on the station across Christmas Day.

The competition is open to UK residents over the age of 16. The deadline for entries in 10 November 2014; successful shortlisted entrants will be contacted by 25 November.

Visit the BBC website for Susan Hill’s poem, as well as the full terms and conditions for the competition.

Kenneth Tickell dies

29 July 2014

British organ builder Kenneth Tickell died suddenly on 24 July, following a pulmonary embolism.

Having trained in organ building with Grant, Degens and Bradbeer, Tickell established his first workshop in Northampton in 1982. From that time, he built up a business of nine full-time staff members to match an impressive portfolio of mainly new instruments, among them chamber organs for Westminster Abbey and Canterbury, Lincoln, Bristol, Truro, St Davids, Hereford and St Paul’s, London cathedrals, and for Magdalen College, Oxford, and Jesus and Selwyn colleges, Cambridge; and from his first 3-manual instrument for Douai Abbey in 1993, large organs for St Barnabas, Dulwich, Eton College, Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Lincoln’s Inn Chapel, London, St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, and 4-manual organs for Worcester Cathedral and Keble College, Oxford. Though his commissions were mainly UK-based, Tickell also built organs for Italy, the EU Baroque Orchestra, the church of Nesbyen, Norway, the Venerabile Collegio Inglese, Rome, Pilgrim Uniting Church, Adelaide, and the University of Queensland, Australia, and most recently Rikkyo Gakuin University, Tokyo (featured in the July/August issue of Choir & Organ).

Tickell was an accomplished organist, having studied with Robert Weddle, Francis Jackson, Simon Lindley and Gillian Weir, gaining his FRCO in 1977 and graduating in Music from Hull University (where he was organ scholar) in 1978. For many years he was Director of Music at St Mary’s, Northampton.

He was a founder member and first President from 1996-2001 of the Institute of British Organbuilding, and remained an Executive Board member.

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