Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters

U.S.O.C. Newsletter - January 1998


Since it is the task of the church organist to employ his musical skills in the context of worship, it is appropriate that at our first meeting for 1998 we have invited a Presbyterian minister to reveal to us his views on this subject: 'Music and Worship'. Revd Mark Spratt, BEd, DipTh, ALCM, is Associate Minister and Director of Music at Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church in Bangor where our meeting will be held at 3 pm on Saturday 14 February. There will be an opportunity for discussion, and refreshments will be provided. Whether it confounds or merely confirms the views you already hold this should be a lively and stimulating session.

If you approach Bangor from Belfast (and are unfamiliar with the terrain) you should drive down Main Street (keeping in the right lane) to the seafront and Town Clock, and then turn right up High Street; continue to the roundabout at the Savoy Flats and turn right here into Hamilton Road; the church will be on your right a little way along this road; immediately past it turn right into Prospect Road and then right again down a narrow lane behind the church leading to a large car park. Sorry if this sounds circuitous (it is!) but blame the planners of our one-way traffic system. Anyway, you'll find it takes less time to drive than to describe!


With this circular will be enclosed TWO copies of our Programme for 1998: please use one of them to invite/persuade/urge/cajole another church organist to join the Society; membership application forms are available from me.

The other document is a copy of my review of the Society's activities in 1997 as presented at the AGM. If it reminds you that you missed more meetings than you attended, I trust that you will do your best to attend more frequently in the year ahead. The Society needs your support and encouragement.


As you will probably have heard, member Christopher Gordon-Wells, for his outstanding contribution to the art of organ building in the province (and beyond), was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List. At our AGM in January we congratulated Christopher and, in recognition both of this well-deserved distinction, and also of his invaluable contribution to the work of the Society over many years, made him an Honorary Life member.


Your subscription to the Society (17.50; students 10.00; overseas members 5.00) for 1998 is now due and cheques (payable to USOC) should be forwarded to the Honorary Treasurer (address below). It will be much appreciated if this can be done promptly and without further reminders! A reply-slip to accompany your cheque is appended. Subscriptions for 'Organists Review' are also now due and should be sent directly to Mr Bayfield in Brighton.


A glance at the letter-heading above will have revealed that at this year's AGM the Society elected a new President: Timothy Allen is Organist & Master of the Choristers at Londonderry's Anglican Cathedral and one of the two city organists in our northern metropolis. We wish him joy in this new appointment.

In the near future we intend to produce an updated membership list: to ensure that the information therein is accurate please check the data against your own name in the present list and if any amendments are to be made complete the reply-slip provided below and return it to me not later than February 28th. Details regarding your willingness to deputise are particularly useful. If your copy of the current membership list has been lost or stolen then please complete the slip anyway.


At Saint Paul's Parish Church, Gilford.
Two-manual pipe organ and "supportive robed choir"; enquiries to Revd A P Patterson, 01762 / 831130.

At First Presbyterian Church, Lisburn "An exciting position for someone interested in both traditional and contemporary church music"; details from Mrs Vera McQuoid, 01846 / 679835.


To date we have received only 23 applications for our weekend trip to East Anglia in May: if you would like to join the party in what promises to be a most interesting tour please let me have your application as soon as possible.


First meeting: Saturday 7 February, 7 30 pm at the home of James Little, ... Please let me know if you cannot be present.


February 14 : Meeting in Bangor February 28 : Deadline for return on membership data slip NOW! : Payment of annual subscription.

Honorary Secretary


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