Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters

U.S.O.C. Newsletter - September 2003

As the last Bulletin issued in mid August, it must seem to readers that it is very soon after the last edition. There is some very important information to impart, so you will get it now, and there will not be another Bulletin until October.

Upcoming events on September 13th, 2003 --
as the previous Bulletin emphasised, Saturday 13th September is a key day for Church Musicians. In the morning, is the launch at 10.30.am of the latest CD by Dr Harry Grindle's Priory Singers. However, there is a change of venue. The event will now take place at St Molua's Parish Church, on the Upper Newtownards Road, in East Belfast.
The Church is to be found on the RHS of the Upper Newtownards Road, opposite Stormont Estate if you are proceeding away from the City Centre. For those who are not familiar with this venue, there is a wonderful acoustic, and there is a fine organ by Smethurst. The singing will be glorious! Please see the enclosed flyer, and do try your best to come to this landmark event for Church Musicians.

Later, on the same day, at 3.00pm, please come to the Clonard Monastery, off the Falls Road, in West Belfast for another landmark event, this time organised by USOC. Professor Desmond Hunter will be playing a programme of the works of one of his principal teachers, Flor Peeters. This really is not to be missed - come and bring your friends. Once again, there is an excellent acoustic, and the organ has recently been rebuilt and extended by Kenneth Jones of Bray, originally having been built by Evans and Barr, and later re-organised by Pels. The instrument is a fine 3m. installed in a West end gallery.
The Monastery is to be found off the Falls Road, near the cross roads with Grosvenor Road. Proceeding from the City centre up Grosvenor Road, turn right at the traffic lights at the Royal Victoria Hospital X Roads, look for the sign on the RHS of the Falls Road indicating the Monastery. There is plenty of enclosed parking at the Monastery. If, however, you have a difficulty with this, the Society may organise a minibus from Malone Presbyterian Church, if, but only if there are sufficient takers to justify the expense. Details of what you should do to take advantage of this option and the anticipated costs are contained in the tear-off sheet attached.

Then, at 3.00 pm on 4th October 2003, at Down Cathedral, the USOC Members' Recital takes place-
when there is yet another treat in store for us. This recital will appeal to those Church Musicians who delight in the organ and in wonderful choral singing. At the console will be distinguished members Philip Stopford [Belfast Cathedral], Theo Saunders [Armagh Cathedral] and Donald Davison [formerly Belfast City Organist]. In addition there will be two choral sections; these will be sung for us by the Boys' Choir of St Peter's Cathedral, Belfast under their Director James Moyna.
For those unfamiliar with the venue, Down Cathedral is a lovely building, on an elevated site, overlooking the town of Downpatrick. The Cathedral is most beautifully maintained, has a superb singing acoustic and houses one of the finest Church Organs in Ireland. It is a three manual instrument which has been rebuilt in the twentieth century by Harrison & Harrison, and extended by Wells Kennedy. It is one of those rare and fabulous organs which appears to enhance, unbidden, the playing of even the player of modest resources.

Hills in Bangor??-
yes, there will be, on Saturday 11th October 2003 at 8.00pm!
If you have never been to hear the Tonic Theatre Organ at Bangor Academy, you really ought to give it a visit on Saturday 11th October 2003 when Richard Hills will be at the console. Richard graduated from Exeter College, Oxford, last year and soon afterwards was appointed to the music staff of Portsmouth Cathedral. In the face of keen competition he has recently been accepted as Organ Scholar at Westminster Abbey from September. He is an exceptionally gifted musician with wide musical interests. In July this year Richard was privileged to present the closing concert at the American Theatre Organ Society's convention in California.
This is Richard's third visit to Bangor Academy and no further recommendation is needed if you attended either of his previous concerts. On this occasion, his programme will include accompaniment of a silent movie. The concert begins at 8.00pm and tickets[at 8]will be available at the door. If you need directions, phone Rodney Bambrick: 028 9146 5222.

Welcoming a new member-
We are pleased to welcome Mr Michael JPB Carcherie Campbell MNMSM, of ..............., Belfast ......... Tel ..........., email ............ Michael has no Church appointment at present, but would be available to deputise on weekdays and Sundays.

Don't forget David Briggs -
This is another reminder to put Saturday 6th September in your diary. David Briggs, who came to conduct the masterclass and play the evening recital on the Belfast Community Organ Day last Autumn, is returning again to Belfast. On the Saturday evening, he will play an improvised accompaniment to the 1925 silent movie version of the PHANTOM of the OPERA, starring Lon Chaney. Tickets are available from the Ulster Hall, tel 028 9032 3900. David is one of this country's greatest exponents of the art of improvisation - few will forget the 40 minutes he played for USOC on our visit to Gloucester a few years ago. During this David even improvised and incorporated a major trio - quite astounding! On the previous evening, David Briggs will be playing with Cappella Caeciliana at St Brigid's Church, Malone Road, Belfast - that's on Friday, 5th September 2003.

Whoops, Oops, Oh dear, and woe is me -
In the last issue of the Bulletin, the latest list of USOC members was issued. There are a number of misprints, errors and omissions that have already been notified to the Hon Secretary. Please pull out your copy of the list and amend these details.
John Crothers lives at .............. Paris
Jim Drennan has qualifications CertEd LTCL ALCM
Mrs McCadden is the Organist of Holywood First Presbyterian Church[and not the deputy as indicated]
Roy McKay has qualifications BA DipMus[OU] LTCL CertEd[Mus}
Andrew Skelly lives at ........ [and not Heights, as indicated]; also,his mobile no is: .............
Tim Wilson lives at ............., and his tel no is ..............
Mrs Wiley's postal code is BT..........
The Hon Secretary says sorry to all those affected. If your entry is incorrect please let him know asap.

And finally, a note from the Hon Treasurer
Any members who have already[or intend to] set up a standing order to pay their subscription to USOC through the internet or telephone banking facility are asked to contact the Hon Treasurer as soon as is convenient. Someone initiated such a transaction in 2001 and the resulting credit gives no clue as to the payer's identity; their bank declined to reveal the name also. The danger is that the member concerned could eventually be deleted from our list if we cannot link that person to the payment. Thank you!


I should like to take advantage of the provision of a bus from Malone Presbyterian Church to Clonard Monastery on Saturday 13th September 2003.

I understand that the bus will leave no later than 2.20pm on that day and that the cost will be a minimum of 3.00 return.

I understand that this facility will not be available if there are insufficient persons wishing to avail of the Service.

I understand that the use of the carpark at Malone Presbyterian Church is at my own risk.



Telephone No_____________________________________________

Note: Please send this sheet as soon as possible, to arrive no later than Monday 8th September 2003, to the Hon Secretary, 16 Malone Hill Park, Belfast BT9 6RD

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