Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters

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


Saturday 21st April 2007

Visit to Co Monaghan

10:30 am at St Joseph’s Carrickmacross

St Joseph’s Church, Carickmacross, is approx 65 miles from Belfast, via Newry and Dundalk. Leave the N52 on seconded exit to Dundalk town centre; take the R178 which is 15 miles to Carrickmacross entering straight across the first roundabout heading for St Joseph’s which has the tall spire. There is plenty of parking at the church. We will then hear and play the splendid new 27 stop Wells-Kennedy instrument.


Leaving Carrickmacross travel to Monaghan on the N2 via Castleblaney approx 22miles arriving in Monaghan centre.

Turn right into central car park by Tesco.

You will need 2 euro for the parking.

Using one of the cuts walk into the town square to St Patrick’s Church for our next venue at 12.30pm.


Lunch is at 1:30 at The Westernra Arms Hotel which is opposite St Patrick’s church. (see booking form, and send it off immediately!)


At 2:30 pm drive out of the town centre up to our final venue to St Macartan’s Cathedral to experience the magnificent large 3manual Telford organ. Parking is plentiful within the Cathedral grounds. If requiring tea and refreshments can be purchased at the Hillgrove Hotel opposite the Cathedral before leaving Monaghan.


What a wonderful day out – let’s hope for good weather too! Many thanks to committee members Dick Walker and David McElderry for organising this marvellous day!


If you can attend only part of the day, please do, but make your own arrangements for lunch!


Forthcoming Concerts and Events . . .


CREATION CD LaunchSaturday 28th April, 4pm Belfast 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. An order form is included with this bulletin if you are unable to attend but would like a copy!




Music in May at Portaferry Parish Church

Friday, 11 May, 2007 at 8.00pm

The Priory Singers (Director: Harry Grindle) with Phillip Elliott (Organ) will present a varied programme of choral and organ music.

Tickets: £10.00 (including supper after the concert)

(Phone: 028 42729997 or 028 42728520)



The Armed Man, Karl Jenkins
Saturday 19 May 2007 at 7.30pm
St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast
£12, £8 Concessions, £4 students available from -
Clements Gifts, 19 Cregagh Road, Belfast, BT5 6GX
Matchetts, 6 Wellington Place, Belfast BT1 6GE
Belfast Music Supplies, 283 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3JF
Also on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope and a cheque for the full amount from Belfast Philharmonic Choir,

PO Box 907, Holywood, BT18 8AD                        
Box Office Number                 07925 515584
Website Address                       www.belfastphilharmonic.org.uk
This unique concert will feature Belfast Philharmonic Choir, Phil Kids and the Ulster Orchestra. This is the first concert in which the Phil Kids, established September 2006, will perform for the wider public. The concert will feature items in the first half by the Phil Kids and by Belfast Philharmonic Choir and the Ulster Orchestra. The second half will be The Armed Man by Jenkins and both choirs will take part along with the Ulster Orchestra.






MARTIN BAKER from Westminster Cathedral


Saturday 26th May – MARTIN BAKER (Westminster Cathedral) gives a recital at St Peter’s Cathedral at 6pm,

followed by improvising at the 7.30pm Mass.



If we don’t, we won’t be able to afford to have them back!





St Peter’s Cathedral and USOC Saturday Mass series continues with . . .


April 21st               Cappella Caeciliana – Mozart’s Coronation Mass

June 16th                Renaissance – Vierne Messe Solonelle

September 8th           Cadenza

October 13th           Methodist College, Belfast        

November 17th           Ecclesium – Durufle Requiem (Requiem Mass) tbc

December 8th     tba








Friday 10th August 2007 at 8.00 pm

Details from the Church Office 028 7082 2612





THE TONIC ORGAN  Last two concerts at BANGOR ACADEMY, Gransha Road, BANGOR

1. Saturday 26 May 2007 @ 7.45 p.m.  Nigel Ogden

2. Saturday 20 Oct. 2007 @ 7.45 p.m.  Simon Gledhill + Richard Hills





Looking ahead . . . .


USOC Visit to Londonderry

Saturday 9th June


In June, the Society will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edward Elgar with a special day trip to Londonderry. We hope to sample choral and organ music in several of the city’s most famous buildings; the day will culminate with a free concert given by David Briggs (Organist Emeritus, Gloucester Cathedral) who will perform Elgar’s Organ Sonata on the recent 4-manual Wells-Kennedy rebuild at St Columb’s Cathedral.


The PROVISIONAL timetable for the day is as follows:


1.30-2:30pm:               ‘Open Console’ in the city’s Guildhall. For those members who have decided to ‘make a day of it’, a chance to play the Hill, Norman & Beard Organ which was only recently re-opened following the Bloody Sunday Enquiry. A USOC member will be on hand.


3.00-4.00pm:               Visit to Christ Church, Infirmary Road. A chance to hear Elgar and Buxtehude (who celebrates his 300th birthday this year) played on the 3-manual Wells-Kennedy tracker organ built in 2000.


4.00-5.00pm:               Visit to Saint Eugene’s RC Cathedral (beside Christ Church) to sample some choral music in the Cathedral’s wonderful acoustic.


Dinner in a city centre hotel


7:15pm:                        Pre-concert talk on Elgar’s only visit to Ireland in October 1932 by Elgar Society member Wesley McCann (in the Chapter House, St Columb’s Cathedral).


8.00pm:                        Celebrity Organ Recital in St Columb’s Cathedral by David Briggs.




If there is sufficient interest, it may be worth hiring a coach (leaving Belfast around 1pm). At this stage, it would be helpful to know how many members would be prepared to pay around £25 for a return journey from Belfast city centre AND dinner in Londonderry before David Brigg’s recital. Please register your interest by contacting Ian Mills on 07751 859945, or by email organist@stcolumbscathedralchoir.com. More details in our next bulletin.


What an amazing day – get this one in your diary NOW!



New recordings . . .


Ian Hare has recently recorded a CD at Burnley Parish Church celebrating the work of composers associated with the north of England. I wonder if you might be kind enough help promotion of this by including details in a future members' newsletter. Should you prefer to post flyers, please provide a postal address and state the number required.
The CD contains Kenneth Leighton Fanfare; Francis Jackson Procession; Matthew Camidge Concerto in G minor, Edward Bairstow Scherzo in Ab; William Cruickshank Tempo di Minuetto; Frederick Delius A Walk to the Paradise Garden; Alfred Hollins A Song of Sunshine; J. H. Reginald Dixon Pastorale; William Wolstenholme Fantaisie Rustique; Adrian Self Improvisation on Crimond; Ian Hare Three Dances; Henry Smart Postlude in C; William Walton Crown Imperial.

The CD was recorded and mastered by Harold Barnes, a former BBC sound engineer. Ian Hare is University Organist at Lancaster and has performed at the BBC Proms and all major cathedrals in this country. He was an Organ Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and studied with André Marchal, Sir David Willcocks and Nadia Boulanger.

Please enclose a cheque for £7.00 payable to St. Peter’s Church, Burnley
and post to: The Secretary, St. Peter’s Church, Church Street, Burnley, Lancashire, U.K., BB11 2DL. Postage and packing free to UK addresses.



Vacant Consoles

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Message from the Hon.Treasurer


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 30 members who have still to pay; the full subscription for members resident in N.I. is still £20, fulltime students £12; please see the notes on the payment sheet enclosed with the December Bulletin. Do contact me if you have any queries in this regard.




USOC 2007 Programme


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


9th June          Elgar 150th Anniversary event in Londonderry.


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




What a fantastic array of musical goodies on offer in Northern Ireland this Spring/Summer! Do try and support as much as you can!

Gosh aren’t we lucky!



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.




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


Please do this TODAY, forms must be returned by Wednesday 18th April

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