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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.

Pull out all the stops

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

Latest News

Swiss winner

20 April 2011

The Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2011, held in partnership with the International Organ Festival at St Albans, has been won by Joute (Duel), a duo for trumpet and organ by Valentin Villard. 

Villard was born in 1985 in Lausanne, Switzerland; he is choral director for the parish of Sainte-Cécile, Morges (on Lake Geneva), and is studying for a Master of Arts in Composition at the Amsterdam Conservatorium. A full interview with Villard will appear in the July/August issue of Choir & Organ as part of our New Music series. 

The premiere of Joute is being sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Musicians and will be given by two Company Yeomen (former WCM grantees) on 16 July in St Albans Cathedral as part of the IOF Prize-winners’ Concert.

John Alldis memorial service

8 February 2011

John Alldis inspired his singers, whether professional or amateur
John Alldis inspired his singers, whether professional or amateurCourtesy Dominic Alldis

A memorial service for John Alldis will be held in St Mary Abbots Church, 2 Kensington Church Court, London W8 4SP on 1 April at 12 noon, followed by a reception.

John Alldis died on 20 December aged 81. He gained international renown as a choral conductor for his ability to interpret new music, the creation of the definitive performance, and the continuing development of vocal expression.

Full obituary in Choir & Organ March/April 2011, on sale from 22 February.


6 October 2010

The vibrant young choir New Commonwealth Voices relaunches on Wednesday 13 October with a rehearsal at St Pancras Church from 7pm to 9pm ( Their next public engagement will be the Commonwealth Carol Service in St Martins-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London on 15 December.   

New Commonwealth Voices brings together singers from, or with ancestral ties to, each of the Commonwealth's 54 member states, and the songs they sing reflect the diversity, unity and ethos of the modern Commonwealth. Founded earlier this year by British conductor Joy Hill, the choir – whose President is Archbishop Desmond Tutu – is run in association with the Royal Commonwealth Society.  

After 13 October rehearsals will take place on alternate Wednesday evenings (venue to be confirmed). Subscriptions for one term cost £45 /concessions £25. If you are interested in attending a group audition for the choir, or in receiving further information please contact Joy Hill at: 


Winner of Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2010

23 July 2010

James Davy, assistant director of music at Blackburn Cathedral and winner of Choir & Organ's 2010 Composition Competition
James Davy, assistant director of music at Blackburn Cathedral and winner of Choir & Organ's 2010 Composition Competition

The Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2010 has been won by James Davy with Domine clamavi.

Davy is assistant director of music at Blackburn Cathedral and a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. His setting of the psalm text (taken from Psalm 141 vv1-3) focuses on the reflective aspect of worship. He commented, 'At the cathedral, psalms are part of our daily tradition. In these particular verses there's a lot that sums up worship, and music for it – it is quiet and reflective in nature, rather than triumphal. For me it expresses an aspect of worship that often goes by unnoticed, and that is certainly underrated.'

The competition was judged by Gabriel Jackson, John McCabe, Andrew Nethsingha, John Rutter, and the editor of Choir & Organ. The premiere will given in November (date TBC) by the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, directed by Andrew Nethsingha.

£950,000 lottery award for Royal Festival Hall organ

17 June 2010

The restoration of the Royal Festival Hall organ gets green light
The restoration of the Royal Festival Hall organ gets green light© Morley Von Sternberg

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £950,000 to Southbank Centre towards the restoration and reinstallation of the Royal Festival Hall organ, it was announced today.

The 1954 Grade 1-listed Harrison & Harrison organ was taken out in 2005 in preparation for the restoration of the Royal Festival Hall; when the Hall reopened in 2007, only one-third of the instrument was replaced. The completion and reinstallation of the remaining two-thirds - with almost 5,000 pipes of the organ's full complement of 7,710 - will be the final piece of the jigsaw in the architectural centrepiece of Sir Leslie Martin’s concert auditorium.

Harrison & Harrison will carry out the work, which is expected to be completed in time for the organ's 60th anniversary in 2014.

A complementary community learning and engagement programme will enable people of all ages to experience the organ for free. These will include an organ scholar placement, free monthly recitals in partnership with the Royal College of Music and Royal Academy of Music, and provision for two new apprentices to work with Harrison & Harrison.

Southbank Centre chief executive Alan Bishop said:

'I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their significant contribution to the full restoration of the great organ of the Royal Festival Hall for the next generation. This is a major boost ahead of our fundraising campaign, which we will launch in September, announcing how the public can also support the completion of the organ project.'

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