Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters

U.S.O.C. Newsletter - March 2007


Saturday 31st March 2007 at 3pm

Led by Philip Stopford

Following the first successful session in 2006, Philip will further enhance those silent moments with a session on BASIC improvisation.

You are invited to attend Dundrod Presbyterian Church where there is a fine organ by Kenneth Jones built 25 years ago. It has two manuals and pedals. Philip will show how even smaller instruments can suit the art of improvisation, using just a few stops.

Philip has some willing volunteers who will play, but if you would like an opportunity to ‘have a go’ too please get in touch,
music@belfastcathedral.org or 9032 8332 at the Cathedral.

See next page for travel directions

Directions to Dundrod Presbyterian Church which is about twenty-five minutes from Belfast.

From the north or east via the M2. Come off the M2 and follow signs for International airport. At the roundabout about a mile before the airport, take the exit for Lisburn (A26). At the next roundabout, about 3 miles along, take the exit for Dundrod (B101). The church is at a crossroads about 2 miles along (on the right, with parking opposite).

From Belfast/ Bangor, go up the Crumlin Rd, on to the upper Crumlin Rd and left at traffic lights up the Ligoniel Rd (before the horseshoe bend). After a few miles, about 7, watch for the left turn for Lisburn. Take it, then about 2 miles along, you come to the crossroads mentioned above. The church will be facing you.

An alternative way from south Belfast is to go up Kennedy Way from the Balmoral Ave/Kennedy way junction of the M1. At roundabout, take second exit (still Kennedy Way). At next roundabout, take first exit (Glen Rd towards Glenavy, A 501). About a mile later, turn right up Hannahstown Hill and soon after left in to the upper Springfield Rd (B38). After 1.6 miles, right in to Wheelers Rd. half a mile later, right in to Tornagrough Rd. Follow that road (B154) to Dundrod.

From central Lisburn, there are clear signs to Dundrod.

From the west including Portadown/Lurgan etc, leave the M1 at the Moira exit and take the road to the International airport. At the Nutts Corner roundabout, do right round and take the exit for Dundrod. The church is at a crossroads about two miles from there.


It was decided that there should be no change to our name


Advance Notice and Booking of April Event

Visit to Co Monaghan

St Joseph's Carickmacross
New 2 manual 27 stop Wells-Kennedy instrument

St Patrick's Church of Ireland Monaghan
Substantial 2 manual Walker/Telford & Telford

St Macartan's Cathedral Monaghan
56 Stop 3 manual Telford recently completely rebuilt by Kenneth Jones & Associates

We have arranged a 3 course lunch, tea and coffee at the Westenra Hotel Monaghan for the sum of 15 EURO or £10. (see booking page attached)

Transport will be by car – if you would like to attend but need transport, please tick the box on the attached booking page.

The USOC inspired Saturday Night Masses continue this week, Saturday 10th March 2007, 7.30pm, with St Anne’s Cathedral Choir performing in their sister Cathedral, St Peter’s. The setting will be Palestrina’s Missa Aeternae Christi Munera, and motets Ubi Caritas by Morten Lauridsen, Set me as a seal by William Walton, and Ave Verum by Philip Stopford, a new commission by the Board of St Anne’s Cathedral, in honour of St Peter’s new Administrator, Very Reverend Dr Hugh Kennedy and his Cathedral Community. The rest of the series looks like this . . . . .

26 May Martin Baker (Westminster Cathedral)
This will be preceded at 6pm by an organ recital.
April 21st Cappella Caeciliana
June 16th Renaissance
September 8th Cadenza
October 13th Methodist College, Belfast
November 3rd RSCM choirs
December 8th tba

Concerts, Recitals and Special Occasions

MELISMA – Sacred Choral Masterpieces for Lent and Passiontide
Sunday 18th March 2007, 8pm, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast Music by Tomkins, Byrd, Tallis. Pergolesi, Walton and Archer. Ticket details from Philip Stopford, 028 9032 8332 and on the door.

Performance of John Rutter 'Requiem' and other sacred music - with Cadenza and Orchestra directed by Michael McCracken. Organ -Neale Agnew - Monday 2nd April 2007 at 8pm in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Belfast. Tickets at the door £10 & concessions £8

Spezzatura - An evening for promoting musical talent - Wednesday 21st March in Down Cathedral at 7.30pm - featuring the Junior Choir singing 'Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat' - Tickets at the door £3 and £10 (family). This event is run by the Cathedral Choir.

Friday 10th August 2007 at 8.00 pm
Details from the Church Office 028 7082 2612


Congratulations to Mr Rodney Bambrick who recently celebrated a BIG birthday.

Happy 80th!

New recordings

CREATION CD Launch – Saturday 28th April, 4pm, St Anne’s Cathedral Philip Stopford launches the second CD of his own original sacred choral compositions including two USOC inspired works, Creation and Christ the Lord is risen again. (see and retain enclosed invitation!)

Members who went on the trip to Paris last year (or others for that matter) might be interested in a CD that has just been produced. It features the concert that we attended in St Etienne-du-Mont with the programme:

Poulenc - Concerto for organ, orchestra and strings
Rameau - Symphonic extracts from 'Dardanus' and Airs de ballet from 'Les Indes galantes'
Jacques Lenot - 'La Gerusalemme celeste' for organ and orchestra
World Premiere Recording Daniel Roth - 'Licht im Dunkel' a poem for orchestra
Organ - Vincent Warnier
Orchestra - Les Siècles
Conductor -François-Xavier Roth

John Crothers can obtain copies for us at a special price of £10.00 subject to an order of at least 20. Please send your cheque to the Treasurer, payable to USOC by 4 April. Cheques will be returned if the order is too small to be fulfilled.

For members of the Ulster Society of Organists & Choirmasters, 25% off a new CD, "Handel-Inspired", from St George's, Church Hanover Square.

This recording will be £13.50 when officially released on the Priory label, but just £10 if ordered in advance (by 14 April) direct from Paul Ayres.

Paul Ayres
assistant director of music, St George's Church Hanover Square
020 8632 1854

Vacant Consoles

Stay up to date with local Organists posts at www.usoc.org.uk

Message from the Hon.Tresurer :

Thank you to all members who have already paid their subscriptions by whatever means for 2007. I should now be pleased to receive subscriptions from around 40 members who have still to pay; please see the notes on the payment sheet enclosed with the December Bulletin. Do contact me if you have any queries in this regard.


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

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.

USOC 2007 Programme

31st Mar Basic Improvisation with Philip Stopford
Dundrod Presbyterian Church

21st April All day visit to Carrickmacross, Co Armagh
and two churches in Monaghan town

5-7th May Annual Bank Holiday weekend trip-Oxford

9th June Elgar 150th Anniversary event in Londonderry.

This will include choral music in St Eugene’s R C Cathedral, an evening meal and a pre-concert talk on Elgar followed by attendance at the St Columb’s C o I Cathedral concert featuring David Briggs. Programme to include the Elgar Organ Sonata and an improvisation.

15th Sept Choir training event with Paul Spicer;
Methodist College, Belfast.
Non-members to be invited

27th Oct Members’ Recital in St George’s P C, Belfast
including Charles Harrison, Nigel McClintock (organ) and the choir of St George’s.

17th Nov Holywood Music Festival.
Inaugural organ classes organised by USOC

Co Monaghan Booking Form

I enclose a cheque made payable to USOC for lunch at the Westenra Hotel on Saturday 21st April 2007.

£10 or 15 EUROS per head

Name _______________________________________

Partner’s Name _______________________________________

Any dietary requirements __________________________


Please make contact with me, I would like help with transport for the day

Name _______________________________________

Telephone No. _______________________________________

Please send this page (detach) and your cheque to

Mr Philip Walden
20 Hazeldene Avenue
BT20 4RA

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