Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters

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


Summer Quiz Night and Social Evening
Saturday 17th June at 7.30pm.
Belfast Cathedral Hall

This will be held at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, in the Cathedral Hall, where tea and coffee will be served with light refreshments. Those wishing to bring a bottle of wine may do so (no corkage fees will apply!).

It is suggested that members bring their friends and families, and form teams of no more than 6 people, to compete in the musical test of the year! The more who come, the bigger the cash prize for the winning team! Questions will be in rounds including a number of picture rounds, audio rounds and general musical knowledge.

The evening will take the form of a fund raising event for USOC, and each person will be asked to pay a £5 entry fee – that’s a cheap night out in my book!

Come and test your Organ and Choral knowledge against friends and colleagues, and win! Entertainment will be provided whilst the final scores are totted up! Perhaps this would also be an opportunity to share Paris pictures too?

Looking back . . .

The May Event on 20th was a session on Improvisation that had been requested by many members following the “Your views” session in 2004. Although not very well attended, those that did make it enjoyed useful and interesting ideas from Philip Stopford and Stephen Hamill, and members achieved some good improvising before the session had ended. Philip still has some helpful worksheets should you like to see a copy if you were unable to attend the meeting.

The Society has launched its new website address!


Bulletins, Vacant Consoles, Concerts, Teachers – it’s all there – go and have a look!

And looking ahead . . .

Saturday 16 September 2006 at 3pm,
Hillsborough Parish Church - SIR DAVID WILLCOCKS

This exciting event is now taking great shape, with a good response to the dinner in the evening too! Sir David will work with Belfast Chamber Choir Melisma and the gathered assembly and work through various carols in his world renowned volumes, Carols for Choirs 1 and 2 – the famous Red and Green Books. We encourage you to bring copies of these two books with you! Unlike previously advertised, David will not look at new carols, but concentrate on what are probably the most famous choir books of all time!

The Dinner in the evening has been confirmed at the Ulster Reform Club in Belfast, and a booking form is once again enclosed. Please act promptly on this one!

For those who might be interested, the RSCM is organizing a session as part of the CWSS featuring newer choral music for Harvest and Christmas. It’s at 7.30 on Thursday 24 August and will include music in 2 and 3 parts. The venue is Venue St Mark’s Church, The Mall.


Dr Donald Davison, member and former President of USOC, was awarded "the honour of Associate of the Royal School of Church Music" for his work as musical editor of the Church Hymnal of the C of I. Many congratulations to him.

Concerts, Recitals and Special Occasions
(Also regularly updated on www.usoc.org.uk)

St Molua’s Parish, Stormont

Priory Singers, Thursday 8th June, 8pm (This week!)
Priory Singers (director: Harry Grindle) will be joined by a chamber orchestra and Phillip Elliott (organ). The suitably celebratory programme will include music by Purcell and the Gloria by Vivaldi. Admission (which includes refreshments after the concert) is £12.00(Concessions: £10).

Bangor Academy Tonic Organ

Saturday 10th June, 7.30pm Simon Gledhill

For more information, contact Mr Rodney Bambrick.

Belfast Cathedral

Thursday 15th June, 8pm (Next Thursday!) 4th Annual Summer Concert Featuring the Cathedral Choir, Cathedral Youth Choir and Cathedral Voices. Music from the Cathedral’s repertoire this year, featuring all three Cathedral Choirs, Howells, Harris, Whitacre, Lauridsen and the recent Stopford commission for Ascension Day, O God the King of Glory.

Vacant Consoles

This year’s Organ Scholarship post (from September) at Fisherwick has been filled.

Organist/Choir Director required for St. Colman's R.C Church Tullylish (outside Banbridge). 2 manual pipe organ and enthusiastic choir. Salary neg: Please contact Rev: Gerry Powell on (028) 4062 4541.

New members

We welcome Denise Martin and Sam Chambers (student) as new members to the Society.


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.

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