The Lady Organist

an online magazine for organists

Category News

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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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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David Bowie – organists’ tributes

The death of David Bowie at the weekend saddened fans world-wide – people who had grown up with his music, and loved the man as musician and artist. A couple of organists took the opportunity to pay their own tribute – Nicholas Freestone, organ scholar at St Albans Cathedral, posted this version of Bowie’s Life on Mars on YouTube, and was humbled and astonished at the millions of hits it

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New organ radio station – send in your CD and get broadcasted!

There’s a new organ radio station available on the web: is a new initiative from in the Flemish part of Belgium and in the Netherlands, delivering 24/7 organ music, with a different theme every day, and their website is available in both English and Dutch versions. Head of Orgelradio, Nico Declerck, says At the moment we can offer only 1,000 tracks but soon in March 2016 it will increase

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David Aprahamian Liddle and the Braille music system

Organist David Aprahamian Liddle recently got in touch about a film project he has been involved in.  He told me:   The American film director Michael House is working on a documentary film about Louis Braille and the Braille music system.   He has interviewed me and many other blind musicians for this project, which is still in the making.   Michael filmed some of my recent concert in Derby Cathedral.   I

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Taking the organ out for a drink

Can’t decide whether this is weird, or actually quite brilliant, but I certainly can’t fault Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whisky if they are going to commission the building of a proper pipe organ from one of the UK’s oldest organ builders, Mander Organs, for a promotional bash. Project organisers Bompas & Parr combined the 5-rank mobile organ – dubbed The Flavour Conductor – with an ‘immersive and theatrical experience’, using

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Stocken’s Prayer of St Richard of Chichester, live this Wednesday

Frederick Stocken’s setting of the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester will be broadcast live on BBC Radio3 this Wednesday, as the Introit to the service of Choral Evensong from Chichester Cathedral, at 3.30pm GMT. This piece was originally commissioned for the installation of the new Dean of Chichester earlier this year, and I was privileged to be there – more about the commission, the composer, and the first performance,

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Betty’s back! – restoring the St John’s, Hyde Park organ

This coming Saturday, 21 November, I’m looking forward to hearing Betty’s opening recital – Betty being the venerable 1865 Hill organ at St John’s Hyde Park in London, which has just undergone a major restoration by Nicholson’s, in this her 150th year, with National Lottery Funding.   It has all been documented in a great blog SAVE BETTY – well worth a visit for the pictures and stories of the

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What do organists REALLY want?

Now’s your chance to tell the Royal College of Organists what you, as organist or choral director, want in terms of services and support in the years to come – and this is whether you are a member or not. After celebrating its 150th anniversary last year, the RCO wants to make sure that there will still be organists, choral and organ music, and an audience for them, in another

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Meet Bruhns in Brum – RCO Organ Forum 2015

What do you know about Nicolaus Bruhns?  No, me neither, which is why I hope to meet you at the RCO Organ Forum in Birmingham on Saturday 19 September.  It’s a celebration of Bruhns’ music in the 350th anniversary of his birth – covering the development of the stylus fantasticus and the influence of Bruhns and North Germany on the young Bach. Henry Fairs and colleagues are looking forward to

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John Scott Whiteley and D’Arcy Trinkwon record at Selby Abbey

The Hill organ at Selby Abbey in Yorkshire is currently under restoration by Principal Pipe Organs of York.  Viscount Organs were proud to have been chosen to provide a temporary instrument for two years or so, and saw the opportunity to make some recordings, both to show off the Regent 356 instrument in a cathedral acoustic, and also to raise money for the Hill restoration.  John Scott Whiteley, Organist Emeritus

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Crowdfunding in action – David Dewar and the music of Eric Thiman

You may have heard, vaguely, of crowdfunding, but wondered how it actually worked.   Here’s your chance to find out, and also read about a worthy project.   Organist David Dewar is trying to fund the first year of a research degree at Bristol University, using Hubbub.  Hubbub is a crowdfunding platform set up to help people raise money for projects in education and non-profit organisations.  It makes it easy to put

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The Prayer of St Richard of Chichester

One thing you can say for the Anglican church, it does a good procession.  So I was expecting the best, back in February, when I arrived at Chichester Cathedral with an invitation to the Installation of the new Dean of Chichester, Stephen John Waine.   En route to my seat (one of the best in the house, I must say, in the coveted pink ticket area in the Choir) I spotted

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Congratulations to Anne Marsden Thomas, MBE

Anne Marsden Thomas has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.  For services to organ music hooray. Congratulations Anne. Here’s an earlier interview she did for this blog, on the run up to an RCO Academy Summer Course.   Five questions for…Anne Marsden Thomas