The Lady Organist

an online magazine for organists

I've had the builders in

The Lady Organist has been a little subdued for the past year, as other blogging duties* have taken precedence.  Looking over the site this January, I thought it was beginning to look dowdy.  And the format was creaking.   So in the interests of bringing you lots of brand new content, and in the best tradition of fashionable magazines (oh yes) there’s been a style makeover, to kick off 2017.

The site content remains as before, but the builders are still working through the snagging list, so please forgive any encounter with a rubbish page display, duff link or non-functioning widget.  If you can be bothered to tell me about it, you will earn my gratitude.


*as Editor of StopPress, the new blog from the Royal College of Organists

The English Organ School opens its doors on Monday

The English Organ School is having an Open Afternoon on Bank Holiday Monday, 1st May – a chance to see the organs and other keyboard instruments housed in the former Congregational Chapel and Schoolroom, and hear Margaret Phillips play music from her new CD, recorded to celebrate the 21st year of the English Organ School. (Twelve of of the instruments are featured on the CD.) The English Organ School &

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Boogie down the Bell and Jorrocks

Narnia (aka my new home of Frittenden, Kent) has a lively musical scene to which I am pleased to have made a contribution on Easter Day.  The builders are over the worst, and I was out of the polytunnel around the organ (Frittenden Diaries passim)  for a cracking Easter Service – my first with the choir singing an anthem (I was proud.)  Then full welly for the final hymn, including

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Playing in a polytunnel

On Sundays, in my new position as Director of Music in Narnia (aka Frittenden, Kent), I play encased in plastic. Not an attempt by the Parish to nurture their organist through the cold weather (or even to keep her in quarantine for the critical first three months), but essential protection for the organ from the Building Works over in the south aisle (a new glass upper room, and a kitchen.

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Dead Organists’ Society

  Heaving my music into boxes for the move to Narnia,  I couldn’t help noticing that most of my organ music collection is, um, recycled: most of coming, in fact, from those cardboard boxes that go the rounds in organist circles, of music from deceased colleagues which is seeking a new home.  Amongst the dross (new compositions that saw one performance only, deeply uncool anthologies from the early twentieth century,

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New Year, new job, and a moorhen that likes porridge

Due diligence has been performed.  I have filled forms, signed certificates of confidentiality, provided references, and acquired an enhanced DBS Certificate, which has been duly forwarded to the Diocese of Canterbury Safeguarding Office for inspection.  I have played for three services and not been found wanting. The Rector and the PCC have consulted on a careful job description. We have pondered the Royal School of Church Music recommended fees for

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Every home should have one

I have too many keyboard instruments in my home already, so naturally, last year I acquired another one.  The pecuniary outcome of quite a few months’ overtime at the day job* was handed over to David Mason of Viscount Organs, and in return, a 2-manual, 31-stop, 30-note radiating concave pedalboard practice organ arrived at my London terraced home a few weeks later.  And I can’t remember feeling so chuffed since

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Pedals, pedals, pedals – resources for organists

If your New Year’s resolutions included improving your pedal technique, here’s a summary of the assorted pedal resources I’ve marshalled over the last couple of years.   Some pedal etudes To start with, here’s something to make the process a little more interesting.  Composer Paul F Page recently contacted me to tell me about the organ music available to download from his website, which includes some Pedal Etudes for organ. 

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Favourites

Three favourite posts in the general category of organists' lifestyle. We do have a lifestyle, you know.

Handy excuses for organists

  We all have those days when our performance wasn't quite as good as it should have been, so here's a convenient list of suitable…

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You’re not a proper organist until…

Becoming an organist is not just about getting some swanky letters to put after your name, you know.  Certain important life skills are also required,…

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How to chat up your organist

Taken a shine to the new lady organist who has just started at your church?  Fancy seeing more of that young organ scholar you met…

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