Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters

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




USOC Visit to Londonderry

Saturday 9th June 2007


In June, the Society will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edward Elgar with a special day trip to Londonderry. We will sample choral and organ music in three 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 timetable for the day is as follows:


2.30-3:30pm:         ‘Open Console’ in Christ Church, Infirmary Road. A chance to play the Wells-Kennedy tracker instrument built in 2000.


3.30-4.30pm:         Buxtehude recital in Christ Church, Infirmary Road. An informal recital of organ works by Dietrich Buxtehude (who celebrates his 300th birthday this year) performed by local USOC members.


4.30-5.30pm:         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. Programme to include Elgar’s Organ Sonata.


If you would like to share a lift from Belfast to Londonderry, please register your interest by contacting Ian Mills on 07751 859945, or by email organist@stcolumbscathedralchoir.com.



Thanks go to . . .


Dick Walker and David McElderry for organising a lovely day in Co Monaghan, when the Society visited some lovely venues and organs and organised the best lunch £10 can buy!


The President, James Little, for organising a superb trip to Oxford over the May Bank Holiday weekend.




(Westminster Cathedral)


Saturday 26th May at 6pm,


Followed by improvising at the 7.30pm Mass.


Tickets for the Recital are £8 on the door

Please make every effort to support this event.




St Peter’s Cathedral and USOC Saturday Mass series continues …


June 16th                Renaissance – Vierne Messe Solonelle

September 8th       Cadenza

October 13th          Methodist College, Belfast        

November 17th       Cathedral Voices, Durufle Requiem (Requiem Mass)

December 8th        tba







Friday 10th August 2007 at 8.00 pm

Details from the Church Office 028 7082 2612








As presenter of the BBC’s long running series “The Organist Entertains”, NIGEL OGDEN could probably be described as Britain’s most popular organist. On Saturday 26th May, he will be at the console of the TONIC THEATRE ORGAN at Bangor Academy (Gransha Road campus). Tickets are available at the concert which begins at 8pm and will include a silent film with organ accompaniment.


 If you need directions for driving there phone

Rodney Bambrick (028) 9146 5222




Visit to Northern Ireland by Cappella Magdalena, France

The ensemble of 8 women was formed in 2003 to perform music written for, and commissioned by, Italian women in the 16th century and includes Rachel Adams. This is Cappella Magdalena’s first visit to Northern Ireland and the programme will include motets by Palestrina, Guerrero, de Rore and music by Byrd.

There are two concerts – Saturday, 26 May 2007, 7.30pm, St. Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry and 27 May 2007, 7.30pm, St. George’s Church, Belfast. Tickets are £10/£8, details from Rachel, 02892373457 and on the door.





Directed by Philip Stopford


“Sure on this shining night”, music for a summer’s night.


Saturday 2nd June at 7.30pm, St George’s Parish Church, Belfast 

Tickets on the door and from 07799 88 66 68






Belfast Cathedral Choirs 5th Annual Summer Concert

Wednesday 27th June at 8pm

St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast 


Including a performance of the Missa Brevis by Kenneth Leighton



Early Organ Music


Greg Lewin now publish modern editions (and some facsimile ones) of early organ music. Some of our titles were originally published by Hawthorns Music.

Most publications comprise an edition of an original publication (for instance William Walond's 'Six Voluntaries for Organ or Harpsichord' op.1, 1752). Our editions include this and other publications by Walond, Stanley, Handel, Boyce, Nares, Thorley, Keeble, Roseingrave, Russell, Greene, S.S. Wesley, Tomkins, Carleton, Alcock and Heron as well as continental ones by Lebegue, Dandrieu, du Mage and Albrechtsburger. New titles are added regularly.

All titles can be purchased from our website which has full details of each publication along with sample pages and audio files.

website: http://www.greglewin.co.uk
email: greg@greglewin.co.uk
phone: 01902 850048


Vacant Consoles

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


Congratulations to


Stephen Timpany who is now an

Associate of the Royal College of Organists.




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




Message from the Hon.Treasurer:

Thank you to all members who have already paid their subscriptions by whatever means for 2007.


To those who have still to pay:

 I should be delighted to receive subscriptions from these members;  the full subscription for members resident in N.I. is still £20, and there are about 25 such outstanding. Fulltime students pay £12 and there are a small number of these subscriptions outstanding. Some of our English members have still to pay too.

Please see the notes on the payment sheet enclosed with the December Bulletin. Do contact me if you have any queries in this regard.

Reminding individual members of their obligations takes time and effort but I shall attempt to contact the defaulters over the next few  months. Please help me to minimise this operation by paying NOW.












CREATION and other CDs by Belfast Cathedral Choir, Ecclesium and Philip Stopford continue to be available at the Welcome Desk in St Anne’s Cathedral, which is open between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday.












USOC 2007 Programme



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






















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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