Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters

U.S.O.C. Newsletter - October 2006




Details enclosed

Please do support this event. Pull out all the stops!

(and bring your friends!)


John Crothers has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland at their recent annual conference at Guildford Cathedral. This means that he gets to serve along with such luminaries as John Barnard, Chris Idle, Timothy Dudley-Smith,(for example)! Many congratulations to him.

Dr Harry Grindle’s hymn “Father as we come before you” will be featured in a Songs of Praise programme to be recorded in Northern Ireland next month and broadcast on Sunday 28th January 2007. If you are a singer (over 16 years old) who would like to take part in the recording, please contact Philip Stopford as soon as possible, who will provide further details. Don’t just watch it – be on it . . . . !

Arthur Beggs Fund. Full Time students can apply for funds from the Arthur Beggs Fund in connection with going on USOC trips. Applications should be made to the secretary, Philip Stopford, by email please, music@belfastcathedral.org as soon as possible.

Concerts, Recitals and Special Occasions


Hills in Bangor

Richard Hills studied music at Exeter College, Oxford, was for a year Organ Scholar at Westminster Abbey and has recently become a FRCO. On Saturday 28th October he will be making his sixth visit to the Tonic Theatre Organ at Bangor Academy to present a concert of music in lighter mood.

In the theatre organ world Richard is regarded as one of its top performers and has presented concert in America, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and all over the UK. Well worth riding down to Bangor to hear!

To reach Bangor Academy, follow the ring road just past the Bloomfield shopping centre on to road signposted Carrowdore. The School is a short distance along this road. The concert begins at 7.45pm and tickets will be available at the door.



St George’s Parish Church, High Street, Belfast

The RSCM will present a “Come and Sing” Fauré Requiem on Saturday 14th October. The afternoon practice and 5 pm performance will be conducted by Peter Barley, Organist and Master of the Choristers at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, and the organist will be Theo Saunders, Director of Music at Armagh Cathedral. Registration is at 1.30pm and costs £6 (£3 for under 16s). Attending the performance is free. Please note this is a change of venue from previous advertisements.

A MELISMA Christmas - A recital of Christmas music across the centuries, from Renaissance to Irving Berlin. Friday 22nd December 2006. Tickets coming soon . . . .



Belfast Cathedral, Donegall Street

ANUNA in CONCERT – Thursday 12th October, 7.45pm – Tickets at the door £15.

Cathedral Christmas “A Ceremony of Carols” – Belfast Cathedral Choir, Renaissance, Melisma, Loughside Chamber Choir. To include a performance of Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ (the rarely performed SATB version) with harp. Wednesday 13th December 2006 at 8pm. Tickets £10 and £8 released soon . . . .


Vacant Consoles

Organist/Choirmaster/mistress required for Holy Trinity Parish Church, Glencraig. Enquiries to the church website:www.holytrinityglencraig.org, or contact the Vicar, Rev Paul Hewitt: Tel 02890 422225. The vacancy has occurred through the sudden death of the organist, Deirdre Barber.

St Ignatius Church, Parish of Carryduff. Due to retirement, the post of Organist and Choirmaster/mistress will become vacant early in 2007. The Select Vestry wishes to appoint a person who will maintain the good musical tradition of this church, and who will promote good congregational singing of the hymns, psalms and canticles. Traditional worship; a dedicated and supportive 4-part robed choir (including choristers) affiliated to RSCM. The flourishing Junior Choir is trained by an assistant. Deputy Organist available. In addition to the salary, a bursary could be made available to a suitable candidate to enable him/her to pursue further musical studies. Details on request from: The Revd. John R. Auchmuty, The Rectory, 700 Saintfield Road, Carryduff. Belfast. BT8 8BU. Tel: 02890 812342. Closing date for applications: Friday 27th October 2006

Windsor Presbyterian Church, Lisburn Road, Belfast. Organist and Director of Music. 2 manual Conacher pipe organ. Duties mainly involve one Sunday service at 11 a.m. and a midweek choir practice. Details from Mr Mervyn Boyd, 15 Upper Lisburn Road, Belfast BT10 0GW. Telephone 028 90611453, email w.mervynboyd@tiscali.co.uk


Don’t forget to stay up to date on the web - www.usoc.org.uk

where you can find sources of Teachers Concert Listings, and much more . . . . . .

It would be helpful to collate an up to date email list. Please email music@belfastcathedral.org putting USOC EMAIL in the title box, if you wish to be reminded/and or notified of events. Thank you.


Any items of interest or news, or church posts you wish to advertise, should be sent to me at music@belfastcathedral.org or Director of Music, Belfast Cathedral, Donegall Street, Belfast, BT1 2HB. Thank you. Philip Stopford, Hon.Sec.

Dates for your diary – 2006 and 2007!

Saturday 18 November, 3pm, USOC Mozart Anniversary

This event will be held in Queen’s University, courtesy of Professor Jan Smaczny. It will feature music for organ and harpsichord by Mozart and two of his major influences, Bach and Handel.

We are delighted that three very distinguished players have agreed to take part, Norman Finlay, Charles Harrison and Dr Yo Tomita, a Bach expert of world renown and a Reader in the QUB School of Music and Sonic Arts.

The afternoon will begin in the McMordie Hall of the School of Music and will end with an opportunity to hear the organ recently installed in the beautifully restored Great Hall by William Drake of Devon.

Saturday 25 November, Consultation Lessons with Belfast City Organist

As part of the ongoing collaboration between USOC and the Belfast City Council, Colm Carey will be available at St George’s Church, High Street, Belfast for consultation lessons each lasting about an hour. These sessions will be free of charge and entirely confidential. On this occasion, applications are invited from players of an advanced standard.

If you are interested, please contact James Little on 02890 421332 or president@usoc.org.uk

Saturday 25 November, 8pm, DAVID BRIGGS in the Inaugural Recital Series at St Columb’s Cathedral. Londonderry. Admission free with a retiring collection.

Friday 16 February 2007, 7.45pm, OLIVIER LATRY, Ulster Hall

On this evening there will be a recital in the Ulster Hall by the astounding organist of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Olivier Latry.

Whatever you do, make this the first entry in your 2007 diary-and miss this concert at your peril. The concert will conclude with an improvisation on a submitted theme so this is your chance to hear one of the world’s masters of this art. Tickets £10 from the Ulster Hall Box Office (02890 323900) –and tell your friends-this will be a great opportunity to spread the word about the organ far and wide.

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