Wednesday 26 January 2011

Organist needed

I'm amazed at the variety of people who find this little blog. The statistics tell me that the majority of readers come from the UK but many also from the USA. France, Canada, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland and Australia also feature. Surprising is that Greece, Romania, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Turkey have also featured.

However, this particular post is aimed at those close to home here in Leyland. Our parish is in desperate need of an organist - for we do not have one at the moment and all my efforts and connections have not led anywhere as yet. As you can imagine, without an organist we struggle with much of the music. We're blest to have had visiting organists (of some distinction) for special occasions and we have been blest with a schola and someone to organise them for high days and holidays but a regular organist has eluded us.

The Second Vatican Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium spoke of the organ as the pre-emminent instrument for church music:

In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man's mind to God and to higher things.

I couldn't agree more! So - a heartfelt plea for help. If anyone has any ideas or offers, please do get in touch.


georgem said...

Perhaps some telephone calls to the Royal College of Church Music, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the academies in London might yield a student from your area who would be keen to play at your church.
You might only get someone who would be able to play during vacations but it would be a start.

Anonymous said...

Fr Simon,

As a former funeral director this was something which I often faced, particularly when ministers would call me the day before the funeral claiming the organist had 'dropped out' etc. So I began to contact local crematoria to see if their organist was willing to play for us. My old parish in Lancaster diocese did the same and we managed to get an agreement that the crematorium organist (who was not catholic - but spent a lot of time getting to know the mass in both forms so he could play) would play twice a month on the first and third sundays.

For the other two sundays we contacted the local university music department and the Anglican churches to see if they had any contacts, eventually (after a month or two) a university student offered to play on the other two sundays on the proviso that they could have access to the organ twice a week at night time (after 7pm) until they graduated with the rights to record the practices they had.

If none of those two ideas are any good, ask the organist at the crem if he/she knows anyone who can play.

God Bless