Since its creation nearly two years ago, The Organ Manual website has gone from strength to strength, with a loyal following as well as new visitors on a regular basis. Some days I am simply stunned when I look at the stats and over a hundred people have not only visited but been active on the site. It makes me proud and humbled, but it also highlights the fact that there is demand for what The Organ Manual does.
As use of the site has grown so has my desire to do more. A couple of months ago, you may recall I mentioned the creation of a new magazine, The Organ Manual Online Magazine, to be precise. Whilst Alex Trigg and I had talked about it for some time, putting our idea in writing made it real. Since then we’ve been working hard to bring it to fruition – and our hard work is paying off!
Going forward I won’t be writing monthly reviews or features as I will be concentrating my efforts on the magazine. I’d like to thank each and every one of you who have read them , commented on them through the site or sent me a message and to all those who have created the highlights I’ve shared. As you may have noticed, last month there was not feature article, they too have come to an end as I work on the magazine. I am been so lucky to have the support of so many people willing to give their time and expertise and agreeing to write for the site. With such useful information in them, the articles will not leave the site, but will find a new home within it. Whilst this may seem an odd move to some, I can assure you there is method in my madness and, when published, you’ll see how worthwhile the change is.
So, what can you expect going forward?
The Organ Manual Online Magazine will be published through The Organ Manual website in September, January and May. Publication information will be shared widely The Organ Manual social media and you can of course sign up for notification through the site too. The magazine will be completely free and therefore, we hope, accessible by all. I continue to be ever grateful to Viscount Organs Wales for their funding to allow this to be the case.
Each edition to have around a dozen articles written by a wide variety of people working in the organ industry. Articles will offer a wide range of information about organ playing, exams, scholarships, courses, competitions, advice and more. In addition there will be an Agony Aunt column, where readers have the opportunity to ask questions and we go to out to our contacts for their advice. There will also be a number of adverts, some offering opportunities to readers of The Organ Manual, and all being relevant to a younger audience and highlighting courses, schemes, scholarship, recitals and more.
Alex and I have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction we have had from those we’ve approached for our first edition. Readers can look forward to articles from Ann Marden Thomas, Richard McVeigh, John Challenger and James Vivian to name but a few. Articles will include Keyboard Skills for Organ Scholars, Accompanying a Choir, Theory Through Pop Music and much more. Our aim is create an exciting, informative and different magazine, appealing to and advising younger organists whilst still be interesting to readers of all ages.
We have many, many ideas for future articles and again have been overwhelmed by those working in the organ world who have contacted us offering to write a piece. It is truly humbling. I think it just goes to show what a supportive industry we are part of.
With the launch of the magazine, The Organ Manual website will also see a bit of a facelift, with a new logo, font and style. These changes will happen over the next couple of months and I do hope you enjoy the makeover. I am hoping it will look more professional and up to date. The information the site holds will continue to be reviewed, updated and added to so the site remains relevant and useful.
So, as the door closes on reviews and features, another opens on a new magazine.
Alex and I are contactable on firstname.lastname@example.org and would love to hear from you if:
you have a question for our Agony Aunt column,
there is something you would like to read about,
there is something you would like to write about,
you have an advert you would like to place (free of charge) in the magazine
you have any comments, suggestions or information you think we should hear.
Thank you for being on this journey with me and for all your support. Alex and I are very excited by what’s to come and we look forward to you being part of it.