Choir & Organ, cover from current issue

January/February 2016 issue 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.

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

Latest News

ISM and RCO announce new partnership

4 January 2016

The Royal College of Organists and the Incorporated Society of Musicians will work together to build and deliver a wide range of services, information and development opportunities for organists and choral directors.

The relationship is intended to increase the breadth and availability of support for organists and choral directors.

Members of either organisation will be able to join the other at a 25% discount.

'Recent research found that as many as seven out of every ten organists cite their music and musicianship as either a primary or supplementary source of income, which highlights the importance of increasing the professional and vocational support available to our members,' said Philip Meaden, chief executive of the RCO. 'The Incorporated Society of Musicians is the natural choice as partner for this, and the RCO is delighted to be working closely with the Society in this way.'

Describing herself as 'delighted' about the new relationship, ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts said: 'Our shared aims and values will ensure the very best services are available for these musicians, and we look forward to what will be a fruitful working relationship.'

The RCO is an educational charity dedicated to the promotion and advancement of organ playing and choral directing. Its objective is 'to promote and advance the arts and practice of organ playing and choral direction; to set and maintain proper standards; and to educate and promote study and research in such arts.'

Choir & Organ New Music pieces to premiere 12 January

4 January 2016

The New Music pieces featured in Choir & Organ throughout 2015 will receive their premieres on 12 January.

The BBC Singers and Ben Comeau will perform the works at 3pm at St Paul's, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8SH in a concert lasting approximately 40 minutes.

The concert will feature the following pieces:

For voices (BBC Singers)
Robert Goulder: I Saw His Round Mouth's Crimson (Mar/Apr 2015)
Alexander Turner Proudlock: The Dirge of December (May/Jun 2015)
Hsu Tzu-Chin: Under the Moonlight (Jul/Aug 2015)
William Cole: Plorans ploravit (Nov/Dec 2015)

For organ (Ben Comeau)
Edward Nesbit: Winter Journey (Jan/Feb 2015)
Ben Comeau: Theme & Variations (Sep/Oct 2015)

The premieres follow a workshop with the BBC Singers on 'Writing for Voices' (11.30am-1pm) which will be led by Master of the Queen's Music and BBC Singers associate composer Judith Weir and conductor Matthew Hamilton.

Both events are free, but tickets must be reserved.

Choir & Organ New Music concert

January at Salisbury Cathedral

4 January 2016

Musical highlights at Salisbury Cathedral this month include the Epiphany Procession, a choral evensong to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, and a performance of Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur.

The Epiphany Procession, which will feature music by Poulenc, Mendelssohn, Messiaen, Tavener and Shepard, will take place at 5pm on 17 January. The service commemorates the journey of the Magi to worship the infant Jesus, before following His life through to adulthood. 

Radio 3 will be broadcasting Choral Evensong live from the Cathedral at 3.30pm on 27 January to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Visitors must be in their seats well before 3pm to hear the service, which includes music by Lennox Berkeley and Bach.

The month culminates in a complete performance of Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur on 31 January. The nine movements will be woven into the Evening Prayer service, enhanced by prayer and readings. 

Salisbury Cathedral: Worship Music and Spectacle New Year

Ann Burgess wins BBC Breakfast Carol Competition

23 December 2015

Ann Burgess
Ann Burgess

Ann Burgess has been announced as the winner of the Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition.

Listeners voted her setting of Roger McGough’s poem Comes the Light as their favourite from a shortlist of six.

The BBC Singers, directed by chief conductor David Hill, performed Burgess’s winning composition live on Radio 3’s Breakfast programme this morning. The radio station will play the carol throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Hill, who also chaired the judging panel, described Burgess’s setting as ‘fresh and new, bringing a unique new slant onto the traditional Christmas Carol.’

Burgess studied music at Edinburgh University with Kenneth Leighton. She is director of music at Christ Church, Frome; a piano teacher, accompanist and continuo player; sings alto in the Christ Church Singers chamber choir; and plays organ (she was awarded an associate diploma of the Royal College of Organists in 2002).

Radio 3 Carol Competition 2015: Ann Burgess

NHS Choir takes UK Christmas number one

23 December 2015

The Trust Choir with Gareth Malone
The Trust Choir with Gareth Malone

The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir took the prestigious Christmas number one spot in the UK chart with the song A Bridge Over You.

The choir's mash-up of Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water and Coldplay's Fix You received sales and streams equivalent to 127,000 copies.

All proceeds will go to charities including Carers UK and Mind.

The choir, which features physiotherapists, porters, administrators, doctors and nurses, were runners up on Gareth Malone's BBC Two show Sing While You Work in 2012.

Members described themselves as 'absolutely overwhelmed' in a statement, adding: 'It's a brilliant celebration for the NHS across the country so well done and thank you everyone for downloading and streaming. A massive cheer for the NHS, thank you.'

The favourite for the spot was Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, who urged his fans to 'do the right thing' and help the choir to win.

Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot described the choir's success as 'a fantastic result'.

He also said: 'There will be thousands of NHS staff across the country working through Christmas Day, while the rest of the nation is putting its feet up - this success is for them. There couldn't be a more deserving group of winners.'

The Trust Choir

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