Another month has flown by, but what a great month it has been for so many organists! As life is returning to an element of normality some church services have resumed. Of course there are still restrictions, one of them being singing. In my church this has meant the introduction of more organ music at various points in the service and the voluntary is played after the opening prayers, so more people hear the music.
Again as a result of lock down easing, there have been many more recitals streamed to audiences around the world. Some are ad hoc, some are weekly and some meditations continue to be shared daily. I think it must be fair to say however, that the best ‘recital’ of them all this month was the outstanding Organ Prom as part of the BBC Proms, played by Jonathan Scott. Social media was ablaze throughout the time he played. How refreshing it was to see an organ prom at a time when organists could view it. How wonderful it was to see the media attention the prom received. How phenomenal it was to hear Jonathan speak so passionately and knowledgeably about the Royal Albert Hall organ. We can but hope he inspired more people to listen to organ music or even be wanting to learn to play it.
Jonathan isn’t the only person to have had an organ prom this month. Salisbury Cathedral released the Organ Prom CD with music played by John Challenger and it is well worth a listen if you have not already done so.
August has seen organ scholars moving into their new accommodation for the year ahead. In addition, being A Level results month, many more have had their organ scholarships confirmed, many at Oxford and Cambridge, but of course other universities and colleges around the UK. It goes without saying, The Organ Manual wishes them all luck as they embark on the next stage of their organ music making and can’t wait to follow their progress. I know there are also many others who are moving on to new roles, good luck to you all!
Finally, for those who may not have seen the news, ‘Mander Organs‘ was brought back to life by FH Browne and Sons and will now continue to be known for generations to come.
As always I hope you enjoyed the posts published in August. During September I am thrilled to be publishing a piece by Daniel Moult about Conservatoires, from applying to learning and everything in between. It’s a brilliant and informative read. To go hand in hand with this, I am delighted Harvey Stansfield, a second year student at the Birmingham Conservatoire has written a piece from the student perspective for The Organ Manual. I’ll also be publishing a few facts and figures on The Organ Manual, as the website celebrates its first birthday!