Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters

U.S.O.C. Newsletter - March 2002

Saturday 23rd March - BANGOR TONICS - Bangor Academy 3.30pm
The President writes: Although the theatre organ should have disappeared with the advent of the sound film, it didn't, and today there are still thriving theatre organ societies in the UK, USA and other countries. Of the younger generation of British players, one of the very best is SIMON GLEDHILL and at our meeting on Saturday 23rd March he will present a lecture/demonstration on the art of theatre organ performance. Then, at 7.30 that evening his remarkable skill in this medium will be displayed at a public concert which will include the accompaniment of a silent film (Harold Lloyd in "I do!").

Both events will be held at Bangor Academy (formerly Gransha High School), which houses the three manual Compton once a feature of the Tonic Theatre in Bangor, and now the only theatre organ in playable condition in the Province.

In the hope that you will wish to attend both the afternoon lecture/demonstration and the public concert in the evening, the afternoon meeting will start at 3.30pm and arrangements have been made for a meal to be served at the Stables Restaurant in Groomsport at 5.30pm at a charge of 10.00 per person. This will allow people time to travel the short distance to Groomsport and to return to the school for the concert. Reservations need to be made for the meal. If you didn't fill in the slip last month, please phone the Hon. Sec. ASAP. For the concert, tickets (5.00) will be available at the door. (Don't leave it too late - the place fills up fast! Hon. Sec.)

Bangor Academy is in Gransha Road. Coming from Belfast, turn right at the third roundabout on the ring road (Circular Road).

Kilmore Parish Church is a surprisingly large and ancient foundation, incorporating a Celtic round tower inside the present one. In the west gallery is the organ which William Hill & Son built for Holy Trinity Church, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1865. When Holy Trinity closed in 1919, Telfords' moved the organ to Kilmore, replacing a small Walker organ now nearby at Lisnadill. There have been minimal changes and the instrument is of outstanding historical importance. It is also a magnificent musical instrument and has been restored by the Wells-Kennedy Partnership.

At this evening meeting, our member Philip Elliott MA, FRCO, of Hillsborough Parish Church will demonstrate the organ and the Lowry Singers, conducted by our member Earl Moffitt, will provide choral music.

Before the meeting, Earl Moffitt has kindly offered to provide a meal for those who wish it at his house, The Old School, Salter's Grange. This will cost 10 per head, proceeds to the Lowry Singers. Accommodation for the meal is limited, so please return the slip soon. Accommodation for the concert will not be a problem - bring your friends!

The Society's annual "overseas trip" centres on the Birmingham area. Among the instruments to be visited are the brand-new 4 manual Klais in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, which will be demonstrated by the resident organ scholar. Other visits in process of negotiation are to St. Chad's RC Cathedral, Birmingham (modern 3m Walker in stunning west gallery Gothic case), Lichfield Cathedral (4m Hill/Harrison), Leicester Cathedral (4m Harrison and 1m Pels - organist our member Jonathan Gregory), Oakham Parish Church (new 2m Kenneth Tickell), Oakham School (new 2m Peter Collins), De Montfort Hall, Leicester (3m Taylor: an absolutely outstanding and little-known concert organ - including Tuba and 32' reed - by the local firm), Coventry Cathedral (4m Harrison - reckoned to be the finest of its period), St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Warwick (3m Nicholson including both west and chancel organs - seven divisions in all), Rugby School (new 4m Kenneth Jones). This opportunity to visit such a wide spectrum of fine instruments should set your mouth watering. Those wishing to take part should send a deposit of 50 to the Treasurer as soon as possible. The balance will fall due at the end of March.

Established in memory of the late Henry, Lord Dunleath, the Trust provides funds to assist young organists in travelling to further their studies. Applicants must be aged 25 or under and born in, or resident in for a minimum of three years, Ireland (North or South). The Hon. Sec. has further details, or they can be obtained from Dr. Desmond Hunter, Dept of Music, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey BT37 0QB (fax: 028 9061 2224), email: d.hunter@ulst.ac.uk. Younger members wishing to attend, for example, Oundle are urged to apply - closing date is 30th April.

TWO COPIES of the Society's publicity leaflet are enclosed with this circular. Please put them to good use. The Secretary has more if you require them!

JUBILATE - A Golden Fanfare of Voices combining two of the province's vocal groups Cadenza & Grosvenor Chorale with Festival Orchestra and Soloists will present a banquet of music in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Belfast on Thursday 18th April 2002 at 8pm. The highlight will be Charpentier's 'Te Deum' and other items to be performed include I was Glad- Parry, O Praise the Lord - Handel, Zadok the Priest - Handel, For lo I raise up- Stanford, Crucifixus - Lotti (8 part) and Faure's delightful Cantique de Jean Racine. Tickets 10 (7 students & under 18's) are available from Matchetts and Belfast Music Supplies, any choir member or website: www.grosvenorchorale.com Programme includes light refreshments.

USOC members Michael McCracken and Edward Craig (directors of Cadenza and Grosvenor Chorale respectively) would very much appreciate your support for this event as the costs in presenting it are quite considerable. Please come along to what promises to be music fit for a Monarch! Even try to bring along a friend.

In the world of literature, the Annual Report on the doings of USOC furnished by Rodney Bambrick as Secretary has always aroused much interest. A copy of the 2001 Report is appended for your edification.



Please book _____ places for a meal

Name _______________________________________________

Participants should return this slip (by 6TH April) to

David Drinkell, 87 Orangefield Road, Belfast BT5 6DD

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